Lesson In Empathy #2: Questioning Vs. Accusing About Cultures.

Let’s get one thing straight. We will not get rid of culture in people. If we did, it would strip everyone of self identity and as a formless spirit-that’s great. As a human in a body in the physical world-that’s dystopian society.

Just imagine for a second a place where all humans were made to wear the same clothes (probably a neutral color), not be able to hold festive cultural celebrations, (no more Day of the Dead taco celebrations, or pub crawls for St. Patrick’s Day). We would look possibly different, but our accessories and clothes would be stripped away to stop any feelings of separation. It sounds a bit like the Giver, Big Brother, etc. This to me is not unity, this is oppression of the human spirit.

Quite possibly there could be a positive idea, but it may also cause a bit of a dullness and not a “zest” in life that we have today.

What I advocate for is to be able to rise above perceptions of different cultures and traditions and start to see all mankind as One. The Quran teaches that, and so do many other religious texts. It is time we start living this way. We do not have to look the same, or even think the same. But we do have to SEE the same things with our spiritual minds and hearts.

Example 1: People on the internet, or in person like to say things about other people’s cultures and religions..WITHOUT being knowledgeable about them. Now, there is no way that we can be knowledgeable about ALL cultures, traditions and customs. We don’t have enough time on the clock for that, but we can stop ourselves from saying anything definite without knowledge. We can start to ask more questions, than accuse people of things.

The wrong way of speaking:

Person unknowledgeable about Hindus: “All Hindus hate Jesus! I heard that from somewhere…”

*notice keyword is: heard. That means this person does not have direct knowledge about the subject and this is as accusatory statement with the exclamation point versus a question mark.

So here is what a conversation would have to look like from a person more aware to prevent wars:

Person unknowledgeable about Hindus:  “Do all Hindus hate Jesus? I believe I heard that from somewhere, but not sure if it is true or not. Can you explain your beliefs more?”


Do you see the incredible difference in humbling oneself to ask another to give them knowledge about something unknown to them, so that they can learn the truth and bring it forwards?  It really makes a difference how you speak to people. If you are not sure about a subject, or don’t have firsthand experience with it, please ask people if you have concerns, stop accusing and causing anger on the web or on the street. I am confident this behavior happens MORE on the web, that is why there is a lesson in punctuation here for writing.

We need to start to explore each other’s worlds more and in turn find many different dimensions to earth with its people. This is having empathy for others as well as stopping yourself from looking like the fool.

If you don’t know. Ask. Don’t make accusations first. The Quran teaches that you can never judge unjustly and I consider making accusing statements even judging, so please be mindful of this and watch what you say or write about people different from you. Try to look at things from their point of view.