Assimilating the Knowledge of Others

wormonhookMy gut told me this was a bad thing to do. My eyes told me the worm was suffering. My dad told me, “don’t worry, he can’t feel a thing.” I decided to believe my dad. Why? I loved him. I wanted his respect. I had to fight my brothers for his attention. I wanted desperately to believe he was right, so I cringed and speared the worm.

As we grow and learn, we assimilate beliefs and biases of those we respect. In this situation, I am talking about a worm. However, my dad also shared his beliefs about different religions, about women, about cultures, and I soaked it all up, even if it meant I was internalizing negative stereotypes about myself. Eventually, I had to learn about the worm, and about all the rest. Will you be the person who judges me harshly because I believed my dad? Before you do, ask yourself what you were told when you first learned to bait a worm.

 

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