Today I had a rare experience. One that annoyed me and disappointed me and as you know, it takes me a lot to get in this space. I wish I did not have to write this and unfortunately, the people who need to read this will not and it won’t matter what I write…sadly, they will not change.
So what happened that bothered me so much? One of my students came to me frustrated and hurt. According to some families, he comes from a low caste and not worthy to be in the company of their children. In the Caste system, you are born into a group that provides the social status for the rest of your life. If you are of high status, your name differentiates you. If you are of low caste, your name again differentiates you. In society and the world today, how can we be so short sighted and narrow minded?! Here we have someone who is doing what they can to make this a better place by being a good human. Notice I said human. That is what we all are – human first!
Surprisingly, the people who dwell on the Caste system and feel they are superior are also the ones who feel they are religiously superior. Correct me if I am wrong but in Sikhism, did we not get rid of the Caste system?! Did Jesus not sit with the lepers? Does religion not talk about respect and dignity? It is more important how we treat each other over what you are or born into.
I think what is important is that those who may not want to have anything to do with my student because he is of lower caste have actually helped him. How? – because he is so determined to be a good person, do things that can help people and society and prove to those who don’t think him worthy that he can accomplish great things. I know he will accomplish amazing things in life and I will be there along side. Am I worried about my reputation? Of course not. If you can not accept him, you can not accept me and I have a difficult time accepting those who choose to not recognize a human being first. It took my student a lot of courage in life to battle this. He is more than welcome to come to visit me at home, eat in my house and play with my children…am I worried? – You bet, but not for my student, he will thrive…worried for the parents who are feeding such antiquated thoughts to their children. Those who can not accept him are the ones who are depriving themselves of a great individual. He is building an autobiography worth reading.
I want my children to grow up in a world of tolerance and understanding. What I witnessed today was anything but. Those old values and ways have to be pushed aside to make way for a more understanding world. If you can not, please move aside so that you are not in the way and blocking progress. All people are equal in my eyes. I am no better than anyone and appreciate the diversity and uniqueness everyone brings. Today was an example of how beautiful of intentions can be marred by the ugliness of perspective. So let us cast the stones to break the barriers and inequalities among us.
It is time to remove Discrimination to
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