I admitted earlier in one of my old posts that I sometimes was a little ignorant. I did not watch many news, and was almost “blinded” when my friends mentioned some events happening that had not yet arrived on social media (there is no such thing nowadays).
I made effort paying more attention in recent years. It was paid off, I knew much more than the inside of my own protected bubble world.
But, some day I wish maybe I could have just stayed in that bubble. Like today.
Because, the world is moving towards a place or a dead-end (?) which I don’t understand why, and would never do.
I am sure you have heard about the mass murderer in a night club in Florida today. It is deeply upsetting, isn’t it? 50 people were killed, whose lives were ended in their most unexpected ways. You got to wonder how many of them could already say “they have lived their life”, maybe none, and that is scary. Then, there are 53 people were injured, who are most likely going through PTSD for a very long time.
I shared my feelings with the person I am currently living with. Then he said something got me by surprise and wonder even more :”Yes, and the sadder thing is they immediately link it to terrorism“. I was surprised because he was completely right, I mean to me. Maybe he will be wrong, when the police investigate for more information and reveal it is an act of terrorism. Maybe not. However, with the news today, part of our mindset are already set with a bias. This moment of surprise took me back to my recent discussion with a mentor, about the movie Hector and the search for happiness I recommended him to watch. Whether he finishes the movie, I still don’t know, but he did tell me these things:
Why does the Asian girl in the movie have to be a prostitute? She could just be any normal girl Hector thought he fell in love with.
Why does he have to be kidnapped in Africa?
There was another moment of surprise to me. Because again, he was right, I mean to me. I was even more surprised at myself for not seeing such. And that is the reason why I am writing here.
This post is not to defend any particular parties, or offend any particular other parties. Even if this post might be related to political topics, it is not my purpose to declare any political support or building any high relevance/ connection. I am about to write to you what I have learned recently: the sad thing we do when connecting a negative cultural trait to a whole culture.
Given the movie’s case, what my mentor pointed out are indeed what still happen in those parts of the world. But what about other good traits from those parts of the world? What about the successful Asian women, the brave and independent ones, the smart and talented ones? And not all Asians are poor. And not all Asian countries share the same culture or history. In each Asian country, there is even a difference between regions. Then, how about the countries in Africa where economy is developed or developing? And maybe there are even more that I don’t even know of (surely), I am learning but it cannot all be about kidnapping or killing.
I think we forget sometimes. Because the highlight news on top of the page is always something “wrong and big” with the world, not something “good and small” with the world. I think anything we are not familiar with, we tend to hold onto our prejudices or stereotypes or any traits we pick up in our life to reassure ourselves we do know something and know how to handle. I think any strange things scare us because we are not sure what we know are true, and if they are, we should definitely be scared too.
I also think it is a complete normal reaction. I do that too, I am heading towards cultural studying, and saying all what I am saying here, but I do that too sometimes.
Here, is why I think we all need to be aware about differences in our world, and if even better, we should have cultural awareness and understanding. We should know about the other good traits of that culture—the part that are different from what we were told. You don’t have to be a specialist, you don’t even have to “like” other cultures, but you should know there are differences. As you know thing are different sometimes, you at least take a few minutes thinking, before making any conclusions.
You and me, are we different?Young generator travel more and more these days, as a result of globalization that has been happening over recent decades and is still happening within our community. I refuse to think we have come this far here, so that we can retreat to the starting point. We are given easier chances to see the world. We are not forced to lose our root in this mixed pot (you might say), we can choose just to see and know. I personally have never met anyone loving to travel, want to stop their passion. The moment they see and experience, they crave for more. It is tempting—the feeling you have when you discover something you would never know if you have not tried to see it.
As on some days, whenever the person I am living with turn on the news and I might comment “this is going to depress us a little” but he will reply, “Yes, but it is still good to know what’s going on anyway“. I have kept myself not ignorant because of that.
As I am sadly feeling sorry for all the families and friends to people who passed away because of the mass murder, I am in no means of trying to say the attacker is not guilty, or the news are saying anything wrong. I share with you simply what I assume the best motivation for me (and hopefully for you) to learn about differences and the necessity for cultural awareness.