Our family often teases Steve and our grandson Knox about how much alike they are. When we walk or hike, they are always the two far behind the rest. In a family conversation, they are the ones not listening. “Really? We’re leaving now? Where are we going?” is typical. When we get ready to leave the house, they are the last two ready.
So it was not surprising when his mother overheard him talking to himself in the peanut butter aisle at the grocery store: “Papaw and I are so much alike. I like crunchy peanut butter. He likes crunchy peanut butter. I’m oblivious. He’s oblivious.”
At least he knows himself–and his grandfather! So we might say they were asleep with their eyes wide open.
I think that, in our white privilege world, we are often asleep with our eyes wide open. My greatest concern about my car right now is that it needs to be washed. But my friend Julee’s concern is if her car will start when she’s ready to go to work.
I’m pleased to find a lotion (Curel in a green bottle) that truly moisturizes in this dry season; I’m sure the people standing at the traffic lights with a sign saying “Homeless. Appreciate anything you can give” are not worried about a better moisturizer.
I’m concerned about healthy food that will help us lose weight; those same people are worried about having food, period. Weight gain is not a problem for them.
I assume I’ll get good service and I usually do; my friends of color can never assume that. They will often be the last ones the server responds to, whether consciously or not.
When I applied for jobs, I did not think about whether my color would influence my getting the job, though now I think it did. I wonder if I would have been offered the jobs if I had been a black woman.
When I read the Bible or any other book, I can read the words easily and understand most of them. My friend Valerie cannot. She struggles over each word and wants so much to understand the Bible.
I notice that certain people aren’t at church and they say they are in too much pain to come. Once I have intense pain myself, I see their situations much more clearly.
I see that my life is full of gifts though I don’t always see them. I want to be more aware not only of my blessings but also the needs of others and how to respond in helpful ways. I want to quit being asleep with my eyes wide open.