The Race: American in India, Part 7

1) How do you define yourself racially or ethnically and why is it important to you? Please tell us about the racial makeup of your family if you were adopted or come from a colorful family.

When I was a kid I just called myself black as that was what society taught, that if you’re part black then you’re all black. My father is African American, my mother European American. I thought that makes me all American, but people always wanted to know more, esp as I grew older. So in my teens I started to answer that I was half black and half white. Only as an adult, when the biracial tab was added to questionnaires did I start to identify with that.

2) Where do you live? If you have ever moved, whether to another city or the other side of the world, please tell us when and where, and the ways the cultural differences between the places shaped or made you think about your identity.

I grew up in Seattle, Washington (U.S.) where I experienced only subtle forms of racism. White kids if they liked me would say, “You’re not really black,” and black kids if they liked me would say, “You’re all black, man,” as if I didn’t know what I was; it tended to leave me feeling hurt and insecure. I moved to California when I was 19 where I started working and going to college. California was the first place I heard outright racist comments belted without shame.

Amritapuri Kitchen 9Because I’m mixed but have an Indian name and a beard, rather than thinking that I’m mixed people would just think that I was an immigrant. So at work I would often hear people talking about black coworkers, calling them lazy asses, and worse. And no matter how many times I would stand up and say that’s not right, people would quickly forget that I was black, having decided that I was something else, and repeat remarks they wouldn’t have otherwise said in front of me. I also received the comments people reserve for immigrants as some said to me, “You people come here and don’t even know the language!” Confused, I would answer, “What people? Me? But I’m from here!” “Sure you are, man,” they would laugh.

Now I live in India which is a different experience altogether. Here, everyone is shades of brown, and all are Indian so they reserve the color of black for really dark skinned, black people. So although I am as dark as many in India, because I am a foreigner and am not black by their standards, they call me white. I was raised as black and this goes against everything I grew up with. All this leaves me with the understanding that race is very much about what others perceive you as and has little to do with who or what you really are.

3) Why do you have an Indian name? What took you to India? Did you know any Indian (language)?

When I was 15 I met a saint from India, Amma, known as the Hugging Saint. The following year wanting to devote my life to her cause I asked her for a name and she gave me the name Sreejit. I immediately changed my legal name from Michael to Sreejit wanting to start my life anew with this idea of service to humanity that Amma espoused. Everyone started calling me Sreejit so I have lived many more years as Sreejit than Michael. I elaborate on the name change and my spiritual journey here. I have been traveling to India since 1992, working and living in Amma’s ashrams.

4) How diverse was the neighborhood and school you grew up in?

All of my schools were completely mixed with all races getting along fairly well during school hours. Seattle is a pretty laid back place compared to other cities, so it was only later that I really experienced the perils of diversity. Though among the older generations I heard very set opinions on the wrongs of race mixing, the kids my age were pretty decent.

5) When did you first become conscious of your race or ethnicity? Please describe the context or a moment when you noticed you were different in color or language. It could be a scene with strangers, the park, school, work. Could have been subtle feelings you recognized or a blatant attack of bigotry. If it was a season or chapter in your life, tell us the impact it had on your sense of self, confidence, or emotional development. Can you share a bit about the fear, loneliness, longing for acceptance?

As I said, there was never really a time when others were not trying to define for me what I was. And if they asked me, I often heard on the heels of my answer, “No you’re not, you’re really [fill in the blank]” when I started to say I’m half black half white. Then an old black person might get offended and say, “No, you’re just black man.” And when I would tell an older white person that I was mixed, “How awful that your parents could do that to you. You should speak out against such things.”

6) Why do you think those people imposed their own race on you? Why do you suppose they wanted to?

My generation is the one that was birthed by the hippies. Both my parents tried to make a more beautiful world than the one they grew up in. For that reason they didn’t talk much, when I was a child, about the horrors of racism, because they didn’t want me to grow up with the same prejudices that they grew up in. Whereas the generation before them was had very strong ideas on what is right and what is wrong with race mixing. There were still segregated eating areas when my parents were kids. Neither of my parents stayed in contact with their own fathers; my mother’s father disowned her for marrying a black man. So when I would talk with someone old enough to be my grandfather, as a kid I was coming in with a very free, there’s no right and wrong attitude, whereas they had a lifetime of education that told them it was better for everyone to stay in their place.

7)) Do you consciously gravitate to certain company? Are you more comfortable, more at home around people of your own ethnicity? Have you observed a social or behavioral tendency in your own people group you would rather not perpetuate?

I can be shy if I don’t know somebody, but I tend to get along with everybody. I grew up in a very international neighborhood where we would have Chinese New Year’s celebrations; I later worked with mostly Latinos and lived with mostly Indians. I feel comfortable with pretty much everybody.

8) Are your most meaningful relationships with people of your own ethnicity?

All relationships are meaningful to me. That doesn’t mean that I fully give of myself to anybody. Most call me a loner but I get along with pretty much everybody.

9) How much does racial affinity give you a sense of belonging compared to a shared faith or interest? Think about the groups you are part of: writers, homeschoolers, mothers, hobbyist, artists, colleagues, church. Would you rather spend time with those who share your cultural food, tradition, and values or those who share your interest or mission? Where do you feel the greatest ease and connection?

I tend to enjoy being around people of similar interest: the artists, musicians, dancers, and writers. These are the things that bring joy to my life. Though I can’t dance I love to watch it. I love to play and listen to music, watch theatre, love to read and to write.

10) Do you consciously try to keep yourself or your family active in diverse circles?

No

11) How did you set out to secure a sense of acceptance and belonging in social contexts, especially if you have faced hurtful experiences?

I have always been “I am who I am”. Either you accept me or you don’t but I won’t change for your acceptance.

12) Do you feel it is not fully possible or even imperative to shed all racial stereotypes and judgments?

America has a very politically correct sense of handling situations, and even then people step on each other’s toes. But when you step out of America there is no such sense of pretending that you don’t notice the differences. Although people are becoming more accepting of others as our world is shrinking, I don’t see stereotypes and judgments fading anytime soon.

13) What has struck you the most in working through this exercise? Any closing thoughts on race and identity you would like to share?

For many, race creates a sense of belonging, but I think the more the world begins to blend, the more the younger generations will be bound by things other than race, whether it be economics, interests, nationalities, locales, or religions. Still, the sense to divide and fit in seems to be a need that people look for and is sadly not fading anytime soon.

Sreejit in The Seeker’s Dungeon

103 thoughts on “The Race: American in India, Part 7

  1. Reblogged this on The Seeker's Dungeon and commented:
    I’ve joined the Holistic Wayfarer’s discussion on race today. Check it out over at her awesome blog, A Holistic Journey. Please add your two cents as I know it’s something that you all have an opinion on. And be sure to follow her while you’re there, you won’t be disappointed!

    • So sweet. You added depth and breadth to the discussion, Sreejit. I find your spiritual and physical journey fascinating, and am so glad for the clearer context I now have for your rich blog. That is something – plain funny and sad – how people kept imposing their own background on you. Projection? I’ve always said we see what we want to see. And you were chameleon enough, with enough black and enough white for others to pull you to themselves in the attempt to categorize you.
      I also appreciate how the sharp contrasts between the culture and way of life in the India you embraced and the America you left behind have afforded you a hawk’s-eye view of the mores of the States.

      A pleasure having you with us. I’ve wanted to, for a while. =)

      HW

      • No, but kids tended to do it in a different way. They would usually claim me as being part of their group in an innocent way, thinking they were giving me a compliment, but if they were saying I was white then I would get upset as what was wrong with being black, and if they said I was black, it often had that feeling of support as if we both knew and felt that I wasn’t black enough. Either way I would feel bad. Now I just feel “international,” knowing that I could pass for quite a lot of cultures. People generally said it with pride that I looked like I was from their country. But the handful of times that people say it with hate tends to sting and form attitudes way harder and quicker than the loving ones.

      • You mean those who said you were black were themselves black, right? At least the ones you had in mind while you wrote this sentence?

        Really quite interesting. I’ve flagged this line of comments for a future post. *wink*

        The Chameleon Seeker….
        A name for a post?

        =)

  2. Thank you Sreejit for talking about your personal life. This has certainly given lots of food for thought. It is the first time I have ever seen race categorized as what an observer views rather than what the subject views. Which actually makes race extrinsic to the individual instead of intrinsic. This suggests completely different possible solutions to racial issues. I found it delightful that in America you are “black” and in India you are “white”. That is amazing and completely counter to convential wisdom. It reminds me of an interview I watched with Barrak Obama and his wife Michele before he was elected to the first term. The interviewer asked Barrak what his response was to those who said he wasn’t really black, as one of his parents was white. Michelle jumped in and said he was black and if they needed any proof all they had to do was watch when Barrak tried to wave down a taxi on a street curb. If there was a white man futher down the block, the taxi would go right past Barrak and pick up the white man. That put an end to race questions. Michele is a lawyer and it shows: she picked an example that clearly showed that descrimination determined race. This fits perfect with what you are saying Sreejit.

    Thanks again for your trust in allowing us to peek into your world Sreejit. You have raised some excellent points.

    • Thanks Paul,
      I also read an article about people cheering for Obama in Kenya, and that when questioned by the reporter they had to admit that normally someone of Obama’s complexion would be called a name that means white in Kenya. Actually reading that article made me feel that at least Obama can relate! Believe me, it was a shock the first dozen or so times that I was called white, but I’ve given up caring about it. I’m Sreejit, any other name that you want to call me is your responsibility.

      • Just so interesting that you and Obama could obviously relate on this ground. =) So as much as you blend right in, in appearance, you are Other and therefore white. How about Asians out there who don’t come from India? Do they fit in better than you?

      • It’s not that I don’t fit in – I’ve always fit in here, it’s like my home – it’s just that they use this word, Saipu, for all foreigners, that was originally used for the British and often translated as “white guy.” That word stings to hear, but I don’t hear it that often. Asians would also fit the criteria for the word though. Basically you can see people from different cultures Asia, and the west, both fitting in and not fitting in here. It is a modest culture, especially this part of India – some people are very aware and honoring of that, and some people just don’t care.

    • Paul, you don’t cease to amaze me. And I’m glad you’re nice and comfy in the lounger I set aside for you, to my right. “she picked an example that clearly showed that discrimination determined race.” What an interesting, telling example.

  3. Thanks for posting Sreejit. Its great to hear your insight on the matter of race after leading such a diverse life.
    ” I grew up in a very international neighborhood where we would have Chinese New Year’s celebrations; I later worked with mostly Latinos and lived with mostly Indians. I feel comfortable with pretty much everybody.”
    I’d say your are pretty lucky that this is your truth.

    • Yes, I absolutely feel lucky for that also. I don’t know how many get the opportunity to see so much of the world, and to see so many similarities running throughout so many different cultures, but the more people you know, the easier it is to foster respect for others, and for the truth that they are living. Thanks for reading!

  4. Yeah I agree, it is so interesting what Sreejit has experienced!

    “So although I am as dark as many in India, because I am a foreigner and am not black by their standards, they call me white. I was raised as black and this goes against everything I grew up with. All this leaves me with the understanding that race is very much about what others perceive you as and has little to do with who or what you really are. ”

    So true!! Thanks Sreejit your life gives us a very interesting view on this topic indeed.

    • Thank you. Yes, it’s a totally different perspective, but one that I think will be more and more common in the world as races blend more and more together. Less easy answers, are you black or white, will be better for everyone.

    • Thanks. I think the more that we see of the world, the less we are stymied by race issues. But since most people don’t leave their own backyard, it is easy for stereotypes and prejudices to persist. Though I think the internet is also helping to break down the walls as well. The world is becoming a little smaller everyday.

  5. Sreejit:

    I love the way you communicate your identity: not letting others’ projections influence your self regard, either about your race or any other aspect of yourself. I also absolutely love the story about your encounter with the hugging saint and how it impacted you to change your name and move to India. What an amazing response. You seem so open and humble (more projections) that I’m sure your explorations have brought about acceptance and happiness.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    • hahah 🙂 humble… well, maybe not so much, but thank you! Definitely Amma has completely changed the world that I was living in. She has made it as much an inner journey as an outer one, which means that we have to go beyond race to truly discover who we are.

      • “She has made it as much an inner journey as an outer one, which means that we have to go beyond race to truly discover who we are.”
        Huh. Pretty compelling statement. It is striking that you would embrace and pursue such a radical deviation from the norm (of peers and homeland culture) at an age when most kids want to keep floating in a sea of mindless pleasure. You obviously had been hungry for meaning. I can relate, as my life did a (most obvious) 180 when I apprehended the gospel of Jesus at the age of 17. I was never the same.

      • Well I didn’t think it was such a radical deviation at the time. When we’re teenagers we tend to just jump into things and find out what we’re really doing later. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. But for us it seems to have worked out.

  6. It is interesting that discussing the issue of race is never done. Thanks for helping others understand a little better!

  7. I have to admit that when I first signed up for your blog and read your book, I thought you were from India. Then after reading a post from your mother about her experiences (of which you referenced in this post) I was surprised that you were half black/white. As always enjoy your post and the insights you bring to the table.
    🙂

    • Yeah, some jobs that I’ve had, I never even bothered to tell that I’m not Indian. If people ask me directly I will always tell them, but as far as work is concerned, since my look matches my name then people won’t even think to ask.

      You read my book! Thanks for that. I appreciate that four or five people read it! 🙂

  8. I remember a time when Sreejit was in high school. I took him to an interactive art exhibit of some kind. He was wearing Indian clothes at the time. The woman that was in charge of it told me that Sreejit couldn’t participate because you had to be able to speak English in order to do it. I told her he did speak English and she argued with me about it. Even after I told her he was black not Indian, she didn’t believe me and continued to explain that it would not work. I don’t think Sreejit even heard this discussion; he just walked into the exhibit!

  9. I am pleased to announce that you have been awarded the Shauny Award for Blogging Excellence! 😀

    Here’s how you collect your prize.

    1) Thank the person who nominated you.
    2) Follow the link: http://mousepaw.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/award-nominations-d/
    3) Copy and paste the image into a post and make a list.
    4) Once posted then send a comment to the bloggers on your nominations list sharing the award.

    *Note: I just followed the advice of the person who nominated me, since this is my first award.

    Warm Regards,
    Mouse ^_^

  10. I am always amazed at you Sreejit, the depth with which you write from your souls, when I was younger and growing up, I always knew I was different because of all the colors represented in my family. I too had always considered myself black because that is what the law of the land dictated but as I gazed at the crayons I colored with, I put the color black against my skin, and I was not black not to say the color was demeaning because it is beautiful, but because I had a brain and I could see that I was something else, and as the seasons changed so sometimes did the shades of my colors throughout my life depending on the suns radiant rays that dance upon my skin different days, months, and years. When I was in College in southern Missouri near Arkansas, they called me black, but again I looked in the mirror at the colors my eyes did see, and I came to a conclusion, I was not one color but I was many. And by DNA testing with ancestry I found I am Kurdish, Native American, Western African, north eastern Africa, near eastern, Asian, Mongolian, European, tracking the trail of those who walked before me. Here is a poem I wrote to basically give myself a name, Biracial fit it long ago for me. I share this with you because you will surely understand… we are of many! You are always a blessing my brother.

    Natures Sweet Biracial Child

    I am the ginger brown of the Egyptian
    The blackness of the Sudan
    I am the beauty to which the birds sing
    I have the supremeness of the royal lion

    I am the Orchid that adorns the shore of the Nile
    And the brightness of shimmering stars
    I am the Nomad that dwells in the Sahara
    I am known throughout the lands afar

    I am akin to Native Americans, Asians,
    Africans, and Europeans the same
    And yet here I am lost inside my country
    Where no one recognizes my name

    My skin is pure a pecan brown
    Blessed with beauty by God aplenty
    And yet some only call me black
    Never recognizing I am akin to many

    For I am the golden brown of the desert
    And full of the sweetness of the Nile
    The beauty of the worlds continents live within me
    For I was born “Natures Sweet Biracial Child”

    Wendell A. Brown

    • Beautiful, amazing poem. I love it. We really have so much in common it seems. I didn’t know that you could do DNA testing. That’s awesome that you had that done. People would always tell me that I don’t look like my parents, and I would always tell that I look like my sister. We are our own breed, but really children of all of nature, like you say.

  11. I was so excited to get off the bus to comment, having read this amazing post and all the comments in my reader on my phone. Sreejit, you never cease to amaze me! Your blog, your poetry and (am order several of your books…but paper not digital) breathe such wisdom and especially compassion. Your blog has always encouraged exchanges of diverse thoughts. Your post here explains why. It is interesting how we as a society insist on fitting everything and everyone into slots, labels and boxes. Glad you broke the box. Karuna, you must be so proude. Wendell, that poem is so beautiful. Diana, thank you for being you and hosting this series. Blessings, Oliana

      • I was so excited (finally) to see I could order 3 paperbacks in Canada on my Amazon account…cool. Always find this race perception so interesting…frustrating many times but still. In our family colour was not an issue but culture/race was still there. When my children were 4 and 6, I asked them how they felt because I always said we were bi-cultural (English and French) …my kids said, they felt English but proud to say they were still French because they carried their father’s French name. So English it is sitting on that darn fence too many times.

    • Very interesting, you have a completely different cultural dimension there, that I see show up in your writings from time to time with the french english question.

      Thanks so much for getting the books! Let me know how you like them. Of Mind or Matter is still my proudest work as I don’t know how I managed to write a full novel. It was about 15 years ago that I wrote it and I was definitely in a totally different space than I am in now, but I tried to present many sides in it so I still find plenty to relate to I just gravitate towards different characters than I used to.

      • Then I shall start with Of Mind or Matter. We are having provincial elections soon, so the English/French thing repeats again. It doesn’t matter where you live I am learning…there are always biases and perceptions.

      • Moi? pardonnez-moi? Look at you so warm and generous with your support. If I had more time, could read a lot faster, I would love to be more involved. WP community is a great community. Bless you, my dear Diana (name of a dear friend of mine as giving as you). Oliana xx

  12. “I tend to enjoy being around people of similar interest –
    I think the more the world begins to blend, the more the younger generations will be bound by things other than race.”
    Two very mature statements which I totally agree with.

    • Haha, 🙂 I didn’t see the quotation marks at first so I was shaking my head in agreement thinking that it was your words, woops! Thank you for reading and the kind comment.

  13. What an interesting article sreejit as always. My children are mixed race and I’m conscious esp with the eldest how he perceives things. Things have changed since secondary school, racist jokes have come home and he says they don’t realize he is half black and he then tells them and they go quiet some even tell him he can’t be black because he doesn’t look it. Then they say his dads cool. My head spins sometimes with kids attitudes.

    • Kids are so free and unthinking with what they say, so it is only heartbreaking to have to hear such things. I really feel for him. It is a totally different kind of feeling when you hear things that people wouldn’t have said in front of you had they known, a very lonely feeling. I guess we all have to go through the learning process.

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  15. First, I’d like to admit that I thought you were Indian, but never thought of you as Indian. I mean, I just thought, “He’s American.”

    I can identify with some of what you say here. I’ve a mixed heritage – predominantly African, but First Nation (Cherokee and Choctaw) and Western European (though I’ve always figured that part came from my slave ancestors in the Virgin Islands). I’ve come across both subtle and overt racism, from black and white “friends” concluding I was “the whitest black guy” they ever met to being stopped and frisked for walking while black, to being called the N word, coon, monkey (which I find infinitely amusing considering humans are more ape than monkey).

    Once, a woman in a strip club (I was young, once) sat down at my table, put her leg up on it, and showed me her confederate flag tattoo. She was shocked when I told her that her tattoo artist did an amazing job with the ink. It was truly immaculate. She asked me why I wasn’t offended. I told her that I have no need to be offended by the pervasive symbol of a dead nation and that my ancestors were enslaved under British, Dutch, Spanish and American flags. Even with these realities, the flags never did me harm. They’re cloth and not responsible for what evil people do. She was impressed. She and her husband hung out for a couple of hours and her husband, drunk off his ass, even purchased my durag for $2. I made a profit of $1.

    I have a hard time putting race into a meaningful context. On the one hand, I am aware of my blackness with respect to the existence of people that are different color, and oft vocal expressions of either racial disdain or being treated like some exotic animal. On the other hand, I rarely see myself as black. When I look in the mirror, I never see a black man; I see a man. When I write racially charged poetry, pulling the black card as it were, it’s typically after some experience that drives home my being black. A woman clutching her purse, locking her car doors; a cop staring me down; loss prevention following me at Walmart…

    I’m human first and American in the context of my birth place. I’m black by virtue of biology and genetics. I am a person. How can we not accept the reality of our individual humanity with respect to our relations, ideas, cultures, outlooks and lifestyles?

    Race, for me, is a constantly mystifying subject.

    • Yes, I love everything that you said Sahm. It’s funny because we want to forget about race and the differences until all of a sudden someone is following us around in the store or the worst is that cop stare down and all you’re doing is walking to your car in the parking lot. When I used to go to concerts a lot in my early teens and so would be taking the bus back late, cops would always be there giving that stare down, and it’s like you are such a nice innocent kid, but that look just fills you with so much hate. Honesty their were times after moving to California where it would have been easy to just write off white people altogether out of frustration, but then I’d be like, my Mom’s white, what am I gonna do, not go home? And it really made me come to terms with the complexity of my situation.
      Thanks so much for coming over Sahm, glad to see you’re starting to pop back up here and there in the blogging game!

      • Sreejit, do you think you would’ve seen YOU as black or Indian in the contexts others assumed you to be? And as many of us out here thought you to be (Indian) from the photo on your blog?

      • I mean if your talking about me being Me from my own life experiences I never claim to know what the person I’m looking at is. I often think are they mixed, what are they mixed with, but I rarely put answers there. I mean it is a very general question, because I talk about it all over my blog, so it really is about what exact post that someone looked at, if they’re reading casually, etc. My earliest posts are about growing up in an interracial environment, and I have a lot of photos of me and my sister with our afros. So know the me of my experience wouldn’t look at my blog and think that I was Indian but at the same time I certainly can understand how other people would have gotten that impression.

      • I ran back upstairs (was doing lessons with my son) to clarify that I’d meant if you were those people who had assumed you into a (wrong) category. But you answered most interestingly to a fascinating question. =)

    • I wanted to let Sreejit reply first. Sahm, I too really appreciated your input, the second to last paragraph in particular. I have to think about this. Is it a Korean woman I see in the mirror? Rich feedback. It IS good seeing you here.

      HW

  16. Sreejit. I love to hear your story. Its vastly different from my own even though we both grew up in the NW.
    I was born in Idaho into a family where racism was used along with other forms of abuse. I found myself caught up in the social norms of my family and to a lesser degree the society of Boise. As I grew up I was able to move away from racism to tolerance. But there I never felt satisfied. I felt off in some way. For tolerance implies to much separation. I do not feel separate from other people of different races anymore.
    For me the road to healing has been one of decoupling race as a way to differentiate people without discounting the path they have traveled and trying to make them all the same.
    For me the pain of racism has come from being part of a group who actively practiced arrogance, hate, and abuse based on the race of another.
    I am blessed today by the grace of god with gratitude, humility, and patience to allow myself to forgive past transgressions, realize I am not perfect at my management of racial issues, and to be patient with any missteps I may take. I also am glad to realize that I do not have any internal understanding of what it is like to be of a different race no matter how many stories I read. Though, I can listen and hear the story and participate fully with people in the sharing of their story.
    My personal goal today is to love everyone and discover how god is shown through and in each.
    Thanks for a great post.

    • So moving to hear how much the story of your life has changed. We come from so many different paths but to get to that place where “the goal is to love everyone and discover how God is shown through each” is awesome. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your experiences. Love your blog, there is a lot of wisdom there.

  17. I feel grateful to hear a black man speak with such openness. Sreejit’s revelations are not what I hear amongst my mostly white friends.

    • We all tend to be living in our own world, living out our own truths that are defined by our own experiences, plus we all internalize similar experiences differently, so I think we will all have our own revelations to come to terms with. Thank you for reading, and for thinking about it.

      • “We all tend to be living in our own world, living out our own truths that are defined by our own experiences, plus we all internalize similar experiences differently,”

        Precisely what I have said on this blog numerous times, Sreejit. I am just delighted to learn this wk the plethora of things we have in common.

  18. “Amma has completely changed the world that I was living in. She has made it as much an inner journey as an outer one, which means that we have to go beyond race to truly discover who we are.” And herein lies the truth. Through the inner path lies wisdom. Thanks for a great post Sreejit. –Curt

    • The problem is that many never seriously start the inner journey or give it any thought, as we are so obsessed with the outer experience, so our world becomes solely defined by “worldly” truths. It is harder to get over the idea of our physical identity defining who we are if we are not connected with our spiritual one. Thank you for your comment, I appreciate the thoughts.

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  20. Thank you for sharing your insights. We believe that it is not the race that defines people but their thoughts and similar vision for future that binds people. If people have neither, than they tend to find purpose and identity in race, creed and religion. Need for change is there but it is a long process of self realization that would lead people to move away from following the obvious.

    ‘dod’ Rangers

    • Well said, though I think probably most often people’s thoughts and similar vision for the future are coming from their race, creed and religion. People have to be inspired by something, to break the mold, as it is always easier to stay in the same box that our peers are living in.

  21. Thank you so much, Sreejit, for this truly enlightening post. You wrote, ” since most people don’t leave their own backyard, it is easy for stereotypes and prejudices to persist.” This is so true both physically and spiritually. Davekester is a beautiful example of one who left his backyard spiritually and allowed God to give him a new heart, thereby transforming the way he sees and experiences others. After reading your own post, “The Making of a Name,” I see your own heart and transformation as well. Thank you again.

    • Thanks for reading Susan. Yeah Dave’s story is pretty inspirational for sure. It seems that transformation is a never ending process, as every day I see how much more there is to go, but am happy to at least be on the journey.

    • Thanks, it took years for that idea to kind of dawn on me through experience, but that is my current feeling on the matter. Thanks for reading.

  22. Ignorance and insecurity play a critical role in prejudice. There are people who can only find their sense of self-worth if they can find something or someone to look down upon. We can only pity them. You just stand in the dignity of who you are.

  23. I am white American, but with pied background. What I KNOW is that my father was partly Native American, Irish and English. My mother was mostly Black Dutch and English. If I were to get the DNA testing done on Ancestry, there is no telling what all would turn up.
    Even though I do not have trouble meeting the public, I understand from my many travels in foreign countries just how far prejudice can go. Non-whites have no idea just how often whites are rejected because of their race. One thing that has given my thoughts and feeling the right perspective is a Scripture from Acts 10:34-35—“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
    Our immediate family is multi-racial. We have two adopted children and three natural born. One adopted girl is mostly Native American and the boy is Asian Indian—probably the only one in the family who can claim one race.
    At one point in our travels, we walked up to the immigration department to show our passports before we boarded the plane and plunked down five different passports. The immigration official was so taken aback he just stared at us and asked, “Do you all live in the same house?”

    • Cool, sounds like an interesting family. Of course no one that never leaves their home will understand the struggles of other communities. If someone is only used to being a minority, it will be hard to conceptualize what it is like being in the majority and vice versa. We are all familiar with our own struggles but when we leave our home we find a whole new world of previously unimagined turmoil. Thank you for reading.

    • I shot Shazza over, Beth, bc I thought she’d take to this powerful lesson:

      “Non-whites have no idea just how often whites are rejected because of their race.” And I knew she’d love the Scripture in your narrative as much I did. WhAt a story you have! Thank you for enriching our journey. Feels like you’ve been here a lot longer. =)

      Xxx
      Diana

  24. “I have always been “I am who I am”. Either you accept me or you don’t but I won’t change for your acceptance.”

    What will you change for? I ask because it seems like you’ve had a lot of identity tags in your life.

    • Haha, an interesting question. I would change to become a better person. But I would have to agree that it would be better. 🙂 Thanks for reading

  25. Pingback: Around the World in Eighty Days | A Holistic Journey

My Two Gold Cents in the Holistic Treasury

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