Family / Rant / Thoughts

It’s the little things

12-05-abstract-tree-of-life

I’m built to be a nit-picker
Wired that way.
I don’t mean to be critical,
Just to be sensitive to how others may feel.

When you say: She’s black, but I just love her.
I know you don’t mean anything by it,
But
It sounds like being black is a barrier to being loved in your mind.
When you say: You must be a Jew
When talking about money
You insist being cheap is a compliment to you
But
It sounds like you’re using Jewish-ness as an insult.
When you say: They’re living off the government
It sounds like you think they’re lazy.
You compare them to your single Mom
Who never needed to take anything from the government
But
I hear you insult my family because
We have.
Needing help is weakness in your eyes
But not in mine.

I say nothing now because
You’ll defend intentions and never change it
Because I have said things about it until I’m blue in the face
And you don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.
There’s a difference between being mean unintentionally
And joking with someone intentionally.
Once you met a Saudi Arabian friend of mine
Your first action to shake his hand,
Your first comment: You’re not a terrorist, are you?
And that was funny.
Why?
Because you know he’s not
You know we are not
And you are bringing him into our club.
We all laughed together.
That is laughing with.
When you met my Mexican friend,
And preceded to quiz him on
Why
His people needed to come here and get benefits,
Why
His people couldn’t learn English
That was not funny.
And it’s the little differences.
Ways to read people and
Ways to know if you’re bringing them into your club to laugh with you
Or if you’re pushing them into the Other category.
I love you
But
You lack the ability to discern which is which.

Every conversation is the beginning of a club
A secret society in which you are either in or out.
Majority or minority,
Laughing with or being laughed at.
We create our community based on who agrees with whom
And we create it with our words in conversation.
Each one is a new decision to leave in or keep out.
And I wish I could make you see the difference.
And I wish the fits I’ve thrown made any difference to you,
But
They never did.

Now I need to ask myself how can I let you in?
How can I bring you into my club
A club of people, I hope,
Are more aware of who they are leaving out.
Are more aware of the people they make theirs.
Are more aware of what their words mean to others
And how important
It is
That your words be gentle
Especially to those who don’t know you
Especially to those you want to get to know you.
How I can I help you better understand
That you can hurt someone
Without meaning to
That you can push them out
When you mean to take them in
That intentions are not everything
In fact, they are nothing when it comes to words.
Intentions are not a defense,
Or an apology.
They are another way to push more people out.
They are another way to stay an immature teenager
To stay misunderstood
To remain in minority.
The truth is:
You were never a minority,
And that keeps you from understanding.
Maybe if you owned that
That identity of majority
And held yourself accountable for it.
But how I can help you get there?
To a place where you realize
It’s all about the little things.

I’m built to be a nit-picker
Wired that way.
I don’t mean to be critical,
Just to be sensitive to how others may feel.
But
Then again, I suppose I mean to be critical,
Don’t I?

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4 thoughts on “It’s the little things

  1. This is beautiful. And these words sat on my shoulder

    “That intentions are not everything
    In fact, they are nothing when it comes to words.
    Intentions are not a defense,
    Or an apology.
    They are another way to push more people out.”

    And replayed lots of conversations. Thank you.

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