If someone had called me a racist five years ago or maybe even less, I would have been the first to deny it. Today I have chosen to stand for my racism or cultural insensitivity because I have those insensitive thoughts all the time, judging people for the lamest of reasons, from having dimples or a melodious regional accent or preferring coffee over tea to the less sublime reasons such as skin color, ethnic background, education, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. At the same time, with people I know I hope I have been able to look past some of those differences to see them more as they are rather than what I project on them, such as my distrust, fear, and even hatred.
Seeing this shadow in me and taking ownership for it has done more for me to begin to question all of the more subtle aspects of this shadow than any class on multicultural awareness and sensitivity even though I still can see the value of teaching about those kinds of issues as a way to bring about a more compassionate society. In owning this shadow I must continually engage in the practice of seeing where I still have a charge around someone and pinpoint where, in the great diversity of human beings as we are on this planet, I have taken a difference between us, large or small, and hard-wired it to something to distrust, fear or worse yet, as something to simply ignore. While engaging my shadow I must be careful not to perpetrate one more projection, shame, which I have countless times projected on others as I have also done to myself whenever I have found myself caught up in the effects of this shadow of insensitivity, for as I continue to blame myself for my insensitivity, I will also continue to project it others. For me, the responsibility starts and stops right here, with me, and all I can continue to do for the rest of humanity is to remain true to myself and not perpetrate the taking away from the aliveness of others, in the process. I must forgive myself and embrace my shadow so that I can dance with my shadow in the light, for I am all there is between my shadow and the light.
The very best use of life
...is to transform to the awakened state. Next best is to develop qualities. Next best and skillful use of life is gaining deep connection to capable mentor who promises to hold you and care for you even after your passing. The least useful is to say you are a Christian or a Buddhist and expect that to save you!