Friday, January 20, 2012
What Can I Do?
This is the question that most have asked after being challenged to change the world. When we are faced with the cruel circumstances surrounding this world and someone calls out to us for help, one can't help but ask oneself "What can I do? I'm just one person!", and thus we block out the calls for help, we block out the issues that are taking place around us, and we go on living our day to day lives. This applies to many different issues, but with keeping with the theme for this week, fighting racism, we've come up with a five step process, where anyone can make a difference. This process applies to a large quantity of issues, and is a way by which you can go out there today and make a difference.
As the old Buddhist monks have said "if you're cup is full how can you learn? You must first empty your cup in order to be able to attain wisdom". In this same way we must look into ourselves and realize that we have biases, we have preconceived notions about the world around us, about how people behave, and about what we know about a certain culture. The first step to fighting prejudice is to realize that you in some level are prejudice, everyone is initially, and that before you can go out there making a difference you must first open yourself to the world and attempt to get rid of these notions and prejudices within yourself. Before you go out there to impact the world you must empty yourself of your prejudices, this is the first step.
After you have purged yourself of your prejudices you will be ready to begin to re-educate yourself on those things you previously had a preconceived notion about. This applies to all nationalities, for all people have need to learn about their surrounding nations without the veil of prejudice. So take your time to actually make some friends within a different culture, learn about their culture from them, and defeat your own prejudices that you grew up with. At the same time see how hard it is to be that person, understand the social hardships that person faces, and in understanding you will grow to see the world within a new light. This new light will be able to guide you into the next step, and this experience will help you grow and mature into a person that brings about change, this is the second step.
Now that you are no longer approaching a particular people group with the eyes of prejudice, learning about them, befriending them, now comes a time of understanding what they go through. This is the time you open your eyes to the world, open your eyes to all the issues going around the world and come to an understanding of how this particular group has been slighted. This is the time where your eyes will be opened to the truth, the truth that prejudice is running rampant within our nation, that this prejudice does not have one face but many faces, meaning that the dream is not to have two people groups accept one another but to have all people groups accept one another. This will be the time where your eyes will be able to perceive the truth for the first time, and for the first time you will get that sick feeling at the pit of your stomach, that same feeling one gets when one witnesses a great injustice. This is the third step.
Once your eyes have been opened to the truth there is no way to close them again, once you have experienced evil there is no forgetting the matter, thus this is the time where you speak out against it. This could be a simple reprimand of someone being prejudice, this could be stopping a group of people from telling racist jokes, or boycotting a TV show for the harm it does to a particular culture, this could be joining a protest union or supporting one, there are many things one can to that make a difference in the long run. The protest point is important, not everyone can go out there and give up everything to join a cause, but on the other hand everyone can donate to a cause in order to help the fight. Of course one must always be wise about donating money, finding a good charity is essential, not all movements are faithful with the donations received, this is a great evil to be discussed at another time. The fourth step is to speak out against those that are prejudice, by speaking you are making a difference.
After you have gone through this whole process and have reached a level of understanding you are now bound to teach what you have learned. What is the point to learning how to be a better human being if you do not share that knowledge with anyone else? There is a huge need for education, for re-education, and without this focus on education a movement will die. This is a simple truth, any idea that is not taught to the next generation will eventually grow obsolete and die, hence the importance of teaching what you know, may it be to your kids, your friends, your parents, a classroom, an audience and so forth. This current generation for the most part was taught well about the evils of racism and prejudice, and thus we must continue to teach future generations about the evils surrounding those words. This is the fifth step, teaching others in order to raise awareness.
In hope for a better tomorrow we pray that this week's posts have impacted you in some way, be it an encouragement or reenforcing a calling, whichever we hope that we can all band together and fight to bring about a better world, one free of prejudice and racism. Everyone can do something, every little bit counts.
We hope you have a great weekend, rest well and be safe,
Love from your humble blogger,