Monday, October 21, 2013

Knowledge is Power

This morning I had a disturbing conversation with one of the staff members that works in the cafeteria. The ladies asked how I spent my furlough (yes, it's just like asking how was your vacation) Well, I informed the ladies that I participated in a mission trip to Haiti. They asked how it was, did I like, does it really look like it does on TV, etc. I informed the ladies that I had an AWESOME time and that I couldn't wait to go back!! They were quite surprised and then one just began to tell me how she wouldn't be able to take several connecting flights to get somewhere. I just chuckled. Then she went on to tell me that she has never left the country, then I thought to myself 'yeah, she doesn't understand'. But we on to talk about my trip to Haiti and how I felt so much at peace while there and that I could consider Haiti to be home. Then she brought up Africa. She talked about how she watched some documentary when the Jackson brothers went to Africa. At this point I wanted to check out but for some reason I continued to entertain her. So, she said that she thought that Africa would have made a museum or tourist spot of the area where the slave trade took place and that Jermain Jackson did as well. I asked her what made her think that. Her response was "I don't know, that is what was in my mind and in Jermain's too". I just nodded my head and let her continue. She then said that she was shocked that it was run down and looked horrible. So then I had to ask this question, "why would a country want to capitalize or glorify a place that hurt them so much ?" She just went on saying that she just thought that they would. She continued to talk about other things and the more she talked the more I realized how much ignorance we possess when we speak about things we really don't know much about. Then I began to think about how we as people and a society tend to stigmatize a whole race/gender based on one person's ignorance. Just crazy. This is something that I've known but to witness these things puts a whole lot into perspective.

With all of this being said, please do more to educate yourself. READ. READ. READ!!! Don't just use the Internet, read books, find natives of a place, research history....GAIN KNOWLEDGE!! If a subject comes up that you KNOW that you don't know much about only talk about facts and ASK questions. Knowledge is Power!