Growing up in a lower middle class Russian Christian Orthodox family, I never met other races, other religions or other cultures. Truthfully, it was almost like I didn't see the rest of the world or its other people. I look back at photographs of myself as a child, and recognize my childhood friends' faces. These faces I see, are all of the same ethnic background, same neighborhood, and very often of the same religion. I look back at my childhood memories and wonder, why did my parents never let me absorb the beautiful other cultures? Why did my parents never let me see the world for what it is? Why was I bound and constricted to people of my kind, and only these people?
I continue to wonder the answers to these questions and never dare confront my father or mother for the answers to these questions; for I am afraid of the answers they will give me. I am afraid my parents will respond with laughter or perhaps even a candid racist comment.
On the first day of high school; I walked between overwhelmingly large columns and entered a majestic enormous door. It was a frightening experience, one like no other. As I strode through my new school, I looked down upon the people of black and Hispanic race. I gathered with other students who were too Russian and we continued to march in our school with our heads held high. I look back to the first couple of months of high school and still cringe and get sick to my stomach. I was outwardly racist. I was blind, It was utterly invisible the type of person I became. After a year of being in one of the most eminently diverse high schools in Brooklyn, New York; I changed. I grew into my own person. I realized that my friends, family, and peers had everything all wrong. This challenging recognition was one that took time, patience and wisdom. I hate to give blame to others for my own past mistakes; therefore I continue to lay a great deal of responsibility on myself. I feel genuine shame for my late discovery.
As I look back at my years in high school, I can't help but give immense appreciation to my school and the people I was once forced to meet and befriend. I also can't honestly admit that the people who agreed with how I once felt ever changed but I know I have. I can never precisely put my finger on what changed my perceptive, but it is apparent that my high school had a lot to do with it.
I'm iffy about how I ended the essay. If you have any suggestions or criticism, please tell me everything. I really want to add about how I've become a hippy and how I always say that "
I'm a lover, not a fighter". But I'm pretty sure there's no way of forming those sentences without them sounding unprofessional.
I will try to answer any of your unanswered threads asap. Thank you so much.