has really cramped my style. There are things I want to know, questions I want to ask, mysteries that I want to unravel, but since the world has decided that everything is taboo, it seems that I’m not allowed to ask. If I ask what the significance of a certain dress is for, I am frowned upon. If I ask what the red dot on the forehead means, I am given the cold shoulder. I don’t ask because I find it odd or disturbing; I ask because I am curious. I really want to know.
I want to know what someone from India has for breakfast on an ordinary day. I want to know what someone from Germany holds dear in their heart. I want to know why and how and who. I am curious by nature and have a hard time keeping my questions to myself, but find that more often, instead of answers, I am given silence. Why is it that we have to be so separate. My blood is as red as the next person’s. My heart beats, my lungs fill with air, my eyes see, my mouth speaks.
I spent my years in elementary, middle and high school fighting cliques, trying to belong in a place where I really didn’t. I really thought that, once I reached adulthood, those things would pass away. There are things I want to learn, people I want to photograph and cultures I want to know more about, but I feel thwarted by a bigotry, prejudice and hatred that isn’t mine.
I know folks of different nationalities and cultures, different colors and countries, but I, because of the standards the world has set, am an outsider. I don’t want it to be that way, but try as I might to find a way to change it, I continually find myself on the outside looking in. I would be honored to be invited to sit at the table for a traditional African American New Year’s Day dinner. To participate in the beauty of the preparation of an Indian wedding. To partake in the awe of a German Christmas tree decorated with candles. To walk in the vineyards of Italy and see the beauty that is there, learn what makes them beautiful and listen to the song that the growing vines sing. I want to sit in an Irish Pub listening to the storytellers as they weave their magic and feel that I am a part of it all, not an outsider, not an American, not anyone except who I am. How satisfying it would be to sit at a long table, whether I speak the language or not, with a culture not my own and just absorb it, draw it into myself and hold it in my heart for all time. I want to understand the color of red in the paint of Easter eggs in Russia. I want to know what the traditional foods of Hanukkah represent, what the words to the songs they sing mean. I have so many questions … and no one to answer them.
I am not politically correct. I call a spade a spade and am not afraid to speak my mind. I only wish that there were others, ones who were willing to share, so that what I know of would be more than what I know of. I am willing to learn if someone is willing to teach me. I am willing to open myself to the possibilities of endless fascination, but before I can, there must be those willing to open themselves to the possibility that everyone does not harbor a heart of hate. I am a child of God, that is true in the purest form, and as such, I want to know all there is about the world I live in. I cannot help it. I want to know. I want to learn. I want to know. Surely, in all the world, there are others like me. Teach me and I will learn, and as I learn, I will teach others. Together, one at a time, we really can change the world. Come … Let us reason together.