Yelly Writes

The jaundiced eye of prejudice

If people are really hateful and disgusting in the way they treat other people, that probably came from a hurt place – but then, when does it stop? When does this spiral end?

— Lauren Mayberry

In the nearly 12 years I’ve lived in the UK, I’ve never experienced overt racism or harassment …until tonight.

I’d bought hot food and was carrying my backpack, my lunch bag and 2 carrier bags of hot food. I didn’t expect the Greater Anglia 17:02 train to be busy but after the cancellations, I should’ve expected it. I got on a fairly empty train, with about 8 minutes before the train left and there were so many empty seats. So I placed the bags of hot food next to me. Whilst the train was filling up, I was mentally rearranging my bags so that I could quickly move things around because I didn’t think anyone would look too kindly about my letting my food sit on a seat that someone else could occupy.

This man got on and to me really slowly, and really loudly, “Put your bags on the floor.” I said to him that it was food so I didn’t want to move it to the floor. I was still trying to figure out how to balance my bags of food and other bags. I think he got tired of waiting for me and said loudly, “FFS!” He flounced off and sat down next to this woman in a 6-seater section. He said quite audibly, because I could hear him across the aisle, “Stupid Chinese.” The woman he sat next to laughed and said sympathetically, “You wouldn’t want her virus anyway.”

I am outspoken and am liable to say whatever comes to mind. But tonight I didn’t know how to say the things that were going through in my mind. I was incensed and I had things to say, but I couldn’t say them. I was screaming in my head. I wanted to cry but I didn’t want to give that man and that woman the satisfaction that they’d got to me. I hate how I felt. I felt so injured and angry but so inept and helpless. 

At the same time, I knew that if I’d said exactly what was going on in my head, I would never be able to live with myself, for saying the cruelly sharp words that I wanted to throw back at them. Because I know that once you say them, you can’t ever take them back. Even now, I cringe at the abusive words that were reverberating in my head at the time. I’m glad I didn’t give them utterance.

I try to tell myself that racism is a result of narrow-mindedness, of fear of the unfamiliar, of ignorance and arrogance, and education will help cure all that. And sometimes it’s not. Sometimes people are just hurtful and cruel. Sometimes it’s just mean-spiritedness and cruelty, and there’s no cure for that.

Yelly Writes

Monday musings

Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you’re grown up. Growing up means being patient, holding your temper, cutting out the self-pity, and quitting with the righteous indignation.”

― Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York

I hate to admit it but I think I’m guilty of allowing the arrogance of youth to give me licence to wallow in righteous indignation without self checking. This is not to say I consider myself to be young. Anything but. Which is why I am constantly telling myself off because I don’t necessarily act my age.

As adults we’re meant to be more contemplative and less prone to impulsive behaviour. We preface it with the excuse that we’re “following our heart.” But as adults our actions should be more measured, more considered, because we’re meant to be guided by experience and the knowledge that we have responsibilities and people who count on us.

The operative word is SHOULD. But we don’t always act our age. Some worse than others.

Yelly Writes

Another new year…

“The New Year is a painting not yet painted; a path not yet stepped on; a wing not yet taken off! Things haven’t happened as yet! Before the clock strikes twelve, remember that you are blessed with the ability to reshape your life!”

Mehmet Murat Ildan

I said I wasn’t going to do New Year’s resolutions.

But I knew that if I didn’t write things down, if I didn’t list things down, I would start the year without a rough plan. And the people who know me well know that I love a list!

So I went and listed my 5 goals for 2020.

To write more.

To read more.

To take more photos.

To be healthier.

To be kinder.