Discovering prejudice where I least expect it; in me. Or Not.

Oneness. Truly, in my heart of hearts, I know that we are all one.   In deepest meditation, I feel it; I feel my complete connection to the world, my harmony with all of life. I perceive the pulse of billions of hearts, the rhythms of the world. I feel the grass growing from my flesh and the breeze tugging at my leaves. I sense the desperate joy of the birdsong, longing, crying, begging for a mate to respond. I know that we are all part of the vast, limitless organism of creation. I KNOW this, with all my intellectual conviction. Still, of all the concepts I have embraced, it is this one with which I seem to struggle the most… I sell cars for a living. I have since 2002. This is a business with a dismal reputation (largely well-earned) as well as a very sketchy consistency; months can go from wildly prosperous to terrifyingly slim with alarming speed. One of the wonderful blessings of this job though, is the very great variety of people you meet. Every imaginable ethnicity, each with its stereotypes and idiosyncrasies, and just as many who defy those ingrained expectations. It is here where I struggle. I know, for instance, that regardless of their nationality or origin, each human being who walks into my dealership deserves kindness and openness in their dealings, just as I strive to give all my customers. Still, I find myself prejudging, pretending that I know exactly how a certain person is going to act and deal based solely on their appearance. I struggle with surrendering expectations and dealing with people on an individual, tabula rasa level. I know that we all come from the very same source. I know that the same light which I embrace and hope to amplify within myself shines from their soul as well. I know that I should seek to see myself in them and to use that unbreakable connection as common ground. But, more often than not, I fail in this then make excuses that “I don’t deal well with ‘them’ anyway, so its better that someone else got them”, or use these same excuses to explain why I failed to make a deal. We create our realities. We get what we expect to get from life. When we expect someone to trouble us, guess what we get? Do we think others don’t sense us judging them?   Are they somehow supposed to be blind to our expectations? Why do some salespeople deal so well with other ethnicities while the rest struggle so?   Could it be because what they see is a customer, rather than a race or nationality? Am I really a racist who honestly doesn’t realize it? Can I come to see everyone I encounter as part of me, and as key to all of creation as I would like to be? Can I just LOVE and leave it at that? Can I really have learned so great a lesson while typing a blog post?

As it turns out, no, I’m actually NOT a racist, much to my relief.  Even while writing and facing the realization that I may be, my mind rebelled against the concept.  For decades, I’ve prided myself on my sense of inclusion and openness.  With my very diverse family and circle, I’ve never, NEVER felt the desire to judge or distance myself from any people because of color or ethnicity.  I feel that I got that from my mom; she’s never used the cover of the book to reach her conclusions.  It’s always been the content of the pages from which she drew her conclusions; the actions of the person which she saw.

So NOI’m not a racist.  What I am is lazy, and I’ve actually stooped to using race and nationality as an excuse to avoid doing my job.  What kind of world have we built in which it is easier to admit to racism than to laziness?  In what universe is judgement preferable to indolence?  Not in my world, for sure.  Not any more.

Thank you for listening

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