Buy Them A Pie! :)
Posted by Dal Miranda on Jun 17, 2019
When I was first thought, "Oh, how do I create the 'other' in my life?" I wasn't sure. But then as I'm sitting here, I realized how much I other myself. And then, I thought how much other people make me feel othered.
I'm biracial. My mother is Caucasian, my father is Filipino and because of their divorce, I was raised by my mother. When I was sixth grade, at a parent-teacher meeting, I remember my teacher telling me, "That can't be your mother. She's white." I was like, Whoa, wait a second. That's my mom. After few such experiences, there was a time when I couldn't even look in the mirror. I would feel like I'm seeing someone who doesn't even exist. Already, because of this circle today, I'm going to make a practice of consciously looking in the mirror and see someone. I'm going to see me, say hello to me. I'm going to see the beautiful part of me, and the fractured parts of me.
I don't think this othering nature in me will ever go away, but we learn to live with it. We learn to let that energy dissolve.
The other day I was on the coast, just off Davenport, a little organic farm where you get your produce. A lot of tourists visit, and I usually go up with my dog and my writings and we just sit there for hours. Yesterday, when we were there, this couple came in and the gentleman was on a wheelchair and had an LSU hat. So I said, "Oh, you follow LSU?" They said "Yeah, we live in Louisiana." Immediately, I thought, "Oh Louisiana. They're probably racist. They're probably this, they're probably that."
An unconscious other-ing you can say. :) But as it became conscious, I tapped into generosity to build a bridge.
I befriended them. Through our conversation, I shared stories about farm workers, and their immigrant background, about my father, about Cesar Chavez. And then this voice inside me said, "Buy them a pie. Buy them a pie". So I did! Bought them a pie and I gave them to it as a gift. And I said, "This is a gift from all of us in California. Welcome to California!"
In an odd sort of way, I saw that othering is a blessing -- because it's an invitation to open our heart and build bridges. I can look at the room and say, "Oh, female. Male. Person of color. White." But I can also shift from that ping-pong game of judgments to beauty of this circle of life that holds so many unique journey together.