By: Priya Amin and Janki Patel
Many people refer to others based on their skin color or ethnicity; something that they have grown up to believe is a normal thing. If you walk down the street or even the hallways of your school, you can hear people refer to others as white or black, brown or yellow. It’s like comparing chocolate to vanilla. Well, they are not the same! Yet, we refer to people with such colors. We easily predict people’s ethnicity or religion based on their looks and make judgements about them. However, it is important for us to leave behind stereotypes and have an unbiased view towards everyone.
If you have been following the news and current events occurring not only in the United States, but also globally, you might have noticed that tolerance and equality of others has become a major topic. After the presidential election, many African Americans, Hispanics, and Muslims faced discrimination. There were some people physically harassed while others were threatened. We have seen and heard about racial prejudices even against the Indian community. While we recognize that these negative things surround us, it is important to be resilient in your own core values and beliefs.
In Hanstelva granth, Paramguru teaches us that acceptance and tolerance is something that needs to be present in a good human being. We should strive to be good no matter what surrounds us. We all grew up with stereotypes all around us and they have shaped how we view the world. The stereotypes are formulated because of our ego or “Ahankar”. Our ahankar makes us judge other people and have biased opinions. However, ahankar can be positive or negative. Paramguru gave us the amar mantra to awaken the good ahankar. We can do amar mantra which would help remind ourselves that we are all ansh of Karta before we think of others negatively. We should try to awaken our “aatma bhav”. Once that is awaken, we will be able to understand that all things are equal and everyone is equal. Also, understanding that Karta resides within everyone and everything, and there is an ansh in all living things, teaches us how we should treat others and what kind of relationship we should have with others. Therefore, we should understand that one person is not better than another person based upon the color of their skin, ethnicity, or religion. As a generation and as humans, we should strive to breakdown this norm of stereotyping and prejudice, because in the end, we are all the same on the inside.