I’m a Moggie– or, at least, that’s what the world would call me if I was a cat.

You might be more familiar or comfortable with other terms.  A domestic.  A half-breed.  A mutt.  A masala.  A mestizo.  Mixed race. Multi-ethnic.  Multi-cultural.  Of hyphenated blood.

In many ways, nothing defines me more than this inability to be singularly defined.
In many ways, this is where every story I have begins.

From there, the plot has taken all the normal twists and turns of a normal life.

Sometimes, I feel as if my story is expected to be punctuated with racist potholes, bigoted judgement, and soul-weary journeys.  To some extent, it has been.  I’ve had slurs slung my way.  I’ve been egged, vandalized, publicly humiliated, and ostracized.  I can tell tales of having my possessions broken, and my accomplishments diminished.   I have stories of the churches who wouldn’t marry my parents, and the history books who spread hurtful lies.

A teacher once told me it was the responsibility of people like me to share those stories of hardship, to show the world how discrimination is still a problem today.  I disagreed a decade ago, and I disagree now.

I could talk to you about what it is to define your race and religion for strangers multiple times a day– to wonder all the while what you would be talking about instead, if your own features weren’t so freakishly different from the norm.  I could talk to you about what I am and how it is different than what you are, and how my burdens have been heavier or lighter– but I don’t know if any of those discussions would make us better friends, or make us have wider hearts or minds.

I am made from wildly different pieces and parts of cultures and races and beliefs, and I am greater than the sum of those parts.  But that doesn’t mean my singular experience is greater than yours– even if you happen to be carved from the exact same makings that created your grandfather and his before his.

I’m not saying that hardship shouldn’t be given a voice, but I am saying that perhaps it doesn’t need my voice.

I am a moggie.  My vantage point leans to a different set of experiences.  Instead of differences, all I ever want to talk about is what I know:

our sameness.

* * *

I want to be careful here to not diminish the individual stories of hurt in the world.

I hope when you do stumble upon these voices, you listen.  I hope you really hear the isolation, hurt, and hope.  I hope you understand that while we are all responsible for change, no one is blaming you for existing unless you happened to be the one throwing the stones.  In which case, stop doing that: it’s not nice.

I hope those who are sharing their story with you are gentle, empathetic, and solution-oriented. And for what it’s worth, I hope you know how lucky you are to even have the chance to hear such stories.  You are literate, and have access to the treasure trove of knowledge that is the internet.

You have been given a great trust, because the teller of the story knows you can be trusted to listen, and hopes that you might be the one who uses it as fuel to move the world towards more love.  One love.

And most importantly, I hope you realize that whatever story is being told is just one story, and the things that make people like me targets of hate are the very same things that fill our lives with a good deal of love.  These types of stories are important, but they are not, by any means, our only story.

* * *

My multiculturalism is something that goes far beyond my bloodstream. I was raised by people who were nurtured by places around this planet, near and far.  My food is moggie– I eat my curry with tortillas instead of naan, and chopsticks instead of forks.   My superstitions are moggie– and the talismans that protect me are written in languages dead and alive.

Even my fairly tales are moggie– haven’t you heard about Little Red Cap and her abuelita? The chupacabra and the jinn?  Momotaro and the Brahman? 3 Little Pigs and the Big Bad Oni?

It’s in the bedtime stories for children where our sameness really shines.  We are all more alike than you may realize– in regards to both flaws and virtues.  I want to share with you some truths whispered into my dreams, over and over again, by family all over the world.  The animals in the stories are often different, as is the weather, as is the color of the skin of the characters, but you probably remember the lessons as I do.

Getty Images Nemanja Pesic / Vetta
Getty Images
Nemanja Pesic / Vetta

No one ever goes broke by giving. 

Whether you are a prince in a stately French mansion, or a beautiful Indian queen on a quest to save her husband, or a weary traveler carrying nothing more than an extra kilt and an onion– do not turn away the old beggar who comes asking for help.

I repeat: do not shun the beggar.

Give them whatever you can, and include a healthy dose of patient kindness because you don’t know their full story and it’s probably a doozy.

I know, I know, it’s your only onion.  Don’t fear, though: no one ever goes broke from giving too much.

Getty Images Nika Fadul / Flickr Select
Getty Images
Nika Fadul / Flickr Select

Dreams are achievable.

Whether you are a hippo looking to finally live in the water, or a wooden boy who wants to be filled with life, or a silly monkey asking for all the misery in the world– you find what you seek eventually.

The universe finds its own way back to balance, though.

No dream is what it seems at first glance, or without cost.

Getty Images Colin Anderson / Photographer's Choice
Getty Images
Colin Anderson / Photographer’s Choice

You create your own reality.

Sometimes, if you don’t trust a bean salesman, you don’t get to climb a beanstalk.   Sometimes, if you walk into a house with a thousand mirrors,  your impression of the experience depends entirely on the face you wear.

Sometimes the darkest moments of your life become the brightest when you look at them with patience and love.

Sometimes slowly and sometimes overnight, but almost always– life becomes the reality you envision.

_____________________________________

In what area of life do you most see our sameness?

 

43 Comments

  1. sreejit thank you for introducing me to Rarasaur. Another kindred voice for me to feel in this blogishpere. I think the best among us are Moggie- having looked inward to knowing what we’re made of and all the connects us to one another, the sameness. This was absolutely beautiful.

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  2. Thanks for introducing me to Rarasaur, Sreejit. I too am impressed. Very impressed. She and I speak the same language — clearly. And actually, as she pointed out, we all do.

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        1. Awesome! One of my sticky posts is titled “You are loved.” 🙂 We’re clearly on the same page! Must be a year of the rat thing. 😉 I’ll be 30 in August! 🙂

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  3. I see sameness in the way we think, but differences in how we perceive things. I see sameness in our fears, but differences in how those fears are confronted. I see differences in our dreams, but sameness in our hope.

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  4. Thank you Rara for this delightful and powerful post. It requires a great deal of pondering on my part. I appreciate your honesty, trust and faith in writing it.

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  5. Well, each time I think I’ve found the Rara post that most makes me all warm inside, there’s another. There are many ways in which we are the same, but the one that really resonates, is that I have always believed in the idea “do not shun the beggar.” In the Jewish faith, it is a major part of so many traditions, but beyond that, it is deeply ingrained in my heart. Again, beautiful post, Rara.

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    1. Yes, Dawn, mine too. It was the very first I thought of, actually, as the story is told and retold in every country I can think of. I really do believe it’s the folklore that stamped the truth to my heart, and I’m so appreciative of the fact that it is a story we all share. 🙂 Thanks for popping by to read!

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  6. I love your words and the heart and mind they reflect, which I believe is a reflection of the love in this world winning out over the hate. If you love your words, heart, and mind too, then there’s our sameness. I love giant things that are small too, my one little thing that’s usually giant is my portable little vacation home on wheels, my camper, I love it because it’s small instead of giant. I love science, which was, or maybe still is geeky, so that makes for more sameness, geeky love. I love my kids, and I think you’d love them too. I don’t like the same people’s bad attitude, same as you. Here we might be the same: letting soft warm moments be gifts to soften and warm ourselves, learning to love self and others, devoting some of our self to that, accepting, cherishing, and choosing faith and love over despair and hatred…

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    1. So true, Dorothy! We are definitely both the same in our celebration of love, and I think many others are as well– which just makes me overflow with even more love. 😀 I think I would adore your children, even if only because they carry pieces of you with them. 🙂 Thank you for reading!

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  7. Love the sameness, Rara, but I also appreciate your empathy for those who have been hurt, harmed, or ostracized. Then you top it all off with a whip cream of wisdom from the most important stories ever told. What a gift this post is. {{{Hugs}}} kozo

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    1. Thank you, Kozo. The real gift is that all these stories are now available to all of us. Isn’t the internet awesome?! 🙂 In a way, it’s made us all moggie! 🙂

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  8. “Sometimes the darkest moments of your life become the brightest when you look at them with patience and love.” Indeed. Thanks for most wanting to talk about our sameness. It’s a wonderful base camp from which we can explore our interesting differences.

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