#MEExposed: We Ain’t From the same place! #Assumptions
A victim of the societal assumption box, maybe because of my light-skinned complexion, curly hair, schools I attended, way I speak, jobs of my parents, country that I live in (I could go on and on)…I strangely seem to get into conversations with people who assume that we have the same upbringing and background.
Baffles me that someone can start a monologue (as all I have gotten to do is smile and nod in this ‘conversation’) and then easily include you into it. I know this is not exclusive to me, but I sure have experienced it a lot. I get the joy of being a rootsy Jamaican musician (aka 9 to 5s as a music teacher somewhere), an educated doctor, a hispanic (oh yes I’m Dominican), an African (I’m also Ethiopian, and if I went there without speaking they wouldn’t know…well so the Ethiopian taxi driver told me, and an Ethiopian 7/11 store clerk), a Black-American, a Trini (cuz clearly I don’t sound Jamaican enough sometimes *big side eye*), half white/Indian or Chinese (because of my “good hair”, cah mi muss mix wid supm), a Christian (because of my pleasant demeanor)…I did say I could go on and on right? But this has been MY life.
So back to the story. Recently an acquaintance started talking about how they enjoyed connecting to ‘the people’ of our country based on a few recent experiences they had. Experiences which in summary brought them in contact with ghetto people, which made them appreciate how happy our people still are in poverty, because they make ends meet by different means than the more well off - One pot, tenament yaad, buy lickle lickle, but still able to reeeeey when a time fi reeeey kinda tings. For them it seemed like such a far removed thing to be connected to one’s own culture, and apparently my gold-spoon appearing ass was riding in the same boat as them. They had lost touch, but I have never felt that way, but the graciousness my maturity has taught me, ensured I continued to smile and nod while my mind said otherwise.
For this blog post to have any real value to me, I refuse to justify the details of my life experiences as to why I didn’t feel the same way as this person. I refuse to prove what I have been through and who and what I’ve been exposed to; why I can identify as a true Jamaican, despite all the things that may make you think otherwise. The point is that I’m a Jamaican and it doesn’t matter, and you have no right to assume anything else about my Jamaicaness.
I have nothing to prove to anyone, and never should you feel you have to either, but never shall you assume that we live the same realities. Very few people do. There is always one or a few things that will make us very different. No common high school or social class can equalize us.
Many have lived hard lives which they have overcome, allowing them to appear better off. Others have lived quite privileged lives, and appear to be extremely humble, plus the many combinations and variations of these.
My grand point is that people will make YOU into what THEY WANT based on what THEY have been exposed to in their lives, as well as what you choose to share with them. This means you could be anything to anyone…So assume nothing about anyone. You have nothing to prove to anyone, but to just be yourself. Your actions, personality and reputation will speak for you.
Happy 52nd Independence Day Jamaica!! May you continue to shine as a nation, despite our challenges.