I don't know why some events that happened in the past still affect those who live now. I was born in Japan but have lived in America for more than 13 years, and even now I feel out of place at times. Throughout my life, I have lived with a problem. It was not bad when I was young, but it was not all that good, either. For lunch I would bring rice, and people would make fun of me. If it were anyone else being made fun of, the reaction may have been different. With the way I was, I did not really care what others said, I just lived my life. The comments I do not remember exactly, but they were of a low level, and were enough to make me uncomfortable. Then I didn't really know why, but now I think I have an idea.
In the past, there have been conflicts between America and Japan. Even ignoring that, America has had conflicts with other countries just because of their own likes and dislikes.
When the movie "Pearl Harbor" came out, the principal at my Japanese school said it might have an effect on the way people act. It was just as he said. Many people said to me things that I dare not repeat. I do not hate them for it, but I do think of them as the dirtiest beings I know. Even so many years after World War II, people cannot forget the conflict between America and Japan. It is a thing of the past. Why can people not learn to just live with the past? I do not know.
If they insult me because of something I had nothing to do with, I could certainly do the same. When the two nuclear bombs hit Japan and ended WWII, hundreds of thousands of people died. I think the first bomb was understandable, but the second was pointless. People are still dying from the effects.
I will not go on jabbering because I believe people should not live in the past, but accept it and live a life that those before us bled for. We have these insults in this world for one reason only: people cannot accept anything different. When you dislike someone, you can blame race, sex or appearance, but at times people base it on the history of your people. Times have changed, but it means nothing if the minds of those living now do not change.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.