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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Finding the Love

This morning, I woke up as usual and took my shower.  I went to get Jeremy up and made him his breakfast.  I got him to the bus and came back upstairs to get Elizabeth ready to head off to school.  Then, I was taken aback by a comment I received from someone I have never heard of who read a post from last year on my blog.   It stung a bit, and then I started thinking.  Why is it that there can be a million things that someone does right, but it is the one thing that is wrong that everyone seems to notice?  I know that everyone does it.  We all make snap judgments of people based on a small glimpse into their lives.  I am one of the people who is guilty of it, too.   I used to think that some of the parents in Nigeria were terrible to let their babies ride on okadas.  But, now, I realize after learning more about their lives here, for some, that is the one and only mode of transportation which is affordable for them to get to work and make money for their families.  Do we all really follow the old saying "You can't judge a book by its cover?"

It's ironic that I just had a conversation with Guy the other day, and I realized that many times, I see the negative things in a situation first before I ever see the positive. Most of the time I see all the negative things in myself first and foremost.  It is a learning curve for me, but I can definitely say that living in Lagos has taught me more about acceptance and understanding than I ever had before.  

Why is it that people may read a newspaper, a magazine or a blog for years and enjoy it everyday without one single positive comment to the writers, but then he or she sees one thing which offends her and that is when all the negative comments come?  Words can hurt and they can never be taken back like a piece of clothing which doesn't fit.

I remember when I was living in New Orleans, I stopped at a local grocery store so many times on my way home from work.  I was always tired and would run in and grab whatever I thought Guy and I would like for dinner.  I went to any of the cashiers and to be honest, I was usually in such a hurry to get home from work that I never even really paid attention to what cashier I was going to.  One night, I was in line and ready to check out, and I realized I forgot something. Instead of doing the "rude" thing of telling the cashier to wait on me while I ran back to grab something, I collected all of my things and went back to get the item so the people behind me could go on ahead.  When I came back to check out, I put my things on the first counter I saw and all of the sudden, I heard a loud voice screaming, " I see how you are!!!!!  I see how it is!!!"  I looked up for a second and saw that two check out lines over, a cashier was yelling those words to me.  I was a bit confused , and then, she went on, " I see how it is!!!! You just wanted HER to check you go on and make excuses about forgetting something!!!!"  I still was a bit confused and then realized when I finally bothered to even look at the cashier in the line I was in that she was white and the other cashier was black.  I NEVER EVER had that intent in my mind......I simply forgot about an item and went up to the first check out counter I saw.  I felt terrible inside....I couldn't believe I could be judged like that.  I was so embarrassed and hurt that anyone would ever think that way of me that I left the groceries on the conveyor belt and just left. That cashier had no idea I taught African American children from the projects all day and loved my job. I LOVED those kids! She judged me in a moment and thought she knew me....

Why do we (as people) seem to gravitate towards the negative and not rejoice in all the positive? I guess what I am trying to say is before you say a negative thing to or about someone else, please try to see the "whole picture" first.  Try to look at someone as though you are assessing them as an essay question and not just a one word answer.  I think many times that is the reason why feelings are hurt and wrong judgments are made about others.  And if the entire essay is bad, then, and only then, call it what it is.

 I love the song Where is the Love by the Black Eyed Peas . I think it sums up just what I am trying to say.  And maybe (just maybe) we all can start to see the positive in people and finding the love.:)


  1. Well I think your blog is great! You seem like a very nice person, and living in Africa has to be HUGE stressor. Whatever the comment was, your blog has helped alot of people I am sure (I know it's been a huge help to me!).Lindsay Obernuefemann

    1. Hi there Lindsay! Thanks so much for the comment. You are so sweet! m:)

  2. I love that song too. Remember I used to listen to it driving in to work. When I came home and told the family about it, I got met with my then 10 year old saying "You can't like them Mum, that's rap". Lagos helped my girls realise that their parents are able to let their hair down and have fun too!

    1. Angela! I sure miss yo and Gerry! You are two of the coolest parents I know!:) love,m:)