I was born a child of God. I was assigned “Christianity.”
I was born female. I was assigned “femininity.”
I was born brown. I was assigned “black.”
From the moment of my introduction to this world, people have conferred these ‘assignments’ upon me like honorary degrees. I hadn’t even graduated to reciting my first word before people had already given their recitations on who I would be.
“We believe in this, so she shall believe in this.”
“We see things that way, so she shall see things that way.”
Like bifocals, I used these assignments to scrutinize the world and myself according to their high definitions. And like blinders, I used them to block out the bigger picture.
While assignments like these are often meant as constructive guides in an often-deemed destructive world, they pale in comparison to the guides that we were all born to be…for our own damn selves.
And while “Christianity,” “femininity” and “black” have given me languages to couch my words within, ours is now a relationship based on formality rather than familiarity; for I recognize that these assignments have been given to me, but I do not bind myself to them as they are not me.
Yet, I’m sure like many recipients of Doctor of Humane Letters do, I do admire my honorary assignments from time to time, especially in inhumane times when their meanings can seem to mean the most. (I’m talking to you, South Carolina.)
But then, after awhile – and usually after a good read – I remove the bifocals and blinders of bias so that I can see what’s really going on, and close my eyes so that I can see who I really am.
I was born a being of love.
I was born to be loved.
I was born to love.
Copyright © 2014-2016 Stephanie Rochelle Redd. All rights reserved.