Mrs Dunn & Me

Its elementary my dear.

Today in an attempt to increase information security recovering forgotten passwords is a function of memory.

First childhood friend? City parents met in? Favorite teacher?

Thankfully I can remember the last one so thus far have not been locked out of the internet age.

Mrs Dunn was my third grade teacher. She was not in fact my favorite. In fact, Mrs Dunn hated me but since her dislike was so strong I can still remember (and spell) her name today so she comes in handy for password prompts.

Now I truthfully don't remember why Mrs Dunn didn't like me because I know I was pretty much like all other 3rd grade kids. Except for one thing.

Different

Growing up we moved around. A lot. I attended four high schools in four years. Moving so much as a child develops some real coping skills. Overall it was a good experience. But back then it didn't feel so good. It felt different.

Mrs Dunn didn't like different (apparently) for I cannot otherwise explain why she took such an immediate and eternal dislike to me.

Today we would say Mrs Dunn lacks situational skills or is change resistant. Back then I just called her a crabby old lady. Literally. Nobody ever called anyone a bitch when I was growing up: that part of childhood I miss.

Is and Isn't

You see, having just moved to the bucolic little burg Mrs Dunn's school was in, I was new. I didn't know the local customs, geography, slang, accent etc., of the quaint little place I've mentally since pissed on the very few times I've ever remembered it (like now).

Mrs Dunn didn't like me because I ain't from here.

Somehow we both survived the year although in a remarkable feat of karma Mrs Dunn stayed forever mired in the third grade while I migrated up the school food chain continuing my journey of life reincarnate.

As an outsider.

Today

Some of us accept blindly that the world is now one seamless global community. That ideas, values and habits are accorded a modicum of respect at both the cultural as well as individual level.

But I argue there is more work to do.

There is no question life is better for our generation and the ones that follow, than at any time before. Yet we cannot lose perspective or give up the fight.

We still have disease to eradicate, hunger to solve, racism and sexism to fight and poverty to banish. There's a lot yet to do. And there's a lot of cultural misunderstanding and antagonism to overcome. Still.

It can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Sometimes its as simple as recognizing that life expereinces are not only different but valid across the world, that local people do what they believe is right given their tools and their toil.

That being different is not innately a bad thing.

If modern life seems taxing in its ceaseless demands try managing yourself at a personal level. Commit to being open to what's different as well as familiar in your life.

Take it easy on people new to your workplace, neighborhood or school as you search for understanding.

They're just like you, only different.

 

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