Monday, 21 September 2015 07:32

People are people, no matter where they come from

I am sure I am not the only one who’s had only one thing on their mind this week: people!

a) There are too many in the streets of Limassol with summer holidays being over and the school year starting, and;

b) There’s too many suffering all over Europe and the Middle East, also ‘in the street’, but quite distressingly, literally.

And, as is often the case with me, topics always come to me ‘in waves’: Friends have been commenting on how ‘cool’ it is that I get to meet all these people, which, indeed, it is. I had been meeting lots with my dinner clubs over the past four years, and now I just get to meet different ones.

I’ve always liked people – I am sociable and will be the one in that grumpy bank or supermarket queue to strike up a random conversation. Because after all, people are people.

It’s also something I’ve been reminded of a lot lately — even before the refugee crisis got this urgent – on a different level but with a similar core.

We all (consciously or unconsciously) carry stereotypes within us and when telling people whom I’m about to meet I quite often get a comment like ‘Oh, but these officials are like this…’, ‘Oh, but everyone knows…’, ‘Oh, you’ll see…’

And I (naively?) will meet ‘those people’ and almost always decide ‘He/she is lovely!’… Because at the end of the day – we are all just people with our own personalities, our strengths and weaknesses and fears and faults.

In fact, often I may come across as almost too informal, but usually people quickly realise I am just extra bubbly and nine out of 10 times my casual approach does help make that conversation flow just beautifully.

This confirms my belief that we are all equal. It’s once we get caught up on titles and reputation and nationality and stereotypes and rumours that things start to shift and paranoia sets in.

Yes, it’s hard to imagine, but that grumpy lady at the checkout may just be going through some personal drama and just hasn’t learned how to hide her emotions from the world. And again, quite often a smile or a friendly comment will change things: sometimes it is that easy to turn us all back into ‘simple people’.

With the current drama of thousands upon thousands of just simple people flooding into Europe, escaping the sort of personal drama that most of us cannot even remotely imagine, it seems more important than ever to remember that people are people.

Considering the sort of fears and difficulties they have lived through, it seems more wrong than ever to judge anyone based on nationality, reputation or stereotypes.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of Sep 11, 2015 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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