Published: | Canada

Give Respect, Take Respect. Okay?!

Views of An A-Hole II

1. I don't believe in being non-binary.

I'm sure that would have caused a couple of heads to stir. Some of you are even wondering how I have the audacity to say this. Once you have finished digesting the statement, cursed and judged me, continue onwards.

The feelings you have right now are proof of why freedom of speech has long died. As soon as someone says something against the gradient, as a society we begin to judge that person. It causes us to say one thing to the world and one thing behind closed doors or even attempt to change the way we feel. How is that freedom of speech? We teach our children to say what we believe in but in truth do not wish for them to do it. Instead, we want them to follow the norms of society or the norms of which we wish society to be. People’s beliefs are their own. Just because we urge people not to say something doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking it. If we want to make a better society, we have to urge people to say what they think and try to influence the way they think. To influence the way they talk will simply put a mask on people and live in a fake society.

Many countries have begun to experience cultural shifts with the inclusion and increase in diversity. Different religions have managed to co-exist in the same neighbourhoods, especially in North America. I’m not saying it's perfect, as there are many who are lashing out against the melting pot - especially since the campaign run by Trump. As a society hosts many religions and types of people, what that truly does is bring people who believe in different things to find commonalities and grow relationships amongst one another. It doesn’t matter if you believe in a single almighty being who fabricated your being, or in a being with an elephant head or if you believe the world is on a turtle’s back or simply in the evolution of time ever since the big bang. Every single person has their own beliefs and now know we don’t have to rip our heads out to force you to push their ideals onto you. It isn’t about believing in different things, but being able to have your own beliefs while respecting others with their own.

Let’s go back to my first statement. I don’t believe in being non-binary. It’s a simple statement that easily causes feelings of negativity to be directed towards me. I refuse to redact that statement or even change it because it’s true. I may not understand it; I may not believe in it, but I can respect it. The respect factor is what we need to incorporate into our lives. Everyone is so busy trying to push all these ideals and push knowledge, but we live in a world with an abundance of knowledge. No one can know everything, but everyone knows something. As long as we can respect our differences and views, it shouldn’t matter what we believe in because what each person believes in is for that individual.



2. Why is the Wow Factor

There was a time when Jehova’s Witnesses would come door to door and preach about their religion. I remember someone coming once every week or once every two weeks to tell me about opening my heart to Christ and would hand me a pamphlet. I’ll be honest. They became more annoying than informing. I didn’t learn a single thing about the religion from them. They would start talking and we would just zone out until there was an opportunity to close the door. Eventually, we would stop opening the door. From afar, we could see through the frosted window in our door, identify them by their eagerness and pamphlet in their hands leading us to back away as if nothing happened. In hindsight, I know it wasn’t the nicest thing to do. But, the continuous barrage of pushing their ideologies onto us even though we were happy in our own lenient Hindu ways only led to more annoyance. It was like a mother force feeding her child that thick baby food and the baby spitting it right back out. Both parties just became annoyed with one another. I didn’t have any other real encounters with Jehova’s Witnesses until years later where I befriended one. In doing so, we were able to respect our differences and grow our relationship. How odd that the answer is in a Vadivelu, well-known Tamil comedian line, “Give respect, take respect. Okay?!” This is all we need to do. Now I can say I don’t believe in their religion, but I can definitely respect it.

Just because someone has a different view on something, we shouldn’t shame it as a society. Moreso, we should let it flourish as we wonder why. The next time someone has an unpopular opinion, I urge you to ask why. Why do you think so? The power of why is important because the replier has a chance to put us in their shoes and see things from their perspective.

 

Why don’t I believe in being non-binary? It is simple, I am not one, biologically we are not meant to be like that, but I can respect it. The thing is, everyone is different and with differences comes different views. Different views are the fertile soil in which creativity can flourish. We aren’t a herd of sheep with a single shepherd pointing us in a single direction. We are humans. Humans have come so far with creativity, but for some reason, we say we want it but as soon as someone is different, we shame them for being so.

 

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