Do you see me?
I may be a lot more like you than you think. I grew up growing up making mud pies, playing jacks, watching Shirley Temple, Laurel & Hardy and Abbott & Costello movies. I grew up going to Sunday School. My brother played baseball and football. I was no good at sports, so I became a cheerleader. I was taught to respect adults. We had Saturday chores. We got to stay outside until the street lights came on, or the call of my mom.
Growing up, I believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and took photos on their laps. Once for Easter, my mom bought my brother and I those cute little baby chicks that were turquoise, pink and green. My mom used to dress us for the holidays. Yes, on the 4th of July, we used to wear red, white, and blue. I cried when President Kennedy was assassinated. My mom bought me a book on the assassination, which I read more than once. I remember where I was when I found out. I was never taught to hate people that did not look like me.
Do you see me? I do see you. I have worked with you. I went to school with you. I’ve played with you.
I think that we have more in common than not. Us females struggle with our identity, right? We grew up wanting to fit in. We all struggle with our hair. We all know about bad hair days. We’re always trying to look like everybody else until we grow to embrace who we are. Boys, they just want to be cool. They don’t want to look weak. They too want to fit in.
Our individual life experiences may vary somewhat, but basically we are the same.
We need to go beyond the glass façade that keeps us from getting to know each other. Ignorance is not bliss. Familiarity breeds understanding and empathy which could ease tensions and divisions.
Can we try?