Not being good enough
On finding acceptance, bullying, human psychology, and untranslatable words
|Steven Wakabayashi||Feb 24|| 1|
Last week, I wrote a piece about discrimination and seeing the bigger picture. It was prompted by an experience near and dear to my heart. Over the past three weeks, I've been dealing with bullying and discrimination at work.
I had written a few drafts talking about what I had gone through, trimmed it down to the lessons I've learned, added back in the stories to have it make sense… but they all didn't sound right. My thoughts and feelings are still too raw to be succinctly put into words just yet. Perhaps I can write about it in the future. But unfortunately, not right now.
What I will say is that being a minority is tough.
Out of all of the things I've faced in life, the most challenging thing is knowing when I'm just not enough. Even if I have sufficient evidence to prove a case or enough experience to prove my worth, nine times out of ten, I already know the answer I don't want to hear. That is what discrimination feels like.
Whenever we're rejected, we're taught to get up and try again. Because everything has been judged fairly, if we improve ourselves, things will change, prejudices will shift, and racism will disappear.
In reality, we'll never be enough.
Let's say someone came up to you and told you that the sky has been green this entire time. It was never blue. Very odd, assuming that you've seen only blue skies every afternoon.
Imagine if that person went to the gym and improved their physique. Would you believe them yet?
What if that same person went to get another job? A promotion? Would you believe them now?
What if that same person went to school to get another degree? Has your belief about blue skies changed?
When faced with rejection, we tell ourselves that we're not good enough, skilled enough, smart enough, or beautiful enough. Yet, we don't acknowledge the underlying assumptions, bias, or prejudice that impact the way people respond to us. Trying to prove ourselves to someone who could never see our worth, is proving the sky is green to blue-sky believers.
We won't be enough to some, and it's okay. The sooner we can let go of these people, the sooner we can focus on those we resonate with. And just because someone doesn't agree with us doesn't mean that our truth is less valid.
We might even live in a world where both perspectives exist. (Green skies exist in tornado-prone regions)
This and next week (for this month of love), I have a bunch of episodes coming out on Yellow Glitter Podcast where I interviewed five queer Asians and how they navigate love.
Root of Bullying
"I'd be willing to believe that, say, an MMA fighter who remains confidently silent in the face of some scrawny punk's drunken taunting at a bar is truly being a bigger person. He could tear the other guy to shreds. He isn't afraid. But he chooses the high road because the scrawny punk isn't worth his time. Being the bigger person, taking the high road — these are things we do from a position of strength. If we do them because we're scared, or intimidated, or just praying for the confrontation to be over, we are not on the high road. We are almost literally crawling away on our knees, hoping not to be noticed. Many children spend their formative years in this position. We congratulate them for their maturity while their self-image collapses."
40 Tweets, 40 Concepts
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