Friday, May 17, 2013

Guilt, Curiosity

I like to think of myself as pretty enlightened. My best friend used to be racially identifiable as of a different originating continent to mine. Most of my friends follow this pattern, truth be told. Yet I feel like I am handicapped when it comes to appreciating a great number of the world's cultures. So much so that I feel obliged to pay extra attention to people just because I don't have much experience with their racial group, the idea being that I can learn more about them if I increase my focus and keep my mind open for just that extra time period.

The problem with this is is that it's at the expense of my instincts. I have an intuitive insight into human nature and if I am choosing to pay extra attention to someone it's because instinctively I feel like I've already given them enough. Perhaps the most appropriate word is 'overcompensation' for my perceived ignorance. I would do well to remember that the whole point of human interaction is to appreciate people for who they are, not their phenotype. If I want to get closer to someone, my instincts will tell me, and I need to learn to trust them every time.

In my ideal world, human connections are forged not based on exteriors but genuine curiosity.

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