Imagine you are back in Middle School
You are going through a VERY awkward stage of your life a.k.a. puberty
Or maybe you “bloomed” early and skipped right through puberty
And your parents actually gave you money to get your hair done and buy nice clothes
Maybe you even had a cell phone
(nothing wrong with that!)
But let’s just think back to those days for a minute..
Because no matter what “stage” you were in..
Everyone was measuring you up
And trying to see if you were “cool” enough in their eyes.
You are now walking to your first class..
Everyone is starring, making comments, whispering..
“Who is that?”
“What is she wearing?”
“Are those PIMPLES in her face?!”
“Let’s cross her right off our list”
Fun times, right?
Now, add a different skin color and a BIG.FAT.ACCENT
Like, something that screams “I don’t belong here“
You are now an immigrant in a foreign country, going through Middle School
And guess what?!
YOU CAN’T DO SHIT ABOUT IT
It wasn’t your decision, but you are stuck in this foreign place where you don’t speak the language
Where your childhood friends are now just a memory, as you don’t know when you’ll see them again
I mean, those friends get you- they get your style, your weirdness, your ways
But now you gotta start over, so SNAP OUT OF IT
(oh and by the way, your name screams “I don’t belong here” and NO ONE knows how to pronounce it)
Someone’s calling your name but you don’t know how to respond in their language
It’s your teacher
She wants you to read this chapter of the history book out loud…so everyone can hear!
So you try your best..
But you never took English classes before coming to the United States
And all you know are these words: Water (insert British accent here), dog, cat, and hello.
Now everyone starts laughing
They are not being TOO loud and obvious but you can hear them
They are kids, they don’t get what you’re going through.
But so are you.
This is only the beginning of lots of humiliations, getting made fun of..
Not to mention, you are also seeing how hurt your parents are
They are also getting humiliated by their peers at work.
And they start to wonder why they even decided to move here.
Is all this even worth it?
They HATE the fact they had to put their kids through this
But they did it for them (for you!)
They want YOU to have a better future
You can’t give up, right?
You must keep it together.
Now, that was a Middle School example.
But that’s something many immigrants deal with everyday
Adults are looked at differently everyday, therefore treated poorly
Judged because they don’t look like they belong
Judged before even being spoken to
Being HUMILIATED at work by their peers because of their accents
And the list goes on.
Still today, October 10th of 2016-
17 years later..
Kids are going through what I went through in school
Being bullied, talked down on, laughed at because they are “different”
And here we are, having TRUMP as one of the candidates for President, next to Hillary.
Why do we think he’s up there?
Racism still very much exists.
I know that’s only one of the reasons people are supporting him. But you get my point.
Now, answer me this:
When will everyone be treated and looked at the same?
What WORLD are we creating for our current and future generation?
When will enough, finally be enough?
The point of me telling you this story comes from a quote I very much believe in..
“YOU MUST BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.” -Gandhi
We tend to point fingers when it comes to all the terrible things we see and hear about everyday in this World.
But if everyone started with themselves, started changing maybe one thing here and there that could
make THEM a better person. The World would ultimately start being a better place.
START WITH YOU.
“If you change yourself you will change your world. If you change how you think then you will change how you feel and what actions you take. And so the world around you will change. Not only because you are now viewing your environment through new lenses of thoughts and emotions but also because the change within can allow you to take action in ways you wouldn’t have – or maybe even have thought about – while stuck in your old thought patterns.” -Gandhi
I hope this helps you think differently.
It’s never too late to be a better version of ourselves.