Live and Let Live | Acceptance to an indifferent society in India

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So many of us take our privileged lives for granted. And by privileged, I don’t mean owning six cars and four houses. By privileged, I mean living a comfortable life within comfortable means – food, shelter, clothing. Enough to survive and enough to be appreciative about. Yet, how many of us demand more? How many of us are in a constant NEED for more?

The answer is simple: All of us.

This is why I believe that today’s urban society truly takes things for granted. There are over a million people ready to drop everything in a heartbeat if given an opportunity to live any of our lives – a life full of love, happiness, acceptance.

Everyone is familiar with the concepts of love and happiness but what about acceptance? How does one define acceptance? Is it just a feeling of belonging? Because to belong, you must conform. And conforming to an image that is in no way akin to your own self image isn’t easy, now is it?

This is precisely the point. In every society, there will be those who are ostracised or excommunicated. There will be those who are “othered”. There will be those who do not belong and therefore not accepted. But why is it that such people are left out? Why are some people seen as abnormal? As different?

Isn’t difference a good thing? Won’t difference help change the world?

Yet, we see some as negatively different. What or who does negatively different comprise of?

Transgenders are an example of such a “difference”. People refer to them as abnormal. Because how can there be a deviation from a binary that is as old as the world itself?

Well, this is how.

Transgenders choose to live in a way that is essentially different and as free individuals, should be allowed to do as they please. Yet, we always find ways to belittle them, to show immense amounts of disgust. Why is it so hard to just accept other people’s choice? Why do we force our fellow beings to such extents that they have to live on the peripheries?

Why can’t they live amongst us? Why can’t we all peaceful co-exist?

Are our egos so immense that we find no place in our hearts to accept those in need of love? Those in need of support? Friendship? Happiness?

Lesbians, Gays, bisexuals and transgenders are human beings. They are one of us. They live like us, eat like us, pray like us. Why then do we shower them with hate instead of love?

They aren’t the ones who bomb our cities and murder our friends. So why do we choose to penalise those who are kindest to us? What has the Transgender Community done to hurt us? How do they affect our lives? So if they don’t injure us, why do we go out of our way to deny them all facets of a dignified life?

Maybe it’s time to re-think the binary – to legalise the right to choose ones gender. To let people be. To live and let live.

Some of the best people I know fall into this “othered” category and I have no qualms in spending time with such thoughtful individuals – be it in class or at a workplace, it just doesn’t matter. They are human beings whose behaviour doesn’t differ in actuality. It just differs in our minds.

So maybe we need to broaden our mindset instead, because in a world devoid of any sort of compassion, a shift from the binary might do us some good – we could let these “abnormal” personalities show us what love actually is, show us what compassion truly encompasses, show us who truly lives on the fringes and how we can all choose to peacefully co-exist- how we can choose to live and let live.