Assumptions are sooo dangerous
Its taken me a long time to realise just how dangerous - and I still often forget
I forget that I see things through my own personal lens
From my own perspective
And under the weight of my own baggage
Whether I want to or not . . .
An example -
My man and I pulled into a petrol station (gas station, for those of you who speak American :-)
and, as is normal in our country, the petrol attendant came to the car window to find out what we needed.
We told him and he proceeded to fill our tank
I suddenly became aware of two females glowering at us as we sat in our car.
They were standing next to another car parked parallel to us in the same garage.
They were MAD!
And we were the ones making them so mad
Without having a clue why
They began to speak loudly to each other but their words were actually directed at us -
It went along these lines: 'these lazy arrogant @%$&@# white South Africans are too bone idle to get out of their cars and fill their own petrol tanks
And the poor downtrodden black South Africans have to wait on them (us!) hand and foot.
What a useless lot they (we) are . . .'
I was hurt and outraged.
And so tempted to go over and put them straight . .
In retrospect, it might have been a good idea if I hadn't been so angry -
The thing is (which they didn't know or hadn't thought about) that of course we could put in our own petrol, but that would rob thousands of people of their jobs and their only means of income
Jobs are very hard to come by in this country - unemployment is rife
Their particular mindsets led to false assumptions
My guess is that those two women took those assumptions back to England with them
And that they live with, and spread, this jaundiced view of us to this day.
Which is, of course, also an assumption - mine -