My multicultural counseling course started yesterday and the professor played a little game on us by pretending to be one of the students in the class. He came in, took a seat and we all read an assignment left on the board and started to work. Once the gig was up, it was interesting to see all the stereotypes we noted - why he didn’t look like the teacher. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and one girl said when she came to class she looked around and assumed I was the instructor. Ha!
It’s going to be a helpful class, there are so many variables that go into our identity. Between our ethnicity, our education, our marital status, values, age, gender, religion, family, behavior, experience, temperament, personality,and biology, we are definitely shaped by each characteristic. Our cultural map consists of a bit of all of these.
Still, no matter what things we might know about someone else, I do like Barbara Kingsolver’s sentiment that what we don’t know might be more important than what we do know.