I'm sure I'm not the only person that knows through adversity comes the greatest of things. If I didn't get hospitalized for my 2nd manic episode I wouldn't have met my psychiatrist who worked at the hospital. He's changed my entire life.
After this election I was pretty emotional. Working with foster teens who are primarily minorities gives me a front-row seat to the issues. What I didn't realize was in a way I was segregating too. And it took this election for me to realize it.
Asian people. For some reason in my mind I can't connect with "them." When someone cuts me off in a car and they happen to be asian I can just hear myself saying, "Of course." While I don't like to admit it, it's there. So I decided I needed to bridge that gap, one Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Vietnamese person at a time.
Every month I bring in two of my shirts to get tailored at L & H tailoring in North Park. The man there, who happens to be Vietnamese, has very broken english. What you would imagine at a nail salon. He has been in my life for about 8 months. I had dropped my clothes off to him around November 10th, right after the election. As I was leaving I stopped in the doorway. If he was clearly born here with perfect English I would have had conversations with him by now. I turned to him and said, "What's your name?"
Minh has been in business for over 20 years in San Diego. He use to only do tailored suits. His store was a lot bigger back then. Minh has lived in San Diego longer than I have. Minh is just like me. We both want to live our dreams and be left alone in our happiness. We both deserve respect and we do not deserve to be ignored.
The least we can do as humans is acknowledge one another.
I'm sure I'm not the only one that completely ignores the lady at the nail salon, the man at the tailor shop, the woman making home made tortillas at Pancho Villa grocery store. People who have broken english who are clearly, "not from here." As a white person, it is my absolute obligation to bridge the gap. To make minorities feel heard.
At the gym yesterday, I took a look around me. People. People everywhere. We all have the same parts. We all have thoughts. We all have souls and we all have hearts. We all love and we all hate. It's time to start connecting to one another. It's time to stop pretending we aren't all in this together. Because we are.