Monday, 8 February 2016
One thing I can thank my parents for is raising me ignorant of prejudice. My parents never said, "You can't go to their house" because my friend was Chinese, Native Canadian, Black, or East Indian. Growing up, I always had friends from other countries. I saw them as equals and felt that I could only learn from them. My knowledge about different cultures, languages and ways of life grew. I absorbed and reveled in it.
Because I loved studying other cultures, I decided to travel the world. It was a dream of mine as a kid to live and work a year in every country. Of course, I didn't make it to them all but I did get to a few (England, Europe, Middle East and Australia). I prefer to live in Canada but I still like to travel. Unfortunately, I can't go anywhere at the moment because of an old dog and cat. When I'm free, I will travel again. My first 3 trips are planned to South Africa, Brazil and England/Ireland. Then the rest of the world!
On Wednesday, I'm driving to an indoor soccer field where this great guy named Duncan, who owns the place, has opened it up to the Syrian refugees who have made Hamilton their home. It's fantastic that they are here and away from such a horrible existence. But most don't speak English and have nothing. The kids need a place to run and play and the men enjoy playing some soccer so it's great they have this field, but the women do nothing but sit on the sidelines.
I will be meeting with these women and hopefully, in some small way, I can help. I remember a bit of Arabic because I lived in the Middle East for 6 years. I hope it's enough to help them understand that I'm trying. I plan to teach them English and help them understand our culture. I love teaching English and spreading knowledge about the language. It's a real joy when you correct someone about a pronunciation and they get it. When you see that light in their eyes brighten because they've understood.
So as you can see, there is not a prejudicial bone in my body. I accept everyone no matter what colour, race, religion or sexual orientation. I wish everyone could be the same way and that's why I wrote That Truthful Place. It's about 10 kids from different ethnic backgrounds. I wanted to show how people with many difference can work together and be successful.
By the way, have you ever noticed that on an airplane there are people from all over the world? And they're not fighting. Everyone hopes it will be a safe flight and they will land on time. They don't care that the person beside them, in front of them, behind them is of a different race. See, we can live together in peace.
In my blog next Monday, February 15th, I will describe my experiences with the Syrian refugees.