I lost my blogging virginity about a month ago, when I introduced Joie D’Vivre (firstname.lastname@example.org) the life coach who offers really simple practical suggestions. My post since then have been about helping readers understand what life coaching is; since the daily prompt today is understanding I thought why not get on the band wagon.
There is a story I love. It is about a young black British-Caribbean woman (let us call her Miss L for ease) in her early twenties. She arranged to meet her childhood guy friend (Mr O) and his new girlfriend in London. Thou Miss L had never met the girlfriend, she was party to several conversations about her attributes and interest including her love of dance and the fact that her derriere was lovely. When Miss L arrived at the meeting place, she gives Mr O (a tall dreadlock wearing tall black man) a big hug; she then turned to her right to say hi to the black woman who had been standing next to him. But she had already started walking away. With acquired British ease, Miss L smiled as the white woman on her left, was introduced as the girlfriend. While she had to admit the girlfriend’s derriere was indeed lovely, she also had to admit that it is was 2006 and she had made an assumption about the girlfriend’s race based on stereotypes.
Miss L briefly explained race in the Caribbean islands; how in her grandparents generation many felt that marrying white was marrying up. In fact her father’s god-mother told her mum, ‘I don’t know why he married you, we sent him away to school to better himself and marry a white woman’. Mr O and Miss L parents were in the next generation of educated black professionals who where strongly influenced by the ‘black is beautiful movement’ and tried to discard of the notion that ‘marrying white was marrying right’. They and their childhood friends where raised to be proud of their skin color, to celebrate the rich Caribbean and African history that flows in their veins.
Following the meeting the two friends had a frank, open conversation, done in a way that only true friends can. Mr O explained that dating a white lady had nothing to with him feeling inferior as a black man and everything to do with him falling in love with his friend and dance partner. You see Mr O was open to possibilities while Miss L lacked understanding and she did not even know it, yes the initials chosen where deliberate :).
The simple truth is we only seek to increase our understanding, if we know there is a gap in our knowledge and we actually want to close those gaps.
#Lookwithin- Do you want to close your knowledge gaps and increase your understanding? Then again, perhaps there are somethings you do not want or need to understand.