Discrimination can a sumptuous temptress. I was with a Korean young man that I have the pleasure of knowing and we went shopping at an Asian market that primarily had Chinese items within it, as well as many Chinese people. The young man was mortified, he was paralyzed by the deep seeded stereotypes that he had about that culture.
I talked to him about labeling others and the pitfalls of having a close-minded attitude towards other groups. Yet, the situation reminded me of my own prejudices. How many times have I categorized someone in my mind on the basis of their: ethnicity, religious beliefs, or even the school they attended?
Why can’t we accept people fully based on their present behavior? It is so tempting to simplify life by stereotypes and racial profiling. The recent bombings in Boston reminded me of how our society can be quick to can lean towards the easy solutions. I heard statements like: “All Czechnians….., or “All Muslims”……or “All immigrants”…. You fill in the blanks. They are all absolute generalizations. It’s just not that simple. Maybe the answer is love, Agape love. “Through love, one acquires renunciation of discrimination naturally,” according to Ramakrishna. Nobody said it would be easy. But, it is necessary.