Why You Should Stop Sharing Hatred Messages, Even though It Might Be True
I feel sick every time I hear or read a racist remark. We need to open our minds and question our perceptions.
“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew
I grew up in a small town in Flores island, Indonesia. When I was a child, people there were lucky to see one or two westerners in a year. Bule is the name Indonesians call westerners. Most of the bules that passed by our hometown were backpackers. So the image of a bule or western person in my hometown was poor and stinky because most of them didn’t take a shower every day.
They assumed that all bules are womanizers and only want free sex because they watched some movies.
In 2006, when my family found out that I had a bule boyfriend, the reaction was not so good. I remember one of my family members called me and suggested that I break up because she was worried that if I married my boyfriend, Silver, I would not be able to eat in a good restaurant anymore.
She even pictured the situation that I only can look at others from outside the window and swallow my own saliva.
If you are a westerner, and someone judges you this way, how do you feel?
Another story of perception was when I went to Taiwan for summer school for the first time. It was 2003 and was the very first time I saw a black guy with my own eyes. He was a guy in the next class, and he whistled to most of the girls that passed his classroom, including me. He kept chasing the girls and asked them to have lunch or dinner together. So, by that time, thanks to him,
I must say I had a terrible image of black guys because of what I had experienced.
When I went back to Indonesia, I told the story about how bad that black guy was, and it created a perception among my friends and family who had never seen a black guy in their life.
“The more I see, the less I know for sure.”
― John Lennon
The third time I went back to Taiwan, I moved into another school and joined the dragon boat team. There was a black guy in the team, and at the beginning, I tried my best to avoid him because of my perception of black guys. But because we had a tough practice every morning, from 5:30 am to 8 am, we had no chance but to team up with everybody. That was how I realized that I was totally wrong for almost a year! He was the nicest guy on our team, always helping others, so kind, such a great person! Go and ask Silver; until now, we still talk about how great a person he was!
In 2008, I went to Estonia for summer school. One day I walked alone on the way back home, and I passed some teenagers on the road. They shouted, “Asian! Why you came here, go back to your country!” Some of them laughed, and one of them tried to scare me by chasing me and kept calling me “Asian! Asian!” I ran as if a scary mad dog was chasing me.
It was a horrible experience, and I still can see that picture in my mind so clearly.
Well, maybe they had a bad experience with an Asian person, but did I have to take the blame?
“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”
I am writing about this because I want us to stop judging and look, instead, at how much one person can impact the world. Forget about religion, skin color. We don’t have to hate each other because of the difference.
A word can heal, or it can kill. Think wisely before you say something or before you do something.
Will it give a good result, a peaceful act? If the answer is yes, then do it.
But if sharing that information will create more hatred, more wrong perception, then please stop.
Please share only love, and let’s impact a more peaceful world together!
Have a great day, and remember to be Happy!