Wendy is from the Hainan Province of China; an island in the South China Sea. She left her family to attend a university located in the middle of mainland China, then returned home when she graduated. Five years ago, Wendy emigrated to Australia with her son and husband. She recently began attending church and when she heard about this series, was happy to share some of her experiences, saying and how good is that our Adventist community is focusing on what happened in the world recently and that she would ‘like to contribute to keep Aussie living in a peaceful lifestyle.’ Here is her story…
When I think back over the last five years, to be honest, I have attributed some of the things I have experienced to people’s rude behaviour rather than racism.
There have been a few things. A client in a business meeting made a joke while squinting his eyes (two of us at the meeting were Chinese). I responded by opening my eyes wide and saying ‘It seems my eyes are bigger than yours’, but the others in the meeting didn’t say anything – it didn’t seem they were embarrassed by it, just used to it.
Even now, thinking about it, that incident doesn’t upset or hurt me. He wasn’t meaning to abuse me. I just think he was trying to impress everyone else and going about it the wrong way. A bit of shame on him.
One day recently I was standing in front of the fridge at the supermarket thinking about if I should get a bottle of milk, and a man said ‘Get out of the way!’ He was just a rude person. Shame on him. I felt really uncomfortable and even a bit sick. I wanted to ask him why he said it but finally didn’t – I didn’t think it would change anything or how he thought and acted. And even now, i wish i had said something – perhaps ask him if he was ok. That might have made him realise he was rude, and stop him hurting someone else. But God will sort him out. I have even been able to forgive him as I think he must be very nervous in a tough time impacted by the pandemic.
I believe there are always some people who do bad things wherever they are: in Australia or China or anywhere else in the world. And there are always people with golden hearts trying to live a better way. God’s way. And each one of us gets to choose. Will we let ourselves respond to the bad, to hurtful things, the racist things that others do to us, retaliating in kind? Or let ourselves be upset, hanging onto the hurt and becoming bitter?
Or will we choose to try and see the good in people and that they are suffering too? To give the offender the benefit of the doubt? Recognising that they are the one with the problem, not ourselves, and leave it to God to sort out.
That is what I try to do.