It’s been a while since I’ve posted something on here. Obviously because of this pandemic, there’s nothing much I could write about. The entire planet Earth seems to be closed for business at the moment. I do have a couple of trips that I haven’t shared yet, but being on quarantine has given me time to think about more pressing concerns.
The past couple of days have been tumultuous, and that’s putting it mildly. What has been going on in the shadows for years has been fully exposed, and people are right to be outraged. These acts have always been present, it just wasn’t as apparent because they’ve been done discreetly. Such despicable people weren’t as emboldened as before.
It can be as blatant as someone mistreating others or thinking they’re superior just because they’re white. Or as seemingly innocent as an old lady in rural America, saying that she prefers a “white doctor” and would decide not to seek consult at all when she finds out there’s none. They’d say it’s just a matter of personal preference and not due to xenophobia. If these people really do not mean to offend, then it’s due to sheer ignorance. I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse.
I view anyone who shows signs of racism with outright disdain. But somehow, I feel a bit of pity. Looking back at all the racist people I’ve encountered, they have one thing in common. These are people who have never ventured out of their personal bubble. They’ve remained stuck inside their echo chambers, wherein the only people they hear are those who are similar to them in every way. If we talk about traveling, these people are those who have never traveled outside their country, or even outside their own state. Or if they’ve ever traveled, they stay within the confines of all inclusive resorts, pre-arranged exclusive tours, only interacting with their friends or people who are from the same country as theirs, never interacting with the locals. I wouldn’t call that traveling. When these people travel, they may be in a different place, but basically they remain at home.
The reason why I love traveling? Every time I come back home from a trip, I realize that I have become a better person. Every time I befriend someone who’s different from me in many ways, I feel that I have grown. That’s the reason why I can’t stop traveling. And it’s a shame that this pandemic has deprived us travelers of this gift, albeit temporarily.
Traveling has made me realize that even with our differences, basically we are all the same. I have implied this on a couple of my previous entries, but this is the first time I’m saying this explicitly. People may come from different races, people may practice different religions, people may have different traditions, but take away all that and you’ll see that we are all people. We have so much conflict in the world because so many people fail to see through all these external layers to reveal what’s within. We are all inherently similar. Sure, some people are basically horrible and some people are inherently evil, but such traits are not confined to a single race. Anyone can be horrible, no matter the race, religion, or sexual orientation. Any of those factors neither makes one better or worse than others.
We are all human beings, we are capable of compassion and understanding. It doesn’t take much effort to show compassion. The fact that it’s hard for so many people to show empathy is disheartening. On the surface it would seem that mankind has greatly evolved. But anyone who’d take a closer look would see that many of our prejudices from centuries ago have remained the same.