Stomping On Land Mines

I refuse to tiptoe around conflicts like I’m walking on eggshells. It’s not part of my makeup. I believe in taking matters head on and I’ve never been afraid of a battle.

As a young girl my father taught me lessons with words rather than spankings. My discipline involved sitting down with my father and having an intellectual conversation about my actions. At 7 years old I had to explain why I believed talking while the teacher was talking was okay. I got the chance and was expected to debate my beliefs. Although I was always wrong in my actions I was still encouraged to take the conflict head on. At the end of these conversations my father would instruct me to read a certain book and write a report on it. After writing the report he would once again sit me down and have me debate out my point. By that time I would have a better understand on why I was wrong.

My father taught me lessons that other children weren’t being taught. I wasn’t wrong to be talking while the teacher was talking based on principle. I was wrong because I was given an opportunity to learn and I was taking it for granted. I was taught that my behavior influenced the way people viewed me. That my behavior as a young black girl was constantly being monitored more than others around me. That I had to behave better because I had higher hurdles to jump over.

As an example, I read the book Roots: The Saga of an American Family at 9 years old. It was an advanced book for a young child, but it opened my eyes up to the world around me. As the years went on I continued to read different types of books. It made me stronger in my beliefs on what is right and wrong based on my teachings rather than my spankings.

I was taught how to battle my feelings and thoughts with words rather than violence or shying away. My sister, A, and I are both the same way and it makes communicating with each other a special experience. I have a hard time understanding why other families make the conscious chose to sweep things under the rug and tip toe around each other like nothing is wrong.

I couldn’t live happily in that type of situation and most Tip Toers don’t enjoy my company because I’m like a match in a room full of gas. Walking into these types of situations is like stepping on Land Mines. I, like my sister and father, tend to be catalysts in these types of situations. Our curiosity rolls up the carpet and reveals the dirt that people have carelessly left behind. Most Tip Toers are desperate to be heard because they haven’t been heard in so long.

I wish at times I could stomp on all the eggshells my close Tip Toers are walking around. I wish I could show them that they are afraid of something that should be embraced. Having the ability to communicate with your family and friends without fear is a luxury that I don’t take for granted.

If you’re a Tip Toer I would advise you to get a little crazy and start STOMPING ON YOUR EGG SHELLS!!!

-M

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