I realized earlier this week that I had completely misjudged your character. My first realization was that I had been doing it over the last week, but a deeper reflection made me realize I’ve been doing it for years.
You are a Creative Giant. You are a member of a global, multicultural, compassionate, and creative group of changemakers. You are busy making this planet a better place for those of us currently on it and for those who will soon be here. You’ve also been excluded, othered, and labeled, and those actions have impeded your self-actualization in some ways and catalyzed your self-actualization in others.
I realized all of this as I was working out my inner stuff with regard to race, identity, and my breaking the silence about issues I normally don’t weigh in on. I wasn’t quite sure how or what I was going to tell you about it, as I assumed that it would be a Thing.
I try to live my life by asking “What if?” questions. I’ve started speaking about these issues on Facebook and on Medium, but those posts were written for a group of people that I know are curious or at least open to having this conversation. Not all of them are friends and not all of my friends are interested, and it’s definitely a “come as you are” affair.
But I assumed you were different from the people I’ve been talking to. I thought this issue wouldn’t be something you’d care much about — hell, I may not be somebody you care about — so sharing my story wouldn’t much matter.
In a fortnight full of feeling significant internal switches flipping, another one flipped and I asked myself, “What if your readers did care? (They are Creative Giants, after all.) What if they weren’t hostile? What if they were just as curious, lost, confused, compassionate, and committed as you are and needed an invitation to join the conversation? What if it wasn’t just about a transactional content relationship, but was a multidimensional human relationship where who we are as people matters because people matter?”
Flip. Flip. Flip.
It’s not like I haven’t known this about you, but I haven’t behaved as if it were true. So I misjudged your character not by consciously assuming you were someone else, but by unconsciously acting as if you wouldn’t be who you truly are. I didn’t even give you the chance. The irony that this is analogous to what happens every day when it comes to identity-ism is not at all lost upon me.
For now, I’ll continue to post my cultural commentary on Medium and Facebook and you’re welcome to join me there. We’ll also link to the essays in our weekly Pulse so you know they’re there. Based on my history, the more I write, the more I write, so you’ll likely see more here, too.
But I see you more clearly now and you deserved a fair shake that I didn’t give you. Sorry ’bout that, and I’ll try not to do it again.