All my life, I have encountered people and their stories that shed a light on my ever-expanding knowledge of humanity. By no means, I’m an expert but I continue to value this knowledge that have shaped my acts and words. Some would say I was a sympathizer- and it’s not always said in the nicest way possible.
It has raised the question: what’s wrong with having some sort of empathy for people I was not raised with culturally, religiously, or even in the same country?
I find at every turn some sort of menacing hate and a complete disregard for another human being – mostly on social media where people are comfortable going to extremes.
I mean, it’s so appealing to say what they truly think every day that they hide from everyday society. I find these thoughts are mostly inspired by misunderstood events or the fact that they are not educated at all.
Growing up in a pretty diverse family, (being half-Hispanic and the other Caucasian), I have been exposed to the many facets of people. The other glimmering sides of humanity I have learned from personal experience or books such as A Bed of Red Flowers: In Search of My Afghanistan by Nelofer Pazira or Wild Swans by Jung Chang. I don’t know how anyone can blame the civilization of the middle east when you experience their excruciating circumstances through dictatorship and America’s grudge through the eyes of someone who lived it everyday. Or hold resentment towards China whose past has been one tale of being destroyed from the inside out and the countries that took advantage of their weakened state.
Unfortunately, with the school system not expanding much on places like Asia or the middle east in their lectures, many people go their whole lives without having an inkling of outside of their country. Some are not even knowlegable about their own nation. A great example of the lack of education would be a young woman who, upon hearing news of the Charleston Church shootings, expressed on Twitter her racist thoughts. Posting stuff like, “Don’t complain about being a minority and say whites are a problem when your ancestors chose to come here knowing they would be a minority.” Not sure what she was taught in school when it came to slavery.
So let’s go back to my original question: what’s wrong for feeling for another human being? This is how I see people who are different than me. In the end, they are of the same species who live on the same planet. It’s not like I can get away from them unless I was an astronaut. They may speak a different language or live a life that completely runs perpendicular to mine. But that’s what makes us so unique is that we can share upon these unique experiences that we would have never had in our grand paths of life. Why does fear have to be the first response to something that is contrasting to us?
So call me a sympathizer – a traitor to my country, a hippie. To me, at least I can find solace in the fact that I care or have some level of humanity left to try and understand someone else. It’s okay to respect another human being. For those who experience the same disgust, I hope that you continue your love for humanity. In a world where it’s an insult to be different, I hope you celebrate it because no one else will. We should be able to sound our love for diversity and make it profound in our lives. Keep trying to understand because, in the end, we would hope someone would see us the same way.