Wednesday, June 09, 2021

People who change our lives

 

Sunday, May 09, 2021

People who change our lives

I live in London Ontario.  I don't like to give too much personal information on line but there is a reason I'm sharing this.  In case anyone hasn't heard, there was a horrific act of hate that happened earlier this week in this city.  A young man (though I almost hate to call him that) deliberately drove up on sidewalk and ran into a family out walking.  Four out of five of the members of this family were killed.
What could cause this level of hate?  Because the family were Muslim.  That's it.  No other reason.  I can't speak for all but I think many Canadians may be under the impression that this kind of thing doesn't happen here in Canada, that we are somehow immune.  But we aren't.  Racism, hatred for anyone different exists all over the world.

I originally posted this on May 26, 2005.  At the time I did, I hoped that we would grow as a people and see and appreciate our similarities with people of other faiths and nations and colours.  But that didn't happen.  Instead, it's only grown.  I don't understand it.  But I will always appreciate what I learned back sixteen years ago and I continue to appreciate what working with Magda taught me.  I like to think I'm still growing as a person.

I wanted to repost this as it is as true today as it was back then and I just wish more people could see it.


May 26, 2005

I want to say something about somebody who changed my life. I started a new job six weeks ago. I had been off work for the previous for five months and the job I held before that was difficult for me. So when I started at the new job, I was in a bit of a mess, emotionally wise. I hadn't used my brain for five months and it definitely showed. My confidence in myself wasn't the greatest. I was lonely, scared and overwhelmed, emotions I don't like feeling this late in life. The day after I started, someone else started in the work station next to me. She was there on a six week placement. 

When I was introduced to her, I had a sinking feeling inside. She was a traditional Muslim woman who had moved to our country from the mid-east three years ago and didn't speak English very well. She wore traditional Muslim clothes with the head covering; sorry I don't know what it's called. I thought I would have nothing in common with my nearest coworker. I have worked with Muslim women in the past, but they have spent most of their lives in Canada and were quite used to our customs and ways. Because we were both new and most of the other people in the office eat there lunch at their desks, I began eating lunch with her. And slowly but surely she began changing my perceptions. As we began to talk more and get to know each other better, I realized that we weren't nearly as different as I thought we were. We didn't talk about religion. We didn't talk about the ugliness going on in certain parts of the world. Instead we talked about our own daily lives as wives, mothers, sisters. I learned that she loved her husband just as I love mine. She loved her kids and was proud of them just like me. She has a child that is more of a challenge shall we say and so do I. We both lost both our parents when they were relatively young and we both understood what that was like. Both us had husbands who tried to teach us how to drive a standard; once. That was enough :). I learned that although she didn't speak English very well, she actually had quite a bit more education than I did. She was older than I was when she got married and had children when she was older. Her boys love to play sports just like mine do and she told me how excited her son was when he made the high school soccer team. She told me how he didn't tell her when he hurt himself at his first game and I told her how my son broke his wrist playing baseball. As we talked and got to know each other, I realized that our similarities increased and our differences decreased and I came to like her very much. She had a wonderful sense of humour and she made me laugh and I made her laugh at some of the absurdities our every day lives. 

Today was her last day and I don't know if I will see her again. Our lifestyles are very dissimilar. But she taught me something very important. She taught me not to judge people on appearances or preconceived impressions. She taught me that different cultures can and do have common ground. I know that she will never read this but still I want to say thank you Magda. You helped me to grow as a person.

1 comment:

-blessed b9, Catalyst4Christ said...

A person who's without God's love is
one who could cause that level of
hate - pray as I do that soul doesnt
descend into the Abyss o'Misery.
Follow us Upstairs, dear:
♡ en.gravatar.com/MatteBlk ♡
-GBY