Hindrance -- something that provides resistance
Willingness -- equals readiness
Division -- separating something into parts
People -- human beings in general or a particular nation, community or ethnic group
My People -- part of a specific group
Melting Pot -- a place where different people; styles, theories are mixed together
The perception of the words we speak or hear are different from one being to the next. The vivid images and triggers that these words evoke in us is part of the hindrance... Let me explain!
When I hear, during speeches on television or in live audiences, the word "people" I believe that encompasses all of us. However, when I hear the words "my people," I have no idea what is meant... as it leaves room for others that are not included and thus isolated and not included into a group.
Having traveled extensively to different parts of the world, I have found one thing to be true of all people. We all want the same things: love, validation and some form of security.
When you actually come from nothingness; meaning no country, no culture, no religion, and no mother tongue, you end up being freed from the hindrances that keep "my people" apart from each other...
What happens then? You have the magical ability to co-exist with the other people in unity and balance while taking the parts you like from their country, culture, religion, and their habits.
Why? How does this happen?
I would like to give you two analogies of how this happens in your own life, even though you might be unaware it is happening...
When you travel to a foreign country for example and you share food with a new friend. No matter all the barriers in the world, food is something that brings us together. You experience the food and get a glimpse of their life style and their culture. While you share the food together, you and a virtual stranger, the judgements tend to fall away and passionate conversations of food and recipes are shared instead! This is a beautiful example of how we can connect with others.
Now the beauty of this example of food is when you are back home and trying to make that recipe you've just learned, you end up adding some new ingredients as you put your own personal stamp on this recipe. So although it was a new dish, it now has become intertwined with your own culture.
"Sharing moments in different groups"
While traveling in Egypt on a cruise, I had a very interesting experience. There were two groups on the ship. One was a group of Americans with a tour guide, and the other group was French speaking from France with another tour guide. One day I would join the French, and the next day I would join the American group. The groups themselves though kept saying "Join us today," because "You are one of my people"...
Come on! I just happened to speak both English and French. Technically speaking, at that time I was not a national of either country... so the term "my people" struck me as inclusive yet at the price of isolating others. As the two groups did not communicate together at all. Agreed, the language is a barrier but not to the extent of saying hello and sharing a meal. Right? That is exactly what I am saying in the first analogy about sharing food.
The point of saying "my people", in today's world, definitely means to exclude certain people from your group. I would truly like to see a dent in this phenomenon. With patience and huge doses of humor we might be able to eradicate these words that can trigger racist behaviors.
The melting pot we truly want to see in this world starts with our own willingness to "want to melt." No words of division, no "my people," no rallies starting with "anti," but instead replace all this with positive words and even more importantly acts of "inclusion."
We are more alike than we are different!