We are all bilingual...not in the accepted definition but through how we live our lives, what we do, how we act, the prejudices we might have, the love we feel in our hearts. It never occurred to me, until recently, that perhaps my every action and word represented to the world how others might define my "clan." For me, my clan is made up of Americans, females, mothers, authors, sisters, daughters, nieces, secretary, volunteers, auto drivers, Caucasians, my chosen faith, and all the beliefs that come with having lived through six decades. When I considered that, I was humbled to think that others see me as one of a larger group...dare I say, senior citizens!
I realized how easily we generalize when someone's behavior lines up with something we don't like. I began to understand that I needed to pay attention to how I acted in a world that is no longer private but more like a glass house. This is not about the mistakes that come from being human; this is about our attitude and generally how we act or react to life. I think we are all entitled to mistakes. I just decided to ask myself, if who I am and what I say and do is representative of the people I love, of the clan I belong to, how do I want to represent them? There was a small shift for me when I asked myself that question. I simply do not want my behavior to give someone permission to vilify any of my clan.
I have decided to ask myself the following questions: How do I want others to see women? How do I want others to see my mother, grandmother, sister, nieces, ... generally, the women in my life? How do I want people to see people of my faith? How do I want others to see me as a wife, as a mother, or more simply, as a driver on the highway? It is not that I want approval; where that might have once been a factor, it no longer is. The question I am asking myself now is "how do I want others to see those whom I might represent?" I do not want to add to the lies that circulate in people's opinions; I would much rather be the purer representation of the best of my clan. Think how this might change the world!!!