Best of Enemies

Photo by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash

I am not a movie person. I am someone who watches a favourite movie again than choosing a new one. It doesn't help that even the rewatching of movies is a rare occurrence. So when I stumbled on Best of Enemies on my Netflix list and decided to watch it, it was a miracle in itself.

One thing that bothered me in recent years as an Indian, is how to make peace with my right-wing friends. It was a lost cause as per my radical self. If they can't see what sort of trauma these people are inducing, they lack empathy, right? I failed to understand that empathy is not a one-way street. Have I tried to understand their point of view without being my judgemental self? No! I always assume that such people had a comfortable life, without ever having to fight for anything in life, never had to face any discrimination and never had someone questioning their worth because of their inheritance. I am so quick to judge.

Let me come back to the movie.

It was easy to fall in love with the fire in Ann Water's eyes, but not with the KKK leader C.P.Ellis. I mean I am a liberal and how am I supposed to even bear with a KKK person. It is difficult to consider that they are also living breathing humans like us and there is no competition for the degree of suffering. The way Ann Waters sees CP and goes out of her way to help him is a lesson for all of us.

Life is hard for everyone even if one has everything that can make life easy. We fail to remember that each of us has our traumas to deal with and there are no exceptions. It doesn't matter whether you are white or black, man or woman, American or Asian etc. We cannot box people and generalize the suffering.

In this divided world, sometimes all we need to see each other, I mean to actually "see" each other, is to spend time with those who are different from us. When we all act like mighty and important and treat others with prejudice, it is not possible to unravel their stories or tell ours. But how many of us are ready for that?

Once in a while I go back and read the below quote from To Kill A Mockingbird to stop being judgmental. And you see, I am still the same.

“If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

– Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

For now, not writing off the right-wing friends itself is a big deal. Maybe one day I will be able to see their perspective also, without judging them. Till then we will remain as best of enemies.




In search of the stories I cannot hold in my heart

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In search of the stories I cannot hold in my heart

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