A Letter to my “Otherly-Raced, Religioned, or Abled” Friends

I am not racist. If you are a good person. Kind. Caring. Thoughtful. Honest. Polite. You will always be my friend. I don’t care what color you are, or what religion you believe. You are my friend.

I could never say that I didn’t notice your color, because I did. Just like my red-headed friend, or my really tall friend. I noticed, but I will not treat you differently than any other friend. If someone asks something, where I have to point you out as an area of reference, like “it’s over there next to the tall, red-headed girl.” I will. I may refer to your color: “See that Asian girl? It’s to the right of her.” But that means nothing about how I feel about you. We all have differences. I am short, and a little over-weight. Feel free to point that out. I don’t care. It’s who I am.

I don’t care if you go to church, synagogue, or mosque. Believe what makes you the best person you can be. What gives you hope. What makes you get up every day. Don’t try to change who I am, and I won’t try to change you, but help me grow as a person. I enjoy learning from my friends, or anyone for that matter. I love other cultures, and experiencing them.

I don’t mind a good debate. Don’t get mad at me if I don’t agree though. I will do the same for you. Mutual respect for differences is important. I have lived in an area that is populated by many, many people who have political views that are not the same as mine, for most of my life. That is not a problem for me. Again, if you are a good person, believe what helps you to be your best you. What makes you happy. What makes you thrive. I will never hold your beliefs against you.

If you have a disability, please don’t be offended if I say that word. It doesn’t mean I look down upon you, or think you are any less than me. It’s just a word. My friends are full of gifts to give the world. You contribute to society in many ways. You contribute to MY life in many ways. I don’t care if you can’t walk, talk, see, hear, or anything else for that matter. It doesn’t mean anything to me, so don’t be offended. It implies nothing, except  maybe a closer parking spot.

If you are not a good person, I don’t care what color you are. Bad people come in all colors, religions, races, and abilities. If I have a friend who is not who I thought they were. If I find out that they are not the kind, thoughtful, honest, and polite person I thought they were. They won’t be among those I call friends.  I surround myself with people who I feel have a positive effect on the world, and humanity. I don’t care what color you are, or what god you believe in.

Good people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and religions. I will take all the friends I can get. They are blessing from Heaven. Be a person to be proud of, and I will call you friend.

 

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A Letter to my “Otherly-Raced, Religioned, or Abled” Friends

I am not racist. If you are a good person. Kind. Caring. Thoughtful. Honest. Polite. You will always be my friend. I don’t care what color you are, or what religion you believe. You are my friend.

I could never say that I didn’t notice your color, because I did. Just like my red-headed friend, or my really tall friend. I noticed, but I will not treat you differently than any other friend. If someone asks something, where I have to point you out as an area of reference, like “it’s over there next to the tall, red-headed girl.” I will. I may refer to your color: “See that Asian girl? It’s to the right of her.” But that means nothing about how I feel about you. We all have differences. I am short, and a little over-weight. Feel free to point that out. I don’t care. It’s who I am.

I don’t care if you go to church, synagogue, or mosque. Believe what makes you the best person you can be. What gives you hope. What makes you get up every day. Don’t try to change who I am, and I won’t try to change you, but help me grow as a person. I enjoy learning from my friends, or anyone for that matter. I love other cultures, and experiencing them.

I don’t mind a good debate. Don’t get mad at me if I don’t agree though. I will do the same for you. Mutual respect for differences is important. I have lived in an area that is populated by many, many people who have political views that are not the same as mine, for most of my life. That is not a problem for me. Again, if you are a good person, believe what helps you to be your best you. What makes you happy. What makes you thrive. I will never hold your beliefs against you.

If you have a disability, please don’t be offended if I say that word. It doesn’t mean I look down upon you, or think you are any less than me. It’s just a word. My friends are full of gifts to give the world. You contribute to society in many ways. You contribute to MY life in many ways. I don’t care if you can’t walk, talk, see, hear, or anything else for that matter. It doesn’t mean anything to me, so don’t be offended. It implies nothing, except  maybe a closer parking spot.

If you are not a good person, I don’t care what color you are. Bad people come in all colors, religions, races, and abilities. If I have a friend who is not who I thought they were. If I find out that they are not the kind, thoughtful, honest, and polite person I thought they were. They won’t be among those I call friends.  I surround myself with people who I feel have a positive effect on the world, and humanity. I don’t care what color you are, or what god you believe in.

Good people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and religions. I will take all the friends I can get. They are blessing from Heaven. Be a person to be proud of, and I will call you friend.

 

The American Gawker

I don’t think there’s any getting around the natural curiosity of people. Everyone at some point or another, will be interested in what someone else is doing, buying, reading, wearing, eating, saying, etc. In most cases, it is not intended to be malicious, something has merely peaked interest for some reason or another. Below is my version of the American Gawker.

The Incognito Gawker- This person is out in a public environment and the weather is such that they have sunglasses on. When something out of the ordinary catches their attention, they realize that they can place their head so it does not seem they are watching, while moving the eyes to an effective viewing position.

The Tourist Gawker-The Tourist gawker is also out in a public place, usually with at least one other person in their group. In this case, the gawking is usually caused by an unusual appearance or activity that could be easily captured in a still frame form.  One person will pose for a picture in a manner where the subject of interest is in the background, allowing a photo to be taken without it appearing suspicious.

The Morbid Curiosity Gawker- This gawker, or gawkers,  are either a secondary cause of a traffic backup, in the case where the accident is at least partially blocking traffic, or the main cause when it is not. As he or she slows down to try to identify the possible injuries or deaths, cause of an accident, damage done, and vehicles involved, they cause the remaining traffic to have to slow, or stop.

The Dart-Eyed Gawker- While watching a person, or group of people, this gawker will get caught in the act. This causes them to dart their eyes in another direction, as if they were actually in the process of turning to look at something else all along. It rarely works. Busted!

The Gap-Mouth Gawker- In this case, whatever the situation that is grabbing someone’s attention may be, it is so shocking that even though they will not walk right up to it, they will be beyond the worry of being noticed, so caught up in their amazement they are in a full-on stare.

The Background Gawker- This person is usually at a family event, a party, or wedding, and sits along the side of the room, or in a corner, watching events unfold. Rarely, does anyone even realize this person is still there. Hidden in plain view.

The Modern Technology Gawker- This gawker initiates a texting circle among friends or neighbors to find out what is going on with a mutual friend or neighbor. In most cases, these are started once a police car, ambulance, or other emergency vehicle is seen near, or at the subject’s house. It can also be caused by unfamiliar car observances, loud noises, or social activity.

The Small Town Gawker- This gawker will come out during the same situations as the Modern  Technology Gawker, barring snow, rain, hail or cold (these conditions would fall back to the above method),  and drift toward the subject of interest. Once finding another neighbor who may have information, they will gather at a distance and compare notes.

The Social Media Gawker- This person may, or may not be, a “lurker” who rarely posts, but reads news feeds and checks the home page of anyone that may peak their interest. This can happen on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, or any other similar social sites.

The Foodie Gawker- This most commonly occurs in restaurants where someone sees an interesting dish pass by on a tray. This person wants to know what it is.  If they still have a menu, they will immediate start scanning to find the item. This also occurs at ethnic restaurants. When one wants to find the tastiest and most authentic food or dish, they will find a restaurant with the most people who appears to be from the nation that the food is from, and then watch to see what they order.

The American Gawker usually does not want to be identified. They prefer to gawk on the sly. This happens for a number of reasons. One is because we are (correctly) taught that “staring” is not polite. We also don’t want to appear to be “nosy.”  In many cases, such as the Foodie Gawker, and once the situation has cleared, the Modern Technology Gawker or Small Town Gawker, they could just ask the person involved. This, however, is usually avoided due to embarrassment, lack of relationship with the subject, or fears of how the questions will be received.

Human curiosity is not going anywhere. Inquiring minds want to know. The gawking will continue, the methods will change and evolve with time. Who knows what it will be next!

 

 

 

Chinese People-Watching

Gawkers in China

August 12, 2008

Gawkers are seen every day in China, much the same as in the US.  However, in China people seem to find vastly different situations, and ways, in which to gawk. This is not something that occurs only when a fight breaks out or someone is injured, it is a part of daily life. One’s day would not be complete, without a little bit of gawking to break things up.

There are several types of Chinese gawkers. Below I have listed a few examples:

1. The Celebrity Gawker: This person is usually found at the zoo, museum, or other tourist attraction. They are Asian descent and are so excited to see a westerner, they need to capture the moment on film. To prove that they were actually there, they are  required to be in the photograph as well. The smaller the westerner the better, and if that child is wearing red they are a moving target. There will be no avoiding this type of gawker.

2. The Opportunistic Gawker: This person is afraid that they will miss something that is important, deeply discounted, or worth any sort of money earned, if they do not stop to see what others are looking at. Usually involving some sort of sign or advertisement, you will see up to 10 or more Chinese people reading it at once.

3. The Drama Gawker: This is the person who sees someone talking to a police officer and goes over to see what the commotion is about. The difference between this situation in the US and in China, is that the Chinese don’t mind if people are aware they are gawkers.  They will walk right up to the incident as if they were also involved, therefore positioning themselves to see and hear better. This crowd will grow up to 20-25 people.

4. The Cultural Gawker: This person, or group of people, want to see what westerners eat, wear, read, drink, smell like, talk like, look like, feel like………you get the point. If you pick up an item at the grocery store they will look over your shoulder, or wait until you walk away, and then pick up the product to inspect. If you are in an arcade they will watch you or your children play video games for hours on end. You might think that this person is waiting to play, but if you walk away they will wander off, most likely to show up at the next game you play. If you are found in a bookstore by this gawker, they may just sit right down to watch you look at books, providing commentary in Chinese. When you look up, they will smile and nod.

Most gawking directed towards the expat is done in a good-natured, curious way. They are intrigued. They would love to be your friend, if that darn language barrier didn’t get in the way. They would ask questions if they could. Sometimes they do, in what we grew to know as “advanced charades.” We were curious as well, but our people-watching was done with the American approach. On that note……coming soon…..the American Gawker version.