I live in a bubble. And in my bubble I surround myself with good people, with people who embrace diversity, with people who see others as brothers and sisters and not enemies, with people who are acceptant of differences and who know that love conquers all. In my bubbled world there is no room for misogyny, discrimination nor hatred, and by alienating those who engage in these practices I have in fact alienated myself from the real world. In my naive approach to life, all these things were things that were slowly becoming part of the past and new generations had learnt from the mistakes of the ones that came before them. But I was so wrong. There is still so much work to be done.
This year has proven me wrong at so many levels. But to be fair it hasn't all been my fault. It's true that if I filter my friends and peers and only engage with like-minded people I will undoubtedly end up living in a world of my own creation. But inputs from the outside world like news outlets, social media or the internet itself should have been enough to help me realize that things weren't going as good as I thought. The problem is that nowadays all those inputs from those sources have also been tailored to my likes and needs without me even noticing. So when I browse the web or spend time in social media, all those ads and posts that I see are shown to me by algorithms that have a very accurate profile of who I am. And in the end, the life that I thought that I was creating for myself had actually been customized for me. It's all an illusion.
If you open my Facebook feed or my Instagram or Twitter at any given time you will find posts that are pro-equality, anti-hatred, centre-left and global-minded. And it is not that I was so naive that I didn't know that discrimination still existed in the world but to me that was reserved to a very extreme but low percentage of the population. And for the longest time I didn't like it when people called immigrants, other races or LGBTQ people minorities because I thought that in this day and age the anti-diversity were the true minority. But it turns out that the real minority is the one formed by people who, like me, believe that no gender identity, no race, no sexual orientation and in fact no differentiating factor should be discriminated upon but embraced.
But I'm happy that my bubble burst because now I know that in order to make my world truly diverse I most also include those who think completely different from how I think in order to understand them and to learn why their fears make them hate others. And maybe one day I will be able to show them that those fears are self-created or induced by others who just want to control them and profit from their extreme feelings.
Photo credit: behind the scenes by Andrzej Gruszka.
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