Everyone knows prejudice – what it is – that it exists – that it contributes to the pain and suffering of human beings. During our own lives and in our past, we’ve seen prejudice be at the core of oppression, suffering, and the killing of people. We see it without trying to find it.
Like a ball, it has many sides. Contrary to some beliefs, understanding prejudice is not a black and white understanding – either knowing it or not knowing it. Recognizing prejudice is not a black and white experience – either seeing it or not seeing it. Human prejudice is as visible and invisible as the human psyche and spirit permits.
This is partly because very few know how to cleanse themselves of prejudice.
This is because the real issue is never whether we are prejudiced or not. As difficult as it is to read this statement, it is true. The real issue is different. The real issue is how do we cleanse ourselves of prejudice.
Imagine if God, in His/Her ability for Infinite Possibilities, one day when we woke up, had turned us from what we are in this world into another race or the opposite gender, or a different religion or sexual orientation or different nationality, an opposite or different… anything – than who and what we are right now – all while we stayed aware of all of this transformation. In one moment, we went from one identity and paradigm of who we are to an opposite in the next moment. Impossible, but it just happened.
How would we feel being aware of who we were one moment and then being aware that we’re no longer who we were but we’re now the opposite? Would we welcome it? Would we dread it? Would we be glad? Would we be sad or devastated?
The real issue mentioned above is whether we could then be honest with ourselves, because we would come face to face with our true feelings, thoughts and attitudes of the “other” that is now our self. Our feelings and attitudes would give our self away.
Within the awareness, within the body, within the mind or within everything of this opposite that we now are – would we feel it is a punishment? or would we feel it is a release from a prison? or a prison sentence? The next question becomes “Why?” Why would we be glad? or sad? Why would we feel it is a punishment? Why would we feel it is a release from a prison? or a prison sentence?
And there are other questions. Are we now that which we had blamed, looked down on, hated or targeted? Have we become someone who we would want to be? Or are we someone who we would dread to be?
Ultimately, the question is ‘Have we ever thought, felt or acted against another person or group? It is this person or group, who we thought, felt, or acted against that is our target. Targeting anyone or any group is what prejudice is about.
Only when we take the journey of working on ourselves within, striving to have no one anywhere as our target – only then, do we strive to work to cleanse ourselves from prejudice of any kind- and cleanse ourselves from our judging another person or group who is not that which we individually are.
Who among us can claim we have cleansed ourselves completely of prejudice? and then become the opposite of what we are – with no qualms or shame, or worry, with no gladness, no sadness and then go on to recognize that we are both the previous self and the opposite of our self – and both of these are our self. Ultimately, in being prejudiced, we are only prejudiced, and have targeted, (and seek to limit, blame or hate) our own self.
Not being prejudiced is a journey of letting go of judgment of ourselves as much as it is letting go of judgment of others. It is a journey of discovering that every one is our self, and our own self is everyone – including the ones we currently target, judge or hate.
If we choose to strive to cleanse ourselves from targeting anyone, we also strive to accept and welcome everyone as our own self and our own self as everyone – more importantly, we will have traveled a journey that leads us to accept our whole Self -that Self who contains all the opposites within one person even though the surface doesn’t show it, yet.
Is this possible to do for human beings? As Christ said, “With God, ALL THINGS are possible.” even traveling a journey of discovering as individuals, who we really are. With that discovery, hopefully being that we are all one another and therefore, we are all One.
Is this hard to understand? Sure, but cleansing prejudice is only done with effort to understand more things and greater things about people, than that amount we understand so far. This takes effort and striving.
Changing away from prejudice is a journey of “a thousand days.” However, on a day to day basis – taking one day at a time – it is a light switch. It is a light switch when we realize that we targeted someone yesterday, and we can choose to not target them on this day – today – not target another person or group of people through our words, our actions or our thoughts – today.
We can turn our journey into “1000 light switches” when we take our journey one day at a time, and choose only on this day, today – with each “today” which we are given – to target no person or group of people whatsoever based on that which identifies them beyond their own character.
There was a movie made in 1970 called “Watermelon Man” which covered the experience of waking up as “a different man.”
“The things we can do, are the things we’re willing to do. The things we can’t do, are the things we’re not willing to do.” (The Rainbow Cards, ©, 2016, Jodie Senkyrik)