Stephen Covey said, ” a thousand-mile journey begins with the first step”, so this is going to be my first step.
A few days ago my friend Rachel asked me if I’d go with her for her office gathering at Jill- her boss’s place. She didn’t want to go by herself, so I agreed! As the day came closer, I was a little nervous (it’s very unlikely of me, though).
So today was the day of the gathering, and I didn’t really know what to do or even what to wear. We reached pretty late, and most of the people had already arrived. I didn’t really know much about her colleagues so I preferred to be silent at first. Then just to make ourselves comfortable Rachel and I just helped Jill arrange the food and got beers.
We were some 20 odd people, from 6 different countries from all across the globe including Indians, Pakistanis, and Russians. Frankly, when I found out that the people were from different places I didn’t know what to say or do. Not because I thought of them differently but because I belonged to a religion that was looked down on (I prefer not to disclose the details) or stereotyped. So I sat there quietly sipping my beer, but just the fact that I was new to the people around me and they wanted to genuinely know me, Kate started talking to me small talk I should say and that helped me open up. After speaking to her a bit I realized that there was so much more to her than just her culture or religion, I could see her as a person.
Soon I started speaking to all of them, I think I spoke even more than Rachel, we spoke like there was no tomorrow, about every lil topic that you can imagine from our respective religions to even going vegan. The more we spoke the more I understood how different and amazing every person in the room was, and they all were, in fact, we all were more than the stereotypes and the cultural baggage that we carried, we were us.
So if people are actually this nice and amazing why do we categorize people on the basis of their race, color, origin, etc. Can’t every individual person be different from the cultural luggage they carry? Does it make sense to generalize people just because some individual people have done some particular things in life it doesn’t mean all have to be generalized, do they?
I am no one really to comment on what and how you have your beliefs placed but if you ever get a chance to talk to a person and know someone from another culture or background or even another new person at all. I strongly suggest don’t miss the opportunity. Talk to them, help them there is immense satisfaction and trust me you will rediscover yourself all over again.
I started with a little hesitation and now I have friends and memories that will last a lifetime.