Paradox: A seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.
Life is a paradox. It is stranger than fiction and the only true black and white are found on canvas. It isn’t 50 or even 50,000 shades of gray. It is more like 50,000,000,000,000 shades of gray in a multitude of filters.
I am a paradox
As a white male of heterosexual orientation, I am the benefit of privilege. That does not exclude me from stereotypes or being pigeonholed.
The first stereotype I remember is being trailer-trash because I lived in a trailer park on Genoese Street.
Then I remember being Dennis Lesbian.
Next, I was fat.
Then I was stuck up because I went to Catholic school.
In high school, I didn’t belong there because I had worn K-mart and cheap clothes, not Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic, Nautical, or Ralph Lauren. I was told I wouldn’t make it because I didn’t have it.
I was from a suburb so I was shunned by the city kids from time to time.
However it wasn’t the ‘right’ suburb, and I was in a family that had less money than almost every other kid at the school.
I didn’t fit well in college because of commuting, working, studying.
I worked many different jobs learning many different life skills that have become invaluable today.
In chiropractic school, I unknowingly was what was called the ‘A team”. I found that out after seven semesters.
I have been labeled an asshole.
I have been labeled a prick.
Pick your personal favorite ___________
As I write each of these I think of my dad saying that it is none of my business to care what other people think of me. He is right but it does not mean it finding out that doesn’t hurt. It does hurt. Most of these assumptions are half-truths, I am all of these in one way or another but I am far from only one of them. I am as complex as you and one moment in time does not define me as it does not define you.
It is easy to feel any one of these emotions or stereotypes toward me or anyone else from afar. It is easy to say they are true of me or others.
I challenge you to find out more about those persons that you feel that way toward.
I used to fall into those traps. It is easier to be angry than to seek understanding.
I am far from perfect. I like you am just doing my best. Some days are better than others. Sometimes I hit it out of the park and other days I get a line dry to the gut but I get back up every day and I get back in the batter’s box.
Embrace those things that hurt, work through them, do not pass them on to others.