Rising Above The Madness

A series of these blogs could potentially coming out over the next several months until I agree upon my next destination.

The term “rise above it” came from a comical character I used to work with.  This was a 70-year-old Anglo man in one of the most anglo countries on planet Earth (Thailand).  I would tell him about my situations, and even what had happened last year and he shrugged it off like it was nothing.

How come is it that men, of all colors, just cannot show empathy and sympathy for their fellow men, regardless of creed, color, ethnicity, and cultural backgrounds?  On the other hand, if this many would’ve stood up for me when the going got going, the outcome could’ve potentially been much different.

It’s like the story I told sometime last year about the African American woman and Anglo woman in the store.  The Anglo woman had been going to this particular store for two weeks.  The African American had been going there for more than two years.  When both women approached the counter, the clerk greeted the Anglo woman with a big smile: and that same smile was changed right upside down when the African American woman approached the camera.  Yes, the African American woman greeted her with a big smile, just as the Anglo woman did.

This clerk went on to give the African American woman a very hard time, checking the check to see if it was real.  Thankfully, the Anglo woman spoke up and said, “ummm, excuse me. Why are you doing this to this woman?”

The clerk responded, “because I don’t know her…and I know you?”

“You’ve only known me for two weeks.  This lady has been coming here for over two years.”

That little difference means everything in the world.  If people can just speak up in the wake of a racially influenced situation, the world can rise above the world.

That particular gentleman, who I still have to see everyday of my life, just needed to hear my story and show empathy.  Instead, he deflected, like one of the world leaders, and told me to simply “rise above it.”

Easy for you to say.

But I will rise above it.  I have risen above it.  Looking back on the last five years of my life in Thailand, I’ve risen against pure insanity.  The comments I’ve gotten from everyone — to the failed job interviews because of the color of my skin — I am enough.

So many people around the world, including a singer by the name of Lil Kim, chose and still chooses to bleach their skin to make themselves more “fair.”  And because of the events where sympathy and empathy lacked, these individuals ultimately altered their skin tone because they were tired of being made fun of.

I’m challenging everyone to stand up for your fellow samaritan by your side in situations such as this.

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