Questioner: So, the next question we have is about identity. It’s a personal question that I’ve come up with, but I think some of you might be able to relate. So, I’m a diaspora. I’m Canadian born, my family is from Tanzania, but originally from Gujarat. So, I’ve always struggled to identify who I am, in the Canadian context. So, when I went to school and I had to eat lunch, I would take my butter chicken and I would go sit on the side, because I didn’t want my white friends to have to smell my food. But when I was with my family at mosque or temple, I would all of a sudden have an Indian accent.
So, I was always stuck between these two identities constantly, and these are things I did as a child six, seven, eight, nine. And now as an adult, I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate in this space. So, my question for you is, as youth we have the ability to adapt our identities to fit the social surroundings, we’re in. How do we begin to understand our authentic truths and act upon them, in a world that expects us to change and be amiable in our environments?
Sadhguru: See, in twenty-first century the comfort of belonging to a specific community because… especially, you come from India. In India, people lived in adjacent homes for thousands of years actually, for millennia they’ve been there in the same places. But this is one kind of community, this is another, this is another, they cook differently. They’re all together, everything, but they still cook differently. They always get married among themselves. They’ve maintained this for thousands of years. I always look back and see, “How the hell did they manage?” The cooking didn’t get mixed up, you know! How did they manage this? It’s quite incredible they managed that. But that time is over, in many ways.
We must preserve those individual cultures, because they are valuable, because they evolved over thousands of years. Each one of them have their uniqueness and beauty about them. But it lost its value when you did not understand what is a difference, and what is a discriminatory process.
See it’s wonderful that each one of us are different. If there was one more person just like you in your home, could you live there, I’m asking? Hello? Aren’t we glad everybody is different and nobody is like us? So, whether it’s as individual person or as a community or as a nation, we are all different and that’s fantastic. But when we misunderstand differences as discriminatory process, then it becomes ugly. When that ugliness comes, we want to demolish all differences and make everybody into McDonald’s. Okay, because we think the evil is differences.
Evil is not differences. The evil is in you thinking one is superior to the other – instead of seeing ‘This world is fantastic only because we are so different.’ If all of us same, I won’t have a conversation with you if you are just like me. Hello? If you were just the same as me, why would I sit here and have a conversation with you? Only because you’re different, you are worth talking to, isn’t it? So, differences are fine, we don’t have to suffer them. It’s really wonderful that this small little planet has thrown up so many varieties of people. How many varieties of people? Leave the individuals, even as communities, as nations, how many varieties of people – the way we eat, the way we talk, the way we do things, the way we dress, everything is different and that’s fantastic. We just have to educate the world that differences are wonderful, discrimination is horrible. This distinction if we get, you can be whoever the hell you want, all right?
See from generation to generation how your parents were, they are also diaspora in Africa. They largely spoke Gujarati, they’re desperately trying to keep their culture, you know. Actually, people who come out of India in fifties, sixties – they are more Indian than the Indian people. Because India has changed dramatically since then. But people who came out as one community and living in Africa and UK, some other place – they are totally still dressing, talking, eating like 1950’s, because they are living within that community. All this is not a problem.
This is all wonderful, how human beings evolve, adapt, do things – as long as we do not discriminate against each other. We don’t think, “I’m superior to you. I’m better than you, you’re less than me.” This is the whole problem. So, you just have to learn one thing – doesn’t matter who comes in front of you, whoever – ‘never look up to anybody, never look down on anybody.’ This is all! You just bring this one thing into you, every difference is fine. No looking up, no looking down.