Colorblind

black-coffee“I am colorblind. Coffee black, and egg white. Pull me out from inside. I am ready… I am fine.” ~Counting Crows

Deep inside of each of us is a colorblind child waiting to take control once again, but it is a child who will go begging. Something about this world inevitably changes us from the moment we can comprehend who we are and start to envision our place in it. We try to get back to the ideal but individual bias blinds us to our own prejudice. The best we can do is try to see through the haze.

I have been accused of being prejudiced before, both from those who look like me and from those who resemble others. And I must say that each and every time I’ve been taken aback, but maybe I should analyze it further. I do judge others, and I do it often. I’ve never equated it with prejudice before, but perhaps that’s what it’s been all along. Judging others for what they cannot help, or for what they think they cannot help, never does anyone a bit of good.

We like to lie to ourselves, don’t we? We say we don’t judge others, and then we look at their clothing and shake our heads. We say we treat everyone the same, but people who remind us of ourselves get preferential treatment. We often talk about those who are different from us, ostensibly as a way to pass the time, but it’s more than that. It’s a way to make ourselves feel better about the people we think we can’t help being.

So no, I’m not colorblind, and I don’t know if I even want to be. Because when you’re colorblind you can’t tell the difference between unique characteristics. I want to see those differences. I just don’t want to judge because of them, so I am working on recognizing when I’m being judgmental and working to change those attitudes. I don’t want to be someone who talks badly about others, who thinks badly about others, or who lies to myself about those feelings.

I guess you can call it turning over a new leaf. Or maybe just bringing things back full circle, to those cradle days when those things didn’t matter in the first place.

Sam

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Water Cooler Musings: On Music

business group standing around water cooler.Haven’t you ever wondered where some people get their musical tastes from? I mean, every song, every artist someone likes probably has a story behind why they like the song or artist. I know for me I found some of my favorite singers/bands by some incredibly interesting ways, and their music spoke to me for a number of reasons.

I remember when I was 16 and I heard U2 for the first time (well, the first time when I realized it was them) on the radio on the way back from camp meeting that summer. The song was “Lemon,” and it was playing on an alternative music station, back when alt stations actually played music that wouldn’t have classified as mainstream. But I heard the song, and I was hooked. Now they’re my favorite band.

But you wouldn’t think I was a U2 fan if you just looked at me, because music is something that is personal, something internal that can’t be seen on the outside. That’s one of the things about music, that it can bring people together who wouldn’t otherwise have anything in common. It’s like magic, but you don’t know what music someone else likes unless you ask them or they tell you. Today, around the water cooler, we talked about what our music says about us.

Me: I bet I can tell what kind of music you listen to?

Teddy: Try me.

Me: I’m thinking you have a sensitive spirit, so maybe… 1970s groove, like Marvin Gaye.

Teddy: Guess again. I like that sensitive spirit stuff though.

Me: Marilyn Manson?

Teddy: Not quite.

LeRoy: I liked me some Marilyn Manson back in the day.

Me: Why doesn’t that surprise me?

LeRoy: So what else do I like?

Me: I’m thinking… Coldplay.

LeRoy: Keep thinking. Although I am a child of the 90s.

Me: Snoop Dogg? Continue reading “Water Cooler Musings: On Music”

Reason to Believe

Rod-Stewart-Reason-To-Believe-430727“If I gave you time to change my mind, I’d tried to leave all the past behind. Knowin’ that you lied straight-faced while I cried, still I look to find a reason to believe.” – Rod Stewart

I want to believe the best in others. In fact, anytime I meet someone knew I give them the benefit of the doubt, even if I’ve heard things about them that might give others pause. I guess I’m just naive maybe, but I think I should get to know someone myself before judging them. Too often I think we tend to judge others based on hearsay instead of talking to them first.

I’ll admit I’m not perfect. Maybe that’s why I want to give others a chance, because I wish they wouldn’t pre-judge me. That’s one of the glories of human nature, though, and too many have bought into the theory that if enough people say something that makes it true. Too often those mistaken beliefs will cloud our vision. That’s not to say that sometimes those rumours and assertions aren’t true, because, yes, sometimes they are, but let me find that out for myself.

Perhaps that’s why I have several friends who don’t seem to have any other friends besides me. Which is okay by me. It’s like finding diamonds in the rough, like I have a secret society of superheroes who have powers others simply don’t appreciate. Now, that doesn’t mean I let people walk all over me. Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness, but I do give people that benefit of the doubt. I believe wholeheartedly in the adage, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

But romantic relationships are different, though, right? We guard our hearts like a vault. But I will admit I haven’t. Continue reading “Reason to Believe”

Flawless

4362daf57fa21b78372d3b8f1183b595“We are, at our essence, inherently flawed beings who nevertheless consistently insist upon denigrating others for being just as flawed as we suppose we are not.” -Theodicus, 1896

Why do we have an overwhelming tendency to judge others? What is it in our makeup that makes us believe we are better than other people when we are all the same? Everyone has made some stupid decisions in their lives. Some were lucky enough to live through them, while others went completely under. But for everyone who has survived a stupid decision, have they truly survived or are they paying for it through the rumor mill for the rest of their lives? Wow, there are a lot of questions in this paragraph, but it honestly makes me think about the world we live in and why anyone would want to be honest when they’re just going to be judged one way or another in perpetuity.

I’m not saying I’m immune to it either, but at least I think about it. And I am grateful to those people who also think about it before judging others because nobody’s perfect. My father used to always say that the only difference between us and people in jail is that they got caught, and I honestly think he’s right on that one. So many of us have deep, dark secrets that we hope never come to light, even if just for the embarrassment factor, but what we really worry about is the judgment of others. We spend so much time trying to be what others imagine we are that we forget who we really are. And if people are truly your friends they won’t judge you for the stupid mistakes you’ve made.

Hmmm. But wait. Continue reading “Flawless”

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