Week 13 of #TWmemorymondays! This memory of mine has changed my mindset about SO many things, and I cherish it so much. And special thanks to @christinii32 for being part of it and letting me share this conversation.
About three years ago, I was chatting with Christine at some church event. During our small talk, I asked her this question, "So when are you and Brett (her husband) going to have kids?" She snapped at me and said something like if she hears that question one more time she's going to scream. I saw her frustration, anger, irritation, and sadness. It took me aback! She quickly backtracked and apologized (which she didn't have to).
This interaction is HUGE in my book. From then on a never asked anyone that question, because I recognize how incredibly ignorant that question is. It is full of assumptions: all hetero married couple wants children and it assumes that the topic is very simple. The truth is I have no idea if she even wants kids...no idea if she does want kids and is trying...no idea if there might even be a loss/losses. The complexity of a person's desires and situation is infinite. It is so detrimental and discounting to just throw out recklessly a question like that. So just because I had good intentions, it's no excuse to ask an ignorant question that is harmful.
I loved that she was vulnerable with her emotion (even though it probably wasn't intentional) because it stuck with me in the best way possible.
Continuing the conversation about microaggression - ALL emotions including the "negative" ones are helpful in communication. When it comes to people who have less privileges (not white cys male), it is especially important to be open for them/us to express the anger/hurt/frustration. The response should be empathy, apology, and recognition. We all make mistakes, but seeing true emotion helps us recognize that mistake and never make it again.
This memory has been so helpful whichever side I find myself - either showing the raw emotions or receiving it. I want to live in a world where empathy and freedom of expression are welcomed!
#TWmemorymondays: A painting inspired by a memory every Monday of 2018. Connecting abstract art to real life. Week 13/53. 'Negative Emotion' / 8x8 in / mixed media on paper