I am super extremely thankful for the many therapists, mentors, and more mature people I had in my life helping me through some deeply tough times.
But—I recognize that many of these people were middle-aged white American males. They truly did help me, really, and yet I knew their limitations, me being Asian-American and all (and I understand the reverse would be true, too).
The weird thing is: many of the white American males who had counseled me didn’t really think they had a cultural bias. They thought “My thoughts are just the way things are, and Asians / Latinos / Blacks have a culture.”
So I was being taught “the way things are,” as if my culture needed correction, without a recognition that white culture was also its own view of life and not “the way things are.”
I truly am thankful for many of these men who helped me through hard times. I was just confused and surprised that they mostly couldn’t see they were also working through a biased cultural lens. This severely limited their empathy and connection.
Every culture has something to cherish, something to be embarrassed about, something to work on and to learn from. I think we must first acknowledge that no culture is the default, we each have blind spots, and we each must enter into each other’s space with open hands.
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