The world is going crazy with a number of things. In the United States there is an outcry across the country demanding equality. A lot of history and generations of prejudice goes into the problems that are going on.
The reality is that people everywhere are doing awful things to other people. Some of the situations are blown out of proportion while others are taken the wrong way entirely. Still other situations are overlooked.
I believe that the root of the problem is that we don’t understand other people or their cultures. I had an experience when I worked in an ice cream shop in a tourist hotspot, that opened my eyes to this problem.
The job required serving ice cream to hundreds of people a day that were traveling from around the world. A number of repeated circumstances led me to believe that Asians were rude and demanding. However, I came to realize my error in this conclusion. I have never had much interaction with any Asian culture and the language was especially beyond me. What I translated as rude and demanding was simply a frustrating system of communication.
Since I had learned Spanish at this time, I didn’t have any problem serving latinos or anyone who spoke Spanish. The same applied to anyone who spoke English. Europeans had different accents and even mannerisms, that was fun to learn to identify. But essentially, as I came to better understand or be able to pick out the nationalities, I enjoyed serving them more.
Recognize all Lives
Regarding the stories that hit the news, I think we need to learn to better see the individuals rather than the races. We all make mistakes, some more than others. But none of us are responsible for the mistakes of a stranger. Individuals make mistakes, it’s our job to see that as a mistake of an individual, and then be sure that we aren’t making the same mistakes in our lives.
As a writer, I want to offer a challenge that I believe will change the perspective. I have shared that stories are a way for us to better understand life. In stories, every character has motivations for what they do. When you create and develop characters as a writer, you have to understand that every character is the hero in their own story.
Fictional characters are loved by readers because the readers come to understand that character. Regardless of the mistakes and weaknesses, readers continue to cheer on a good character. The good characters are the ones that are relatable, because they are human (even if they are a fairy, or something else).
A Challenge and a Solution
The challenge is to see the people in the news stories as characters in a story. What are their backstories and motivations? Are their actions driven by responsibilities that they feel? Does what they were taught bring out opinions and attitudes that are wrong?
Coming to understand the whole situation, and the people for who they are, gives a new view of the stories. The solution doesn’t come from backlash, but from changing our own perspectives. Teaching and developing ours and others’ ability to learn and understand one another will help relationships on all levels. But especially in finding a solution of racial harmony.
My final statement is that stories are powerful, and we need to be sure that we are allowing the powerful stories to influence us for good.
Featured Image: I Am A Child Of God by Howard Lyon