Thursday, August 23, 2007

Empathy...

A theme (I guess you can say) that I have grown to really embrace is one that focuses on the concept of empathy, which revolves around the idea of looking outside one's perspective and seeing the world through the eyes of another. I mean, how can we really understand what someone else is feeling unless we actually take a second to see how things are through their perspective. We all have different experiences and have grown up in various environments, which mean that certain words/actions may be taken to be offensive in certain contexts to some people than to others. Are some people more sensitive than others? Of course there are sensitive people (I at times can be sensitive to controversial situations), but it is not just sensitivity alone that results in individuals taking a certain road over another.

When I was in high school, I was bombarded by degrading remarks and harassed by a group of Indians (people of my same ethnicity) only because I didnt fit the supposed 'norm' of what it meant to be Indian. I didnt partake in the "recreational activities" that they did and didnt want to associate myself with that kind of behavior. They took as me thinking Im too good for them or something along those lines and for the last two years of my high school run, I felt a great deal of their wrath in so many ways: words, actions, threats, etc. It seems like years ago when this went down, but Ive grown from that. The scars remain (figuratively speaking) and I use those scars as a reminder of the kind of pain that people all over the world must be feeling. Regardless of the degree, pain is pain and we need to realize that sometimes our words/actions can hurt others in ways we may not fully understand. Our grasp of the world (our own perspectives) are limited: what we see and believe is not gospel. There is so much out there that we have yet to tackle or even taken steps to comprehend, but it's still out there.

Racism, terrorism, disease, etc. are only a few of the many problems that are affecting people all over the world. The unfortunate reality is that it is impossible to fully eradicate all the problems that plague the world we live in, but we (those of us who are privileged to live in this great United States) can take steps to help those less fortunate: those who wake up in the morning and feel as though no matter what they say or do, their day will not be any different from the day before and that process will continue indefinitely. Every human being deserves a chance to live their lives to the fullest with respect and appreciation. Im not saying you have to go out there and raise a couple trillion dollars to make a difference: donate to charity, volunteer, learn about issues affecting your community and educate those who seem to be confused or misguided. These are the little things that can make the biggest impact: it's just a matter of having faith in yourself and a drive to make change.

Regardless of what I experienced in high school, the irony is that it catapulted me to wanting to do so much more for the cultural community as a whole and really work hard in regards to advocacy. I hope that at least someone reading this entry will be inspired to make that type of difference in the world. There's nothing about me that makes me a better leader than anyone else: Im just someone who knows what he wants in life and just went straight for it. That's all Im asking....follow your passion and make a difference...

1 comment:

rozydesouza said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I loved it. Thank you for having the courage to be real......

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Rozy
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