I am sitting here crying my eyes out. Why? Baggage.
We all come with it, accumulated from our experiences, hopes, and fears.
Here’s the “Reader’s Digest” version:
I answered a call for help, and did a design for someone. They said it was perfect. Then I see they have used the design from someone else. Someone with a “majority” last name. My baggage reared its ugly head. I have a hispanic sounding surname, and I am asian and I am a woman. Guess what kind of baggage I’ve been carrying around. And guess what kind of assumptions I immediately made?
Fortunately today’s assumptions were 100% wrong. And that is why I am crying my eyes out. Today, I became one of the people I view as the “problem”.
99 and 99/100ths percent of the time, my assumption about what happened would have been correct. Today I was wrong, and I apologized. I wish I could be wrong about this set of assumptions more often.
I share this with you, because I have been seeing the post that reminds us all that we have biases. And today, mine came bubbling to the top. After years of this bias being reinforced, today it was not. In a weird way, I am thankful for that, and it unleashed a whole crapload of feelings I normally keep bottled up (because it is dangerous to share the hurt and anger).
I try not to judge an entire race by the actions of a few people. I try to take each person as they come, and accept them and their baggage. And I can hear the Yoda voice saying “Do or Do not, there is no try”. Most days I can accept with minimal judgment – I am human, I judge, I just usually keep it to myself.
Some days, I fail. Today was one of those.
I will do better going forward.
And maybe knowing that will help someone else do better, too. I can only hope.
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