Experience identifies me, not my color.

Kelley Canaday
Sylva, NC

Race is a label that has morphed over time taking on both positive and negative connotations depending on your perspective. Our perspective determines how we perceive race. No matter how much we try to eliminate bias it will always exist on some level. We are an observant people always making judgments based on what we see. These judgments might change or be confirmed as more information becomes available. We develop bias from infancy based on the teachings, actions, and observances of our parents, family, friends, educators, role models, heroes and society; personal experiences; and knowledge.

Color is only one observance of the eye. It is up to education and character to shape how the mid and heart interprets this observation. Our interaction with others determines if it is a positive or negative experience. We then have to make conscious decisions to seek an understanding or accept our first conclusion based on initial sight, current knowledge, and past experience. We must then live with our decision or choose to learn more, look beyond the surface, and create a new experience that not only changes our character and our lives; but it can impact change in others through their observance of our actions in creating a new experience for them. You choose…will you impact positive or negative experiences?

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