A man learns to respect other cultures in a dream
|I walked down the street, my neighbor, who was of Japanese decent, waved. I ignored her. I hopped on the bus as I couldn’t afford my own car. I took the bus the few blocks to town, no use walking when there are two perfectly situated bus stops. When I arrived at work I set to ordering around the Mexican employees, not that I was supposed to, but they were Mexicans, taking our jobs. Nobody was gonna take my job. At lunch I talked to my American friends but pointedly ignored those of other nationalities, and those “sympathizers” that defended them. I walked home, once again ignoring my neighbor and went to bed.
I was drunk, talking to a man I no longer knew the name of.
“And those Chinese people” I found myself saying, “Their language is so weird, why can’t they just speak English?”
“They have their differences, and those should be respected, both the good and the bad, yet at heart they are the same.”
I was taken aback by what he said, but I was too drunk to slow. “Yeah, well you wouldn’t be saying that if you’d heard about those Canadians, did you know that they’re cannibals?”
“I think that may be no more than a fantasy of your own mind.” He said with a laugh “But really, if they were, you should respect their differences. Is it not better to eat a man proven guilty than an animal who’s story is unknown. Anyway, they are all the same at heart, all just a rippled reflection in the water.”
I downed another shot of whisky. This time I didn’t even pay attention to his response “And those Spaniards...” I said, but suddenly my head began to clear. I was no longer drunk, and thing around be seemed different.
“They may have differences, and those should be respected, but at heart they are the same.”
I smiled then “And we Americans, we are so ignorant of other cultures.”
“And yet you are the same.”
I woke up and once again headed for work. I waved at my neighbor.
“Hello” I said “I don’t believe I’ve ever asked your name”
“Sarah” She replied with a smile “And yours?”
“Jack” I said, returning her smile, and continued on my way to work.
This time I walked, save the space on the bus for the people who actually had distance to travel. When I arrived at work I talked and laughed with everyone, though I tried to get my friends to be more respectful. They would not oblige, and the people of other cultures had more new things to share, so I talked with them for a time. Though among my friends I was a Traitor, I was happy. I had new friends, and a new way of life.
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