Ever wonder what it would be like to be famous for a day, an elite athlete, or even the opposite gender or some other ethnicity? For a day? A week?
I sometimes think about these things at the extreme (aka being an elite runner!!) but rarely on a less extreme playing field. I go about my day taking in the world as a rather independent educated Caucasian 23 year old, without little thought. This is not necessary a bad thing, as this IS who I am and my life by no means has been a walk in the park. I have been faced with some very challenging family situations and experiences unique to me and no one else, it would be unfair to say I have skipped through life without any hardship. However, I have recently been thinking about how others may view this world and how that view can alter how each individual goes about approaching situations and living.
A very in your face example hit me the other day when I was talking with a Korean exchange student I am presently living with. I am spending the summer in the South, and mentioned to him how welcoming people are down here. How nice it is that people ask questions and truly want to hear an answer or how males hold the door when you walk into stores or restaurants when they see you coming from 10 feet away! Something for me that is unheard of up in the northeast part of the country where I live. He however, as a 19 year old male of a foreign ethnicity, seem to be experiencing quite the opposite reaction from these same people. Stating that others are rather unfriendly and stand offish and even rude at times, which was the exact opposite of his experience when he spent time up in the northeast!
Now obviously, this is just two peoples experiences and perspectives and by no means cold hard facts or truths about the South or North or the people residing in either. It does however, make me think. It makes me think about how I present and represent myself to others both intentionally and unintentionally. It is making me more aware of how I respond to a situation and to others in particularly others who do not know me. Most importantly, though it is teaching me not to take comments, responses, or actions of others personally, because really all those things are a reflection of that person, however, how I choose to respond is a reflection of who I am and may even alter the schema they have created of who or what they may think I am.