Posted in Sleepless Nights, Writing

Stupidity and Ignorance

Hi. I’m judgmental.

I’m a know-it-all. I’m culturally diverse. I’m Korean, I’m Chinese, I’m American, I’m none of the above, I’m  strange, I’m stuck between worlds.

I’m a Third Culture Kid.

People judge me because I’m ignorant about their culture or language. I judge them because they’re ignorant about my culture and/or  languages. People ask me stupid questions about things they’ve never been exposed to. I ask them stupid questions about the things I’ve never been exposed to.

And I’m so. Stupid. For doing that.

It might be more of a TCK thing where we especially seem to judge our passport countries more harshly than we judge any other place. To be completely honest, I’ve had a hard time not making fun of any culturally ignorant people I’ve met in the States, or making fun of others’ American accents when they try speaking a language I’m familiar with.

When a Chinese friend has a hard time pronouncing an English word? No problem! Why should I expect them to get the pronunciation down just like that? But when an American is butchering Chinese, it’s hard not to laugh. Why?

I don’t know why. It’s only in my passport country that I want to show people, hey, I’m really not like you guys. A lot of the time, I feel against my own country, maybe partially because I feel like I can’t have loyalties to so many different countries. I feel different everywhere else, and I want to make it particularly known to the place where I should be the most like everyone else.

But how on earth does it make sense to think someone is stupid just because they haven’t been exposed to it as I’ve been? Not knowing the location of an obscure city in a country on the other side of the world isn’t an indication of a lack of intelligence; it’s an indication of lack of familiarity. It’d be unfair for someone to think I’m stupid because I’ve never heard of Justin Beiber. It’s unfair for me to think someone’s stupid because they don’t know how to read pinyin. It’s dumb to keep comparing when there’s always so much that everyone on earth doesn’t know.

That’s what cultural ignorance is. I can’t blame people for not being exposed to other cultures. It’s out of their control. If they’re hating on every culture unlike their own, that’s a different story; but if it’s simply not knowing it, I should let it slide, just like they mostly do for me.

Much as I sometimes hate to admit it, there’s a difference between stupidity and ignorance. Ignorance often can’t be helped. There was always a point at which you didn’t know what you expect the other person to know now. Give others grace… Elisabeth….. >.<

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I'm just a kid in the big, wide world, trying to find my way through life by clinging to the hope of something better.

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