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Awareness Does Not Equal Change.

Walking With My Mom

During my early years, around the age of 4 or 5, I recall a walk with my mother. At that time, she carried some extra weight, and during our stroll, a group of teenage boys in a passing car yelled hurtful names at her, including "Hey fatty, fatty 2 x 4 can’t get through the bathroom door!" At that age, I couldn't grasp why they were mocking her, but I keenly felt her embarrassment, shame, and sadness. In her tears, she imparted a powerful lesson: "Never, never make fun of anyone. It hurts them beyond anything you’ll ever know."

The impact of my mother's tears has stayed with me throughout my life, driving me to actively seek opportunities to connect with and empathize with everyone I encounter.

Conversely, my father presented a contrasting demeanor. He appeared distant and clinical, often seeming to tune me out, except when he chose to ridicule me, particularly when I expressed concern for others' feelings. This contrast deepened when, to his dismay, I began expressing liberal viewpoints.

As a result of these experiences, I often engage in internal reflection and question my own motivations. I wonder, "Am I foolish to care?" "Am I naive?" "Do I display my emotions openly?"

Nevertheless, as I grow older, I find myself gradually diminishing the influence of my father's shadow and embracing my mother's the light of her teachings of empathy and compassion.

Am I foolish to care? Absolutely not. Am I naive? I hope so! I aspire to remain endlessly open to wonder. Do I wear my heart on my sleeve? Yes, with immense pride!

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