So, here I am once again reflecting on who I am and who I want to be.
I've just left the volunteer place and it's just so weird. It's my first day meeting her and talking to her and she already got in a discussion with me about my religion. It wasn't a question, it was a legit discussion.
I felt a little awkward, she started her story with "Just the other day I saw a girl wearing the face covering thing while rolling down a stroller and I just felt...SO BAD for her."
She's one of those people who thinks that Muslims are oppressed and that it's all the shenanigans of culture that indoctrinates these guilty feelings into us as to cover our faces and heads.
She even flat out told me how much she "hates" seeing these women. She even said "you will never find an animal that covers up this much". I don't believe we're animals, I understand that we're mammals but no, we're not animals. You can't possibly compare our complex brain process to that of animals, it's insulting. I actually wanted to tell her, well yeah they wear fur or tell her, well why are you being a hypocrite by wearing clothes, and a bra! but instead I explained that I personally don't really understand much about the face coverings as it is not required in my religion and no one in my family does it. I told her it could be either due to culture, as she has said, or they just want to do the extra mile for their religion.
Her reply was that religion and culture are the same thing, and I really hate it when people think that because they usually also assume that arabs = muslims and muslims= arabs; it's really ignorant.
So, I explained to her that I they're two entirely different things "religion comes from within, it's what you think and decide, culture is what is enforced by society and what the people around you do." I think I also told her that people here who cover their faces most likely do it out of faith because it's Canada, it's one of the freest countries there is and she could just as easily remove it.
Her response was to remind me of the guilt they would feel because they've been growing up thinking a certain way, which is why she took her children to a multi-universal belief church that takes a bit of everything. I think that's stupid.
Religion doesn't harm people, religion is just a way of life. Some people bring their children up as vegetarians, some as hindu, some as christians, some as jews, some focus their children on education, others focus their kids on manners. You HAVE to enforce some sort of structured life into your child, a belief they can stand with. Religion for me is a way of life, it teaches me not only to pray to God, but to also watch out for my actions, words and to be more considerate. It teaches me what to eat, what to drink and how to dress and I accept that.
I told the lady that the child may not have a choice when they're kids, but it's alright because they don't really understand yet why they do most of what they do. (kinda like school!) but when they grow up they can make their own choices. Then she asked me what if they felt guilty or can't because they've already been brought up a certain way. (While this is understandable, it's still stupid, I've met quite a few converts, and a lot of times their parents are against it, but they still went out and ventures and did what they want.)
I told her, we have the internet, and that we're in Canada, people can do what they want to do. Then I closed the subject by dropping off that all you can do as a parent is educate them, and that my mom instilled reading and searching in us so we can be educated about these things. That she often tells us to "look it up!" if we don't know something.
I guess she finally accepted at least that opinion and she let it go...for now.
It's funny, I feel like she's trying so hard to be open minded by forcing everyone to think like her so we can all think like her and be happy. I don't think she fully grasps the context of people being diverse. She's really extroverted, hates sitting down for too long, likes hands on work, hates stress, and hates being on the computer for more than like.. 2 hours a day or something. Meanwhile, I genuinely enjoy being alone for a minimum of 2 hours a day.
I wonder if I should just do the one thing I enjoy for a living, martial arts. I wonder if it's possible to just teach people karate for a living. God, it would be so much fun. So stress free, and just no one will judge how you look like with a black belt around your waist.
I'm not against people asking me questions about my faith. it's just, I don't know you yet lady, and we're working here....well she is, I'm volunteering! It would be nice if she actually asked instead of told me she pitied us.
I wonder how many people are silently judging me. How many look at me and think I'm being oppressed? how many look at me and see a person?