So this post is sort of dedicated to the teacher I have been helping along with Martin at the Art Museum. By the way, this is not a good dedication. Not that I don’t like the teacher in fact I do, let’s call him Mr.Brown cause he is brown (no offense intended). Anyway it was something that he said that caught my attention( and not in a good way). Ok, so i am just setting up the paint station, Martin- who happens to be white- is out of the room at the moment and he says to me “Mercy, how is it dealing with black kids when you are so smart”. So at that moment i’m like wait a second is that what i just heard from this black person. So i know he was referring to African Americans in general when he mentioned black people since we are in America. So my response was that ever since I had been living here, I have gone to school for smart people (i.e. magnet schools -google for reference). So irregardless of race, we were all there to learn. Sure there was the bullies but mainly those bullies bullied out of jealousy of my intelligence like when I would teach the class a shortcut I had discovered for a Math question. So we went on talking where he stated “all these black children here are just lazy, don’t want to use their brains”. What i wanted to say was “that’s a generalization and i think it’s unfair to make that statement considering there are black children who work hard in school”. But what i said was “true. but I usually don’t surround myself with those people. I usually hang out with foreigners or children of foreigners”. But recently, I have started hanging out with the black kids of my IB college program and these are people who are fully committed to success like me. So anyway, back to Mr.Brown. The conversations transitions to talking about the diversity in our schools. Martin goes to a private school-primarily white- and says that he wishes that even though he is friends with a Nigerian and Korean, he wishes there was more diversity.
In the event of Kanye West saying “slavery was a choice” and people we looked up to such as Morgan Freeman being accused of sexual harassment, we have to acknowledge the duality of human existence. A person can be a great musician, actor, co-worker etc but still be a less than perfect human. When we revere people to the extent of unrealistic adoration, we are bound to be disappointed because no one can ever live up to such expectations.
In the words of Tupac, “ a role is something people play and a model is something people make. Both of those things are fake.” I think it’s okay to have a role model for a specific facet of their life but not for their entire being. For example, we can admire Michael Jackson for his work ethic but not for his other life choices. We can admire Kevin Hart for his humor but not for his infidelity. When we realize that people are more complex than what we see with our eyes, we allow them to make their choices and have their peace.
I was watching an interview of Keke Palmer on the Breakfast Club radio show. Let me just say Keke is able to dissect being human so well for a person who is just 24 years old. In the interview, she discusses going through depression and growing up in the limelight. Her most interesting discussion for me is when she recalls the first time that her parents fell short of her expectations. She wasn’t trying to throw her parents under the bus. She was simply making the point that everyone is bound to disappoint us at one point or another. However, the greatest disappointment is when our parents first let us down. It’s not until that we are adults that we are realize that our parents are just human and were trying to do their best when raising us.
So to drive the point home, It’s important to recognize the complexity of human nature. It’s important not to harbor hate or judgment towards someone because of his or her life decisions. Everyone is going through life without a road map just like you. Nobody is perfect, including you, so don’t expect perfection (even from yourself). This post feels like a TED talk or therapy session, I’ve been avoiding writing this one for a while but I am glad that it finally came together in my head.
As always, thanks for reading. 🙂 ❤