Let me start by saying that I’m not ashamed or scared of being judged. But in a perfect world, people will reserve judgment if they really understood another’s situation.

We live in a society where people freely offer their opinions when it is unnecessary. I was scrolling through Facebook recently and noticed the quality of posts reflects the quality of people behind these posts.

These memes are going around (I’m sure most of you have seen them) which is something like this “White people (then a scenario is given) and then Indian people are mentioned and the same scenario is given, then an illustration highlights the ways different cultures react to the same situation.

I agree that every culture has differences and should be embraced. We should learn to find humour in our cultural differences and accept each other for who we are. It is not the meme itself that annoys me, but the mentality behind the meme.

Growing up, I was exposed to different cultures and racial backgrounds. We always had people from different cultural backgrounds in our home. I am certain this is why I look beyond the colour of a person’s skin.

Not everyone had opportunities to interact with different types of people. The lack of interacting with different people are different situations give people a skewed outlook in life.

What makes you think you are better than others?

  • Family Background

It starts at home. If you grew up in a family that practised hate or disregard for another culture or race, you will naturally grow to have these traits too.

I didn’t know how bad racism was until I got out into the world and experienced it for myself. It happens everywhere.

People judge you just by looking you. Some people don’t give you a chance to prove yourself as a person.

If adults grew up in an environment that disrespected another culture, they should break the cycle by instilling the correct values in their children. Apparently, most parents still feel the need to prove that their culture is superior to the next. It is a never-ending cycle that breeds hate instead of acceptance.

  • Environment

Those that have never ventured out and still live in the same place they grew up in, don’t know what the real world is like. Their environment is holding them back from experiencing other things that life has to offer.

It is impossible to explain the bigger picture to someone who is keeping themselves captive in the same environment. These people don’t know better so they can’t do better.

When I started travelling solo, I forced myself to interact with people from all walks of life. It made me perceive life in a new way.

We have more similarities than differences. We are all capable of crying, hurting or being happy. I can’t expect another person to know what other cultures are like if they never got the opportunity to interact with any other culture but their own.

  • Entitlement

Some people have a sense of entitlement with or without knowing it. They think that they are better just because they belong to a certain cultural or racial group. It’s sad when people can’t appreciate each other for who they really are as human beings.

I’ve been distancing myself from a lot of these so-called righteous people. You don’t get to be horrible to the next person just because you think that your race is better.

A person cannot control how they look or the family they were born into. If an adult can’t understand this, then is there any hope left for society?

Colourism plays a part in racism

Colourism is when a person is discriminated for the colour of their skin. Within the Indian community, we come in all colours – all shades of brown.

But God forbid that you fall on the side of dark brown – then you are labelled as black and people look down on you. You are labelled as ugly because apparently only light-skinned people are beautiful and have value.

People are buying all types of skin lightening products to be ‘beautiful’ and accepted into society. It’s very disturbing. What’s even sadder is this has become a way of life for many people living within these types of communities. This is accepted as normal.

How far do you have to go to learn your value?

Now, I live in a different place to where I was born. I’m glad I made the change because people are a lot more accepting of ethnicities here. When I go ‘home’ to visit my family, I can’t wait to get back to my current home. The mindsets of people will never change if the environment doesn’t change.

It’s not about the colour of your skin

A few days ago, my ‘White’ friend complained to me about an Indian guy that called her a racist for not wanting to speak to him. No, she is not racist, the guy was just an ass.

A few people that know me always have sarcastic remarks directed at me, because I decided to date someone who was not Indian.

Even though I am Indian, other Indians called me racist towards Indians. This assumption was made because I wasn’t dating my ‘own kind’.

The people I choose as friends have nothing to do with race or culture. I appreciate people because of the value they add to my life – not because of the colour of their skin.

Small-minded people have a lot to say. But again, look at the things these people post, their low-quality posts reveal their low-quality lives.

I know I am different and I say what many will not have the courage to say, but I also know I speak for many with this post.

It will be great if those that are saying hurtful things, use their energy to build others up instead of criticising. Unfortunately, I know that the world is not perfect and neither am I.

Until I find my place in this world, I am grateful for my people that understand my misunderstood side.