TVs and Ovens: A Lesson in Acceptance
- 11 Posts
- Age 14
Weird title, I know. Just stick with me.
First impressions, one of the most important moments in meeting someone new. They'll get a sense of your personality, your 'aura.' But you want to know something sad? Those all important first impressions, they don't exist anymore. Why? One word.
When we see someone we judge them. It's been etched into our brains for generations now. A simple characteristic such as one's hair or one's outfit can influence all our opinions of them. They don't need to say much for us to form an opinion about them.
I'm guilty of this too.
Back when I was India visiting my family, we hired some help at home after my aunt went through a surgery that left her unable to do any strenuous work. The woman we hired was old, thin, wiry, and had probably lived in a tiny tent in a slum her whole life.
One day my aunt was showing her how to use the oven. As my aunt showed it to her, the women's eyes widened in surprise. She exclaimed, "That's an oven! I though it was a television this entire time!" I remember thinking, "How could she even think that? How dumb!" And then my aunt said something that completely changed my point of view.
"Think, Komal. She's never owned a TV or an oven. She wouldn't know the difference." That left me thinking.
Every single person on this planet sees life through a different pair of eyes, through a different lens. The secret to accepting others is not to get everyone to look through the same lens, but for everyone to learn to be able to see what other people see. To understand and empathize with others, not to judge them.
Life is about accepting others' quirks and special qualities, their differences and uniqueness. I unfairly judged that woman back in India for something that was not in her hands and I'm happy it did, because it taught me such a valuable lesson.
So next time you encounter someone that does something strange or different to you, just stop. Step down from your lens, and clear your head. Put yourself in their shoes, and proceed to open your mind to a universe of new perspectives.
Judgement is the root to so many problems in the world, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and so many other issues. Empathy will be our savior. If we find the ability to put aside our apathy for others and learn how to understand eachother, it will bring us one step closer to a more peaceful and united world.