Readers' Submissions

Use The Force Luuk




My son is never far from my thoughts. As I see much of what is happening in the world, I wonder how I will explain it to him. How I will be able to make sense of it all, if that is possible, to be able to explain it at a level he will be able to understand. Even going back to my childhood, in an era where free love walked hand-in-hand with hatred, much defies any rational explanation. We hope that things get better over time. I’m still debating whether or not it is a better world that we’re living in today. Always one to be able to see both sides of the coin, it’s easy to make a case either way. And therein lies the rub. If a credible case can be made for the negative, how can we even begin to think that the world is a better place? There can be no doubt that we are technologically more advanced. If that were the mark of a people then surely history would judge us kindly. But I worry. I worry about the world my child will inherit. Killing for honor, or face. Killing over race. Or, God forbid, killing one another in the name of religion. If it were only the killing, perhaps it would not be so sad. Man, however, is not content merely with the kill. No, that is far too mundane. The cruelty that he inflicts upon his fellow man is ingenious in its perverseness.

It is easy to accept that what you see is an inevitability when you are a child. After all, you come to believe that your experiences are normal. If no one has taught you any differently, and until such time as you are old enough to reason for yourself, how can you be expected to believe that things could be otherwise? The innocence that a child is born into this world with is such a beautiful thing. Too often, however, those closest to them, those responsible for shaping and molding them, infuse them with their own prejudices and bigotries. Or they sit idly by as others do so. Evil is insidious. It quietly spreads like a cancer while many turn a blind eye. As adults, we have no excuse. While we are influenced by our past, we eventually reach a point where we should know better and where we are free to decide what type of world we want to live in. Unfortunately, we all too often make the wrong decisions. In the end, it is our children that pay for our mistakes.

Should it come as a surprise that change comes slowly? It’s inconceivable that, in this day and age, we still see each other more for our differences than our similarities. We fear that which is different, that which we do not understand. As long as that is the case, there can be no end to the violence. The fear is irrational and, therefore, likely to be much more difficult to overcome. That leaves our perception of one another. This is the point which seems to hold the most promise in ridding ourselves of the senseless barriers that have been erected between us. Is it so difficult, after all, to look upon your neighbor as your brother? For most, the answer is still, sadly, yes. That is because we still look with our eyes. We look and, yet, we do not see that which is so evident. When we can look with our hearts, through the innocence of a child’s eyes, we will be on the road to our salvation.

Time marches on; it waits for no one. Over time, I found myself drawn to those whose outward appearance was different from mine. It started with blacks. They were light-skinned but nonetheless black. Maybe this was just a result of the fact that I grew up in an area that was almost equally split between blacks and whites. Other races generally weren’t to be found. Then, with ever changing migration patterns, Hispanics / Latinos were introduced into the mix. It should come as no surprise that I found myself attracted to them. Then came an influx of Orientals and it is here that my heart seems to be drawn. Somehow, Thais found their way to the top of the list. Was it a gradual progression that brought this about or was this something that had always been a part of my genetic makeup? That is a question that I can’t answer because even I do not understand it. All I know is that, for some reason, I am drawn to Thais like a moth to a flame.

Everywhere you look, day after day, you will find bigotry rearing its ugly head. It is such a hateful thing. The narrow-mindedness of so many people saddens me. This, however, is something I can understand. I used to be them. Maybe not for the same reason though I generally do not take the time to see exactly what their problem is. When I was a child, due to the times, interracial relationships were not merely uncommon; they were, in fact, downright dangerous. Into my teens, I was opposed to interracial relationships not because I saw anything bad in them but because of how I saw the children of those unions treated. At least now the bigotry generally only manifests itself in looks or whispers. That it still exists at all is disheartening. Now, I see these relationships as a good thing. Good for our future. Either way, good or bad, if we are to be happy we must follow our heart wherever it leads us.

Regrets are a certainty in this life. Many have been the times that I wished I could go back and undo something I had done. We can’t. The best that we can hope for is that we, and others, learn from our mistakes. One thing I never regretted, never wanted to change, was the attractions that I felt in my heart. I know it would be easier to be attracted to someone who looks like me. Easier for me. Easier for my wife. Easier for my child. I say easier for my child but, so far, he has not really experienced any negative effects. For one thing, he is still too young. For another, he is in Thailand where being luuk-krueng (ลูก ครึ่ง) is very much in vogue. At least for today anyway. But to wish for any other life would be tantamount to wishing that my child had never been born, as if he were a mistake. That I simply cannot do. When I hear his laugh and see the smile on his face, I know that there is still hope for us.

Destiny is a matter of choice. If we are to have any hope at all, it will come from our children. Not just any children but these luuk-krueng, these half breeds. May the force be strong within them. We’ve already shown that we are not capable of adequately dealing with our prejudices. Perhaps they, being of two worlds, two races, will show more understanding, love and acceptance than we were ever capable of. They are the future. They are our future. I’m sure that man will be ever capable of thinking up new ways and new reasons to kill one another. After all, he’s always shown that he has a firm grasp on the irrational. In these children, however, I see a reason for hope. It may seem an extreme measure but the homogenization of the human race is probably her best chance for continued survival.

Stickman's thoughts:

I find it hugely ironic that you despise bigotry yet are drawn to a people who are notorious for exactly that!