Most of us are wearing masks now, not always sure who is behind the mask.
Sometimes people see me and quickly put a label on me.
This is nothing new.
One day as I was walking along someone shouted at me from across the road
“go back to your own country”
He didn’t know where I was from or anything else about me.
I went and talked further with him, and he actually acknowledged that I had made him think.
We concluded it is important to move on from stereotype images of others.
I can’t be easily pigeon-holed.
My heritage lies in three different countries and two different faiths.
But who I am is more than where I come from.
I am more than my physical characteristics.
It’s about my character, values and respect for others too.
Many years ago, I worked in a Brass Foundry.
My work involved putting small pieces of white-hot brass on to a cast on to which I brought down a heavy press and out came a brass plate, each one with the same pattern.
We are more than a product meant to turn out the same.
The Bible opens with the affirmation that human beings are made in the Image of God.
It is one image but each person is incredibly different, unique and profound.
All of us are bigger than what most people imagine.
I like the words of the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, especially the first line of his book Gitanjali:
Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure.
– Rabindranath Tagore
I celebrate human diversity, and am glad that we are not all the same.
My identity is complex and multi-layered.
The real me is immense, and cannot be reduced to a stereotype.
Who I really am is a work in progress.
Inderjit Bhogal, 25 February 2021
WANT TO FIND MORE FROM INDERJIT?
Pause For Thought is featured on BBC Radio 2. It is hosted on the OJ Borg programme at 2.30am (GMT). Inderjit contributes regular short reflections on various topics, often related to spirituality, philosophy and personal experiences. Inderjit provides a moment of reflection and contemplation offering you a brief pause. Here, Inderjit shares his insights and wisdom, to inspire you, encourage you, or provide a moment of reflection before you start the day.