Growing up I didn’t think I was different.
My eyes looked out into the world, I didn’t walk around with a mirror.
I realised I was different when people teased me but I also didn’t know what the word chingka even meant I was just upset I was being teased.
The minute the kids did squinty eyes I associated myself as being different.
“Oh so that’s what I look like”.
This is a year two memory.
Now, I know I’m different but not so different.
We are all the same. Same journey. Same emotions. Same feelings and thoughts. Same inner voice. Same planet and universe Etc
What with everything going on in the world I sit in two corners. One I have total empathy for each individuals journey in their lives to overcome the obstacle called racism. Any kind of obstacle where you feel you were left out and did not belong. So to me, that’s not limited to racism. That’s why I like the impairment phraseology of “nothing about me, without me”. It goes for everyone and everything.
Don’t make assumptions.
I read an article about a Masterchef contestant and the very uncomfortable situation of a radio host greeting her with one dialect of Chinese then another. She was on an English/Australian speaking television show and going on to an English/Australian speaking radio show.
It reminded me that assumptions can also go both ways.
When I worked in a mostly Chinese speaking community in a bank, I was apprehensive and insecure about my own inability to speak Chinese whether that was Mandarin or Cantonese. Often times, customers would come up to the counter and start speaking and I would have to embarrassingly admit I couldn’t speak Chinese and either see if I could help or if I needed to ask a colleague to help. One time a colleague was referring a customer back to me and I politely whispered “remember, I don’t speak Chinese”. Later, I found out that was an issue, however, my intentions came from my own apprehension and insecurity and certainly not intended to be racism.
That’s why I say don’t make assumptions. But also I’ve probably trained myself not to make assumptions because literally anything could be perceived or interpreted as being racist and my days would be long and unenjoyable.
I think when people have built trust and good relationships there is an exception to the rule. They could call you any kind of name under the sun because the permission has been provided within the relationship. You could freely and openly discuss topics of race without being politically correct. But with no relationship. there is zero permission.
Equally, with what is going on in the world I want people to consider calling out bad behaviour for what it is. What if the core issue is our lack of looking at domestic violence in general from the level of protecting all children from harm. What if the core issue is a lack of trust in a society where all individuals have the right to bear arms, for instance, in America. What if we were the child that was hit, with the potential for our past to be triggered, in literally any moment. Are we the children who don’t know how to manage our emotions or control our fight, flight or freeze mode that we are then the adults with no ability to resolve conflict through calm and peaceful communication?
I’m not blaming our parents collectively. I’m simply saying that we don’t have to keep on repeating the behaviours of our parents, hoping to get a different result.
I’m saying let’s look some more to see beyond. If our society is broken, it’s up to us from where we are to make a difference.
Are we going to create change and move forward or are we now just going to scratch the wound we had a bandaid on for so long?
With the bandaid off. Don’t touch it. Let it heal. Let time and nature heal it. It’s so hard not to touch it. But the only way for it to get better, is not to touch it.
What that looks like in reality and not an analogy, is for each individual person to look within and at themselves and work on themselves first. If everyone takes that on, the world will heal. The generational pain, the karmic curse of our ancestors, the past exactly as it was, can heal.
Hi my name is Angela. I have loved writing since I was able to hold a pencil in my hand. I soon learnt I had a gift of connecting with my ancestors through writing before my 30th birthday.