Today we are surrounded by people with different ethnic backgrounds, different beliefs and different opinions. When looking for a piece of clothing, a book or a puzzle we are looking for unique items, but what happens when it comes to relationships?
Yesterday I was sitting on a couch and writing my post colonial criticism on “Wide Sargasso Sea”. There was this multicultural woman, Bertha, who had lost her mind due to people’s inability to accept differences. When thinking about this “crazy woman” Bertha, thoughts came rushing into my mind: Isn’t it the different colors of the universe, opinions of people and different cultures that make this life more than just Sims? Is there such a thing as universal or normal? How much do differences affect our lives?
Similarities play a big role in our decision making. I, as a muslim girl, catch a muslim girl smiling at me and hocus pocus, I have made a new friend. You go around, see a person that looks, feels, or acts like you and, hocus pocus, a new friendship is born. We all are searching for similarities in other people, but the question is: Is it really an achievement that we are hanging out with people who are just like us? What do these unintentionally made decisions cost us?
Everyone is looking for unity, love and happiness, but how can we achieve unity when our decisions are actually dependent on the similarities and oppose differences? How can we understand others when there is a part of our brains that makes decisions about our friendships and thoughts depending on how similar they are to our own? Do we really want separated groups bound together by similarities, with no diversity at all? Black and white, emotional and not emotional, religious and nonreligious, Swedish and immigrant. For how long can we differentiate and divide? Audre Lorde says that “it’s not our differences that divide us. It’s our inability to recognise, accept and celebrate these differences”. Norms, trends and popularity are quite important in today’s society, but nobody is “normal”. Nobody really feels or acts “normal”, every ındıvıdual has a unique personality and that leads to different opinions, so actually when thinking about it, isn’t it easier to just accept differences?
Think about a world without war. A world with unity and love. Think about a world where you are not imprisoned by norms. A world where you are accepted and your opinions are respected.
I want the violence and war to stop! We don’t deserve groups and norms which imprison us. We deserve love, unity and compassion. The first step of solving a problem is to identify the problem. War does not take place due to the different opinions that exist. War and violence occur when respect and unity is lost. We need to accept, respect and understand other opinions because that’s when we will achieve the state of unity and love. Because differences should be celebrated, not hidden.
I challenge all of you who have read this article! Tomorrow, be a part of change, say “Hi!” to someone who is “different” than you!
Jana Paegle | 11 Mar
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