Some people call me the British Kid. Others call me the foreign dude. And some don’t call me anything as they stare straight through me as though I was a freshly polished window. No matter what they call me or how they see me, I’ll always be myself, a strange but kind Englishman. I’m someone who believes in a world of possibilities. I’m someone who believes that the skies are the limit, even if some people’s skies are taller than others. But most of all, I’m someone who believes in moral equality.
Equal rights and treatment for all is usually associated with famous black men and women like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and more recently President Barack Obama. But I think that racism is just one layer of the enormous cake of moral superiority and whether or not it exists. When it comes down to it though, these layers are never ending and seemingly unstoppable, because there will always be people who feel they’re better than others. The difference is we only know about people who broadcast their so called superiority.
For me personally though, the stereotypical attitudes of people swings both ways. I often have people coddle me for my accent and I also experience those who both openly and quietly despise me for it. Some days I’ll wonder what my social experience would be like if I had a local voice. Would people have treated me the same? Would I have as many friends? Would I have as many people who hate me? These are questions I will never know the answer to. I will just have to hope that I would be treated the same no matter what happens over the course of my life.
I recall that in England when I was only 6 in my 1st grade class there was an African boy who had transferred from the Ivory Coast. I remember many children giggling and whispering behind his back as he spoke in a distinctively foreign tone to answer a question that no one else would. I still see his embarrassed figure slowly lowering himself deeper into his chair as muffled whispers broke out in class. This experience was one that I can only truly reflect on now as I’ve been through the same frightfully painful experience. This boy showed my English classroom a world outside the borders of their home, and they quickly rejected it.
My experiences have followed me since I was born. I’ve taken them to 4 continents, to 14 countries and into my hopes and dreams. My life has been an up and down roller coaster that never slows down. But most of my infinite imagination has never been shared with anyone other than my reflection in a mirror. Everyone’s imaginations are like a highway that has thousands of junctions but no exits. All this due to what people might think or say. This attitude has carried for generations through wars over religion, civil rights movements and people who have stood out for their beliefs only to be rejected again and again. But through all this there have been people to stand up and say no more. Viva la Vida or live the life. But make sure you’re living the right one.
Some people call me the British Kid. Others call me the foreign dude. And some don’t call me anything as they stare straight through me as though I was a freshly polished window. No matter what they call me or how they see me, I’ll always be myself, Liam Nield, and no one else.
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