Yesterday sitting around with a bunch of my colleagues was enlightening. One of the men joined the group of us and started out by discussing his ethnicity. He said “Yeah, where I grew up was a Waspy, all white neighborhood and they made fun of me because I was different and had a Latino name, but I didn’t speak a word of Spanish.” He was being funny, so everyone laughed, including me.
Then I looked around the room. There was a Filipino, two African Americans and a couple of Hispanics and me, white, Anglo Saxon…WASPy, I guess.
All week I have worked closely with my colleagues and never once did I see color, ethnicity, or even a bit of difference. I never see those things. To me, they are just people. It took someone who sees nothing but color and ethnicity, to make me even look. The realization made me sad.
I wondered why he told that story.
I wondered if he meant to single me out.
And then I remembered who I am.
I am not the one who is afraid or ashamed of being different. And then everyone went back to being just people I work with. Including him.