Where Are You From?

Truths and Generalizations: Though I grew up on a farm, I’m not a farmer nor do I own a truck. And, though I am a young African-American male from Louisiana, I don’t have any kids nor do I like listening to rap music or a lot of hip hop… however, I do love watermelon 🙂 . All of that to say, is that some generalizations are true while others are false.

Sincere Ignorance_MLK1If you really know me, you will definitely know a few of my pet peeves, which are: I don’t like being around negative people, I don’t like to waste my time and I don’t like talking to ignorant people. I would rather play with my dog or sit in complete silence, rather than hold a meaningless conversation with someone.

Now I’m not saying that I have overly high expectations from every casual conversation I enter. No, I know and really understand that there are times when we all need someone to simply listen to us, or engage in the random conversations that develop relationships.

Recently, I was placed in situations where I had to engage in conversations with certain people… and what I could not stand is when they made certain assumptions or generalizations about me without having the respect or ‘know-how’ to simply ask me directly… or they tried to deceive me with a facade of concern while yet showing no desire to make an effort to listen and respond to the words coming forth from my mouth.  I feel that most people don’t want to know you, they want to know of you. And, I’m beginning to see that one of the best ways to judge someone is to ask this question, “Where are you from?” Because in most cases they don’t want to know you at all, they want to make a generalization about you.

I believe we all judge people by how they look, how they dress, or how they speak… I would dare to say that probably all of my African-American friends has had an experience, at one time or another, where another person from their same race tried to ridicule them by saying that they talk “white” (meaning that they make an effort to enunciate when they speak). And, generally this question always follows, “Where are you from?”, because they know you are different and not like them. I have learned that it’s not hatred that sparks judgment and blind assumptions, it is usually jealousy and fear… people are afraid of what they don’t know.

It is true that where a person is from can tell a lot about them. For example, if a person is from Michigan, you can generally assume that they are used to snow and cold weather. Or if someone was from the south or in the “Bible Belt“, you can generally assume that they believe in God and probably go to church on Sundays. However, it would be ignorant to assume that everyone who lives in Los Angeles is involved in the entertainment industry… intelligence would tell you that Los Angeles is one of the largest and most diverse cities in the world, so obviously there are a multitude of industries that people are involved in.

I think this post is just one where I needed to vent… I’m just tired of being around ignorant people. Point blank. I’m tired of listening to open ended statements with no real purpose. I’m tired of listening to people ramble on and on about nothing. I’m tired of being around people who are not loyal and don’t hold my same values or work ethic. I’m tired of being around people who aren’t positive, and I’m soooo tired of being around people who don’t listen! Good listening skills are probably one of the most underrated skills, and I am constantly reminded that being able to listen to someone and respond to them with intelligence is something not everyone can do.

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