So I saw in the news that someone* did something* bad the other day and I could tell by their name that their grandmother didn't serve the same things for dinner that my grandmother did.
And I could make some guesses on what their grandmother might have served, based on that name, and the first thought that sprang to my mind was “Well, of course, what did you expect?”
And the second thought that sprang to my mind was “Where the fuck did that come from?”
But I know where it came from. It came from childhood, from home, where the only thing liked less than prejudiced people was others.
And an other could be of any sort of other. It wasn't their fault, no, there are no racial differences amongst humans, and all religions have portions of the best way to live encompassed in them, and anything boys can do girls can do just as well but...
“...but you just gotta face facts, y'know. It's a cultural thing, others aren't raised with the same values as we are. They view right and wrong differently, only really care about their own kind, and even that not the same way we do.
“They're others, right?
“Gotta have sympathy and give them the same respect as you would one of us, but, well, y'know... keep your expectations low.
“They can't help it.”
And the last two decades of being one a' them, an outsider (for that is the closest thing to a literal translation of gaijin), of rigorously self-policing has helped but I don't think I'm acknowledging the stress I might be feeling from this whole pandemic because it hasn't fundamentally affected my lifestyle or schedule yet but the frequency and strength of those thoughts breaching my mental hygiene makes me wonder what it must be like for someone in a worse situation, someone who has never really had their social primacy challenged in any serious way, someone who feels righteous when they tell themselves “It can't be helped, be sympathetic and respectful but, well, y'know...”
Because that someone is different from me, you see.
*nope, not even going to hint
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