In Dutch we have a nice expression about a love-hate relationship. It's about loving something a lot, but also immediately disliking it. I would actually like to separate and conjugate those words.

In this case, I want to write about racism. I regularly hear extreme statements like "dirty foreigners," "niggers," "fortune seekers" and more such hateful expressions. As a Catholic, I do not look at a person's appearance or origin, but at how that person opens up. In this, mutual love is leading.

I have many international contacts, mainly Latinos abroad and people of varied origins in the Netherlands. I notice that I open myself up to various cultures. I am still quite young, but I think my life experience that I have gained in recent years has had a great influence on who I am.

When I look at specific examples, I try to adapt to the person. For example, I have a neighbor from Africa. He is a Muslim, has a black skin color, but always says a very friendly goodbye, anywhere in the city. Another example is that I prefer to greet people in their native language. With some languages it can take a lot of effort to learn it, but I am happy to do that.

Another example is the love I have for women. When I fall in love with a woman, it doesn't have to be a white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. I can just as easily fall in love with a dark-skinned Panamanian with brown eyes. The skin color doesn't matter at all. What matters is the heart of the person.

So in terms of both love relationships and relationships between our loved ones, language, religion or skin color should make no difference. When you look at the heart of the person across from you, you see true beauty.

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