One of the greatest gifts my partner has shared with me is to have an open mind. I thought I had an open mind but I soon realised that was just at surface level. Recent discussions between us has really involved imagining how another person thinks and why we think the way we do. I live in a white dominated community. There is no beating around the bush. I see hardly any Asians or coloured people in general where I live. The only Asians I know for sure live where I do is based on the fact the local bakery and grocery are owned by Asians. There will be a point to this story momentarily.
I visit a local post office quite regularly because I often have parcels to pick up. There is a young woman there that I observe. Well, actually I observe all the postal workers. They are all white. I noticed that this young woman would happily serve all the white people before and after me with a big smile, laid back nature and give them the best service one can offer. When I reach her counter, she is instantly annoyed at me. I don't even have to open my mouth for the annoyance to be displayed on her face. Now, she's not alone in this. When I'm out, wherever it may be, I feel like I am being discriminated. Sometimes I get rude service and I have learned to just accept it. Most people would get mad and complain but I hate being angry so it's more of a case of moving on from this matter.
Coming back to what my partner has shown me. In this instance with the postal worker, "I" brought it back to me and how "I" felt she was treating me. "I" never once thought about what she was thinking and how she felt. "I" didn't think about the fact that she may have had a traumatic experience involving someone of a different ethnicity to her. She may have had an ex-boyfriend who was Asian that mistreated her and I could be reminder of that. She too may have been on a receiving end of an Asian giving her bad customer service. Whatever it may be, "I" never stopped to think about her feelings. I instantly always bring only my feelings into play. For me, I see that this is in my own human nature. "I" have always been selfish in that regard.
Now, it's not to say that what she is doing is wrong and she might not be very accepting. I understand there are many people like that, but, I never stopped to think why they are like that. Have they been influenced by friends and family and just accept that Asians are bad people? Does the media portray coloured people in a bad light by outlining ethnicity in their reports when bad things happen? Does our education fail us? I realised that I never stop to think about being in another persons' shoes to gain a little bit of insight to what they might be feeling and what influences their thought process for them to act the way they do.
Why did I share this? I shared it because, although I may have thought others were ignorant, I had never thought about why they came to be that way. I have now thought about the fact, that it may not be their fault, because their outside influences is what drives them. What have I learned? I have learned to be more forgiving, not accept things at just face value but always be more accommodating of others. Why did I title this "seeing for the first time"? I feel that my eyes are now open and I am actually seeing the world in a different view. Was it an intended view? That's one of life's mysteries. Maybe I needed this in order to forgive my own ignorance. Maybe it was for me to come at peace with how the world is the way the way that it is and that we have the power to influence and make a change. Maybe it was for me to share so now you are exposed to a greater way of thinking.