It is so often that we encounter remarks that smack of prejudice and it slips by via the conduit of conversations to which the offender is never held accountable for, because it would appear socially boorish to do so. Yesterday a friend spoke about being happy to relocate away from Delhi. One of the reasons listed was that she found the "typically Punjabi" community of her neighbourhood was not to her liking. Such remarks touch a raw nerve in me and at such times I question the personal politics of those who so casually dismiss the identities of others, with no understanding of how ignorant they appear in doing so. We are so deeply entrenched by divides within society and often choose to perceive others through the rigid labeling of people into ill fitting stereo types we create for them; mainly as a result of the superiority we feel about our own comfort zones that we place ourselves in.
To me culture specificity formulates itself with a distinctiveness that allows us to recognise the influences upon a collective that are related to the customs, ideas and social behaviour of those people. It should in fact privilege us with a refined understanding and appreciation of the other, rather than produce a blanket dismissal of an entire collective. But in truth this is such a usual phenomenon amongst Indian people; to deride others and their differences within the blink of an eye, and not examine the lack of ones own initiative to explore and know so as to familiarise and adapt oneself into new zones of learning.
A spiritual world of enlightenment never seems to beckon us where we could shed this negative baggage we drag through life. Where the purpose of human existence is something each of us consciously attempts to structure as the pathway for our journey through mortality. Where we create a significance to life by holding ourselves accountable for the co-existence of others, as well as for ourselves. Instead we labour through life skimming the superficiality of our emotional selves, never truly understanding the lack of courage we posses to be truly open and giving to the process of learning. Compromised through what we allow to corrupt us, we have clearly lost the grip on the essential spirit of humanness we each need to posses, and we sleep walk through life complaining about happiness alluding us!
Before we look at others with judgement it may be a basic life lesson for each of us to look at ourselves more critically. Harmony in life comes from holding compassion for life and others around us, and firmly recognising too that our own knowledge of life is only minuscule. The simple fact remains that a life-time can never offer any individual the ability to be informed completely about everything that makes up the entirety of life and the universe, so we need to garner the strength to push the parameters of learning and see it as limitless. In doing so it will free us from the petty worlds that hold us ransom and teach us to be better people. It starts with one small step at a time, and before you know it many oceans of awareness have been embraced!