Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 277 - Stop Staring

About seven years ago, one of the things they told us in our annual NCAA meeting was to stop staring down players.  Usually if a referee called a foul and the player didn't like the call, they will stare down the referee all the way to the table while he/she reports the foul and then all the way through the free throw to let the referee know that if we "dare" to make eye contact with them, they are NOT happy with the call.  It is human reaction to just "stare down" the player in return to let them know, you are SOLID in your call, and you are SURE of your decision and they can't intimidate you with their unsportsmanlike behavior or staring YOU down.  Well unfortunately, nothing good happens with staring. So I took this "human" nature out of my game.  We don't give them "status" anymore by even acknowledging this behavior.  Ignorance is bliss. 

My sons and I know this well.  People ALWAYS stared at my family when we were out in public.  A white woman with a black man and two brown kids.  When I was with only my kids, people wanted to know if they were adopted!  If they stopped just looking at the color of our skin, they would see that Brandon has my eyes and eyelashes, nose and mouth.  Cassius has my chin, smile and mannerisms.  His use of  the English language and the rhythm to which he speaks is exactly like mine.  As the kids came into their own self-identity of being "black" as well as "white", there was an even larger population of "stare idiots."  He was with me when we registered him for college and he said, "Mom I always forget that people stare at us when we are together.  What they look at and think is strange, I feel is so normal."  I told him, "I know what you mean."

So the right thing to do is for people to ask if they are confused.  "You seem so close, your family is very happy.  I'm assuming this is your son?"  That would be a polite right-thing-to-do if you are really interested in clearing up your own confusion.  So now what I do when I see something I don't understand, I try to ask questions and stop and understand.

I was driving on the road and saw a woman and what appeared to be her daughter pulling water plants from the ditches in two different parts of town.  On the second occasion, it drove me crazy so I made a U-turn and stopped to ask what they were doing.  Her name was Brenda and it was her daughter and she said that they have a state permit to pick these water plants and put them into garbage bags to replant in their pond at home?  I don't know what part is not true or true but at least I know what she is doing.  I was concerned because the first place she picked these plants is where the Sandhill cranes eat the animals that cling to these flowers at the base and I noticed that after she pulled in that area, the cranes did not return.

I don't stare anymore but I do ask to understand.  As Steve says, Seek first to understand and THEN to be understood.  I'm working on this as its hard not to push my own thoughts first as I'm married to them.  But I've learned with wisdom and time that there CAN be more than two sides of a coin.  I just wonder why it has to land on tails or heads.  Maybe we should just start flipping dice, at least this way we could have six different opportunities to be on the same side of the die.
“My opinion is that anybody offended by breastfeeding is staring too hard” ~ David Allen

Here are two photos that people SHOULD have wondered what the heck?  for giggles....


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