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Thursday, November 03, 2016

Deep thoughts

Is Facebook killing the blog?  

Perhaps. I find that I have begun to journal there, but here are two tidbits I have written that I'd like to share:  

Oct 22
I keep waking up with one word on my mind: lenses. 
Our lenses influence how we interpret the world. They are first constructed by our parents and as children our lenses mirror theirs as we think they can do no wrong. Think of these as the eyes you are born with. Then our friends and teachers start to add adjustments to help us see things differently or more clearly. Think of these as your first pair of corrective glasses. At some point many of us decide our parents are completely crazy or that we trust others more than them, and we over correct our lenses , likely to spite them. Have you ever tried on someone else's glasses? Leaves things out of focus, doesn't it? By the time we mature we've shed a lot of the eyeglasses that we have put on over the years.. sometimes we have a lot of glasses to shed. We might have piled on numerous pairs too. Right on top of each other. Including sunglasses to help shade us and rose-colored glasses to protect our hearts. We eventually replace these multiple pairs of glasses with contact lenses crafted from the multitude of all of the adjustments we have made over the years and install them over the eyes of our parents viewpoint. Some of these contact lenses are thick and heavy, sometimes they are thin and light. But at this point the transformation is pretty much complete. 
Life events and circumstances may still make us put in some eyeglasses temporarily as we learn and experience things, but we either take those back off, or get our contact prescription corrected to integrate our new glasses. 
Then we go through life facing situation and events based on our own journeys through our custom made lenses. This is why we butt heads. So the next time you're in an argument or disagreement remember it took a lot to shape their point of view. They're not nuts or bad people... mostly. They've had different experiences. 
That's what I think.

Nov 3

I find that I navigate a world that isn't necessarily for me. I'm rarely conscious of it most of the time. Many would argue with that assertion, but I walk through the world, a world that is largely devoid of people who look like me, and I forget that I am the "one of these things that don't belong here". 
But then people remind me. A black person might say, "why do you belong to that organization, when there is one specifically for us". A non black person might make a joke about my food choices, or my hair, or me "taking off my earrings to fight someone" that makes me ask myself the same question. It's akin to someone tapping me on the shoulder and saying "you know you're black right?... just saying". 
That's kind of how I walk through this world, just being me, pretty happy to be surrounded by all the hues, and cultures and nuances, and then someone says... Hey, you're different, or, even worse, you look different, but you're special because you act like one of us. 
These micro aggressions (so glad there's a word for it now) do get under my skin and make me sad. Sad to the point of anger and depression. 
I would love to live in a world where race is nothing but a social construct and does not exist, but others don't let me. So I have embraced it as of late and folded it into my previously oblivious being and learned to deal with it. How can I pretend race is not real when people are always calling it out. Do I look at them and say "race is a social construct, so I have decided to reject it?" (actually that might be fun)... But pretending it does not exist, does not help me when my kid comes home and tells me they "played slave today" a school program on purpose.. Or some kid in my daughters class asks her "do your parents beat you because you are black" and then refuse to believe her when she says no... Oh, and how about when you hear her friends (non black friends) joking that your daughter is "A STRONG BLACK WOMAN WHO DON'T NEED NO MAN".. hand snaps included. 
I know these things aren't meant to cause harm and are said out of jest or curiosity, and I don't want people to clam up and not talk at all, because people are awkward and say stupid things.... I know I do. But you can't tell me I have to ignore the fact that I am black, and all that entails when YOU won't. 
That is all. 
This is not personal... just one of those days when my existence weighs heavily on my heart.

1 comment:

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Oh wow. I hope, I really hope, that I am a person who acknowledges differences but never makes you feel "less than." Please do call me out on it if I fail. That's ridiculous stuff you just described. So sorry. :(