My Eyes are Up Here: Focusing on the Wrong Things

I am a 5’2″ 47-year-old Asian woman. You think that says anything meaningful about who I am?

  • was a straight-A student
  • defer to my husband about money, politics, and all big decisions
  • cook all our meals
  • meticulous housekeeper
  • quiet
  • polite

Sorry, all lies. Not one describes me. I’m always reading, writing, and asking questions but that makes me a learner not good at school. I nearly failed Chinese and Chemistry.

Ah, the famous meek Asian wife stereotype. My husband put up a sign on our fence, “Forget the dog, beware of the wife.” And my swearing makes him cringe.

I’ve danced salsa in a tight orange dress and run two ultramarathons. At one time I did three sports (climb, swim, run); being athletic was my excuse for being a bad housekeeper.

I’m quiet at first and then I’m full of questions and you can’t shut me or my loud guffaws up.

Now do you. Paint a broad description of yourself as others might see you along with assumptions. How many are right?

Why are we wasting so much time and energy focusing on stuff that doesn’t matter? I don’t care what gender you want to have sex with, are you qualified for the job? I don’t care about the pigment in your skin, do you have the experience, personality, and drive to lead this organization?

  • to study at this school?
  • to complete this project?
  • to make a safe, self-driving car?
  • to write a compelling, heart-wrenching book?
  • to direct a blockbuster film?
  • to market the iPhone X, Y, and Z?

Do you have what it takes to be the person your community, your company, and your country needs?

We are looking at the wrong things to assess others. We are looking at immutables. It’s like someone had the stupidest, most narrow-minded way to judge others and shouted about it interminably until society wore down and said, “Alright, already! Let’s do what s/he said.”

And what was that? “Does the person have a penis? We don’t want anyone with a penis!” “Does the person have light or dark skin, cuz you know, that says so much about their abilities.” Not even little children are that shallow.

Judge, hire, accept, befriend people by their character, skills, experience, personality, and abilities.

This music video exemplifies my point. Humanity is layered, weird, and unexpected.

The HU is a Mongolian rock band that combines traditional instruments with throat singing, poetry, and Mongolian war cries.

“If you come with evil intentions, we’ll give you a fight!”

The Hu, Wolf Totem

This surprising lyric in the middle of the song throws perception on its head; I thought these were the bad guys.

People are almost always more than they appear. Join the treasure hunt and leave the fools behind.

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