I See You. Teach Me to Know You.

I am spending more time than usual thinking about my world these days.  I am intentionally slowing myself down and listening very closely to what people have to say.  I am paying closer attention to the words they use.  Their mannerisms.  The inflections in their voices as they speak.  I think I’ve always been a good listener, but I think I can be better.  My intention is to understand.  I think in today’s world more understanding is needed.

Today my focus is on skin color.  Given the circumstances the world is facing these days, this is a hot topic.  It always has been, but I think it is being reignited and being left to rage out of control in many instances and it has to change.  Though I would love to say I have the answer(s), I know I don’t, but I do have some thoughts to share.

So many I have spoken with recently have stated at some point in the conversation that they “don’t see skin color.”   I DO SEE SKIN COLOR.  I see it as clearly as I see the color of their eyes.  The length of their hair.  Their height.  Their weight.  Their choice of clothes.  The way they walk.  And it all matters to me.  It matters because that is what makes them the unique person standing in front of me.

So YES! I see your skin color.  And when I do, regardless of what color it is, it makes me think about what your circumstances may be.  It makes me focus on why you might think the way you think.  It makes me realize that we are not the same, nor did I come from the same place as you, and that I have much I can learn from you.  It makes me want to question and discover and become a better person!

Please don’t hate me for the questions I ask or the way I ask them.  I am curious and I am trying to learn and understand.  Please don’t turn against me because I unknowingly said something that deeply offends you.  Teach me.  Help me understand why what I said or did is so hurtful to you.

Though I try very hard not to be racist, I willingly admit that to some extent, I am sure I am.  After all, I have my set of circumstances too.  I was raised in a family that has their own set of values and ideas about the world around them, just like you were raised according to your family’s ideals.  This doesn’t make us bad people, it makes us different.  And I do think we are all doing the best we can with what we know.

So if we are all doing the best we can with what we know, it is our job, TOGETHER, to help each other know more.   To understand each other.  To slow down and listen to the person in front of us.

The root of racism is fear. Fear comes from a lack of knowledge.  We can choose, everyday,  to teach others and to alleviate much of the fear in our world. We can choose to be compassionate.  We can choose to make this world more peaceful.

“People are motivated by fear but inspired by love.”

~ Lance Secretan          

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I See You. Teach Me to Know You.

  1. DF says:

    The thing is, we are 99.2% or maybe 98% percent the same. Environment, circumstances, History on a wordly scale and personal history make changes to our trajectories and life stories, and our genes’ expressions – perhaps there’s something to epigenetics. Conditions make us different but conditions and culture (which is a human invention), geography and religion make us differ too. Yet, all these same things can conspire to make us more alike than different. What we have to remember is that we have control over how we act around our differences. The choices are curiousity versus criticism, adaptation or understanding versus fear and the need for control. In the 1300-1500s and likely before, especially with the Crusades, an ideology of light versus dark of enlightened versus savage developed. Literally, black was darkness, evil, the mark of the devil. The associations turned into a paternalistic inspired master over slave culture. Darker skinned humans were seen as less than human. But we forget it was a culturally mediated choice. The first step is to assume there is no difference, that we all bleed the same. The next step is to acknowledge that living conspires to create differences, man made ones. So, we can choose shift our perspective and accept one another as variations on the beauty in all of us, rather than others to be feared. And we can work toward justice together when we see that some of the differences in our circumstances are the result of discrimination, or differences we never controlled – and work to include everyone. This is a great post.

    • mo22tivation says:

      And your comment is a great comment! We are all the same to a point. We cannot pretend to not see differences. We can acknowledge and accept them because we all have them, at first glance. I love this line of yours . . .
      “So, we can choose shift our perspective and accept one another as variations on the beauty in all of us, rather than others to be feared. And we can work toward justice together when we see that some of the differences in our circumstances are the result of discrimination, or differences we never controlled – and work to include everyone.”
      By acknowledging the differences we SEE, a conversation can begin. And it is an HONEST conversation that is needed so badly right now, instead of sweeping it under the carpet or running in fear. We need to educate each other. We need to learn to LISTEN. Thanks for sharing your thoughts . . .I think they’re good ones! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s