I marched with the African-American students, fist in the air, advocating for equality. Back then, I wanted to be the minority issues beat reporter at the Michigan Daily (I didn’t get the post because I was white). I believed that as a Jew, I could relate to the oppression of other minorities.
In a way, I understand the assumption that because my skin is pale, I don’t face the same adversity as my peers with darker skin tones. But it upset me nonetheless. Jews have always been oppressed, persecuted, hunted down and killed. And yet, the vision of us now is successful, educated, leaders in so many industries.
The assumption is no longer there for us – our skin does not tell a story that may or may not have anything to do with our personal histories.
And yet, our personal histories do not have to be our presents or our futures. They should not dictate them. Inform our paths, yes, even enlighten us toward our mission on this planet. But not color (pun intended) our paths.
We are a collective consciousness of experiences that brings us from one day to the next. The rocks and bumps and twists and bends in our paths surely direct us toward a better future. Toward making a better collective future.
In every step we take, hopefully we can banish the assumptions, the judgments, the closed doors, the wrinkled brows. Every being is a piece of God. Every person is here for a reason, to contribute something wonderful, that touches and benefits us all.
We must look at life that way. For if we close the parameters of our view, we are only closing ourselves off. Think of all the richness of the landscape that you miss if you don’t look left or right.