After the input, I went ahead and drafted the DS. It is a rough draft so please, go at it and let me know what you think. I really don't want this to come off as if I was preaching my religion to my peers. I was just trying to get them to understand that Sikhism does not equal Islam and that I am not a terrorist.
hawaii wrote:Sitting in the trash can of my sophomore English teacher’s classroom was my picture in the school newspaper. Someone had so artfully modified it by placing me behind bars wearing a prison uniform and holding a sign that read “Mrs. Osama bin Laden.” No one had ever asked before where my parents were from or what religion I practiced, but after 9/11, that was the only thing my peers seemed to care about. I was born and raised in Hawaii, a place often referred to as the melting pot of diversity. Sadly, my ethnicity and religion were not among those represented on the islands; I can count the total number of Sikh children on the island of Oahu on just my hands alone.
I chose to believe that the person who defaced my picture in the school newspaper did so as a result of ignorance and not hate. A great majority of my peers had never left the state of Hawaii, let alone the island of Oahu, and as such, they had no exposure to Sikhism. While this had never been an issue prior to September 11th, this started to have a very real consequence for my life. I decided to use the prying questions from my peers as an opportunity to educate them about my religion.
Once the discussion began, the questions came pouring in. “Why do you wear that red dot on your forehead?” “What do you mean you have never cut your hair?” Sharing my religion and background opened others to talking about theirs. Listening to my classmates teach me about their different backgrounds truly opened my eyes to the world. It helped my peers and I realize that no matter where we had all come from or what religion we practiced, we still shared the common bond of growing up together in Hawaii. Our parents might have come from different ends of the earth, but we all loved listening to the ukulele, hanging out at the beach on the weekends, and occasionally enjoying some poi.
The more we all learned about each other, the more accepting we all became. That experience fostered a curiosity in me to learn more about cultures, religions, and points of views that differ from my own. This curiosity has proved to be an invaluable tool for me in life because it reminds me again and again that there is never just one way of looking at the world. My curiosity and experiences have provided me with a unique perspective that would make me a valuable asset to XYZ law school.