I don’t know what it is today, but I am feeling feisty. Nothing has really triggered it. Maybe its just a matter of finally catching up on some sleep after last week. Regardless…I am feeling a little fired up and just fed up with people making assumptions.
There are so many ways all of us make assumptions every day. You know me…I own my shit and I am guilty of doing it to. I constantly try to be better about it. The work I have done in health care has helped me a great deal. The same is true of the assumptions that have been made about me over the years. Those have helped open my eyes as well.
Assumptions made about me started long before I ever started my journey. My grandfather was a prominent doctor in the small town where I was born. My father was a successful businessman as well. Our family was in the “social circles” back home and so everyone assumed that our lives were easy. In a lot of ways, our lives were easy when I was younger. All of that changed after the death of my father though.
Following his death, his widow, my step-monster, took all of the money from his estate and wasted it without giving a penny to support my brother, sister and I. My mother was barely making ends meet and my grandfather wasn’t stepping up to help me and my siblings. My mother and step-father managed to make ends meet…barely. Most of the outside world never knew how tight the finances were though as everyone just assumed we were doing well and/or my grandparents were supporting me.
The only area our grandparents did support us in was our education. Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that they covered all of our costs. We had to apply for grants, scholarships and loans and if there was anything that still needed to be payed toward tuition, room and board…my grandfather would pay for that but nothing else. Spending money? We had to earn that on our own.
Thankfully he supported my brother, sister and I with our education. That allowed all three of us to go to fairly prominent boarding schools and colleges. My sister and I are still paying off college though from our student loans. My brother came out of college dept free only because he went to the Naval Academy. Otherwise, he would have had a ton of debt too.
I know for me, the assumptions that I was and have remained the rich kid have carried on since college. As soon as anyone hears where I went to high school and college, I usually hear some comment about my family must have money right away. It bugs me because I worked so hard to attend college and am still working hard to pay my debt off. When you throw in grad school, the only way I could afford that was because work paid for a significant portion of my classes.
And, of course, the assumptions continue regarding my journey. Lord, can I even begin to list the assumptions that have been made about me since I started disclosing? Let’s see…the short list is…that I’m mentally ill, that this is a choice, my sexual identity, that I am a sexual deviant, my religious faith, my political affiliation, etc, etc, etc.
I guess it just bothers me that we, as a society, are so quick to judge other people…period. Some of the most intelligent people I know never spent a day in college. Some of the most caring people are covered in tattoos and drink and smoke like crazy. Some of the most ignorant people I know have attended the best schools in the country. Some of the meanest people on the planet attend church and bible study every week.
With all of the violence and prejudice in the world, which was highlighted by last Friday’s attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, why do we continue to make assumptions about others without even knowing them? Why do we assume that someone is anything based upon their physical appearance? Why do we assume someone is wrong because they worship a different higher power or don’t worship at all? Why do we assume someone is a deviant because of who they are inclined to love and/or how they choose to present their inner identity to the world?
As I said…I am not perfect. But I’ll be damned if I’m not going to try to be better every day. Otherwise, what defense do I have when someone chooses to judge me without even knowing me?
See it on Flickr.
Foxcity – Thirsty 2m
R ZX1200 POLIPOTITION SERIES
BACKDROP – Alley Bar – pinks