It has been a while since I posted a new blog and I offer no excuse as you could probably care less, although I’d love to think you do! I have had a fascinating couple of weeks and here I go being Canadian again…sorry if this sounds like boasting.
Darlene and I (The life and business partner if you didn’t know) spent last week in London, England working on a special project that is a secret and I wish it wasn’t because I’m dying to tell everyone but have to wait until July when the nondisclosure agreement expires. If you haven’t been to London, you should put it on your “bucket list” as it truly is one of the great Cities of the World! On one of our two days off, we took an iconic double-decker bus from our hotel in Islington to Picadilly Circus (a smaller version of Times Square in New York) and ended up in Chinatown for lunch. It was a no-brainer to go for Chinese food. The huge majority of restaurants all over London are tiny so it is always an intimate experience. With that in mind, the rest of the patrons who came in were in close proximity. I have to be very transparent when I say this and if it sounds racist, that’s not my intention but looking around the majority of diners were Chinese so I said to Darlene, “The food must be good if the Chinese folks are eating here”. I can see how that sounds inappropriate but it is a really good point, right? As we were having our lunch, and it was crazy good, a couple of very attractive young women sat at the table right behind Darlene. I noticed them (married but not dead) and again, to be open here, one was olive skinned and the other was Chinese. Yes, I thought about the Chinese patron reference again but then I got a surprise.
The “Chinese” woman started speaking Italian! And I mean, “She was Speaking Italian!” Her hands were major animated and she was loud! Not angry, just expressive. Her table mate with the olive colored skin was also conversing in Italian but not nearly as animated. Look, this wasn’t the first time this has happened to me, but it struck me this time that it would be a good blog.
i think it’s a great example of what my last blog was about but that one focused on gender while this one is but an extension. I like to think of myself as very open minded and pretty much prejudice free but this made me think. It got just as weird later in the trip when one of the production team at a recording studio had black skin and grew up in Dublin, Ireland and had very strong Irish accent. It’s just funny to me how this kind of experience messes with your mind…and presumptions!
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say this happens to me all the time. People see me from afar or even close and they “presume” I’m “Disabled”. I get that. Of course, I’m not “Disabled” at all, but it is common, and typical, and I find it fascinating. What do you think? Has this happened to you? Did you learn from it?
I hazard a guess that “Presumptions” like this are often directly linked to true “Prejudice” but the line is fuzzy…and very personal. As usual, this subject could be much longer but I want to again keep it simple. The next time you see someone, be careful what you presume. And if you feel guilty when you have a moment like I did in London, chalk it up to a learning moment and hopefully you will grow as a result. I know I did!