One Hundred to One

By Starlene Soler
October 9, 2011

Have you ever wondered why certain people are taunted, teased, bullied, abused, abandoned, talked down to and ostracized by society? I thought about this plenty of times in my life, however I never really knew what I could do about it.

There are enough support groups and people to talk to but there aren’t many things that are done to raise awareness. So now, I’m trying to raise awareness by using something I’m very passionate about: film.

This school semester in my video documentary class, I decided I’m going to film a project that I called “One Hundred to One.” Basically, I’m making an attempt to meet 100 people of all different diverse backgrounds, and document these meetings by video.

I’m going to sit down and have a conversation with 100 people one at a time, and learn as much about them as I can. The purpose of this documentary is to prove that two of society’s biggest issues are misjudgment and miscommunication. By learning as much as I can about different types of people, I’m helping to prove that just because someone is different by appearance, race, gender or ethnicity doesn’t mean that they’re much different than the majority.

Sometimes the reason why people are misjudged and misunderstood is because nobody takes the opportunity to understand them, which is what I’m going to attempt to do. Just because someone is different, it doesn’t give anyone the right to discriminate against them.

Although it’s impossible to form 100 relationships and keep in touch with all hundred people, sometimes someone just needs to know that they’re understood and that despite the way people make them feel, they’re not as different as they think. They still eat, sleep, breathe and bleed the same way everyone around them does.

Another purpose of this project is to try and build a community. Imagine how much more we could accomplish without hatred keeping us apart? Hopefully when my documentary is filmed and made public, it will inspire people to do the same as I’m going to do.

With any luck, people will see that not everyone is as different as it may appear. I’m hoping that my documentary will motivate them to try and meet people that are different than they are and choose not to judge them, but to understand them.

With a little research, I’m going to try and find an organization to donate to. I’m going to attempt to collect a donation of $1 from each person I meet and explain to them that their donation is going to go to an organization that needs their help. By doing this,  I’m going to give each person the feeling that they are making a difference just as I am trying to do with this project.

Every person has different traits and qualities that make them different, and if they all choose to come together and bring everything they have to the table and contribute to forming a strong community, a lot more can be accomplished. Every person’s ideas, every person’s strengths coming together to form one community can make a huge different. All we need is understanding and communication.

Judging someone you don’t know, or someone you hardly know, by the way they act, dress, walk or speak, is more harmful than you may think. However, it happens to everyone. It happens to me and it may happen to you. You might even be the one doing the judging.

Unfortunately, no one’s perfect. We all have different perceptions of what is enjoyable and what’s boring, what’s cool and what’s lame and what’s fun and what’s not so fun.

In the midst of all this judging, we sometimes don’t recognize a person that is truly unique. Sometimes it’s because they just don’t care what anyone else has to say about them; they do what they want and we should applaud that. We as people have a bad habit of agreeing with society, even when society is wrong. Just because society doesn’t agree with certain ways, doesn’t mean that you need to disagree as well.

There are people in this world that try to change who they are to satisfy society, but unfortunately all these people are really doing is covering up who they truly are. In some parts of the world,  left-handedness is considered evil. In our country that’s obviously not the case. So in places where that is the case, people are judged just by which hand is their dominant hand.

In many parts of the world the gay, bisexual and transgendered communities are also mistreated. Some people feel that it’s wrong to like someome of the same sex  and therefore you should be treated like less than a human being, however regardless of what gender a person is attracted to, that person still has the same feelings and emotions as the next person does.

Years ago,  people were still being mistreated for their skin color. The African American community was discriminated against in ways that are unimaginable, and the way they were treated was absolutely unacceptable, but why does skin color make people so much different?

If you think that skin color, left-handedness, sexual orientation and other traits that make people different are all unacceptable, then think about how difficult our lives would be if everyone were the same. If every person had the exact same traits and qualities, working together would be so much more difficult because all of our ideas would be the same. We need different ideas, we need different characteristics, we need understanding and we need to keep an open mind.

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Starlene Soler

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