Monday, March 20, 2006

And Your Point Is?

*whew* long day getting back into the swing of things after Spring Break....

I had a little email exchange over the weekend that reminded me of this little saying....which I've used from time to time as a bit of a humorous "aside" of sorts when talking with friends.

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck......chances's a duck."

There's a lot of truth to that statement. In fact, used wisely, and with GRACE, it can be a helpful admonition. However, used like a blanket, as if every night were a cold one in a home lacking heat, it becomes suffocating and limiting.

Lest my point get lost under the covers of my blankets here...I'm going to give a real life example.

I meet tons of ducks as a teacher. All shapes and sizes. On two specific occasions that I can think of, I've encountered a duck that looked, walked, and quacked as if it had little or no sense whatsoever. The particular ducks I'm speaking of were not part of my homeroom class. (I've been on both sides of this sort of duck scenario) Basically, I've gone to inquire as to how I can relate to such an obviously "bird-brained" duck only to discover that said duck has an IQ of the sort that invents vaccines or finds cures for cancer. This is actually a smart duck. A real smart duck. And yet, it appeared to me, to be a stupid duck. I learned quickly how to be more successful with the duck just by reinterpreting his quacks and responding accordingly.

I think my point might be....that we are all ducks of some sort. And we all make judgments about each other based on our preconceived notions. For me, I'm learning to let the cute little duck statement be just that...a funny little aside that says more about ME than the person I'm looking at or judging. It's a beginning place for me to get to know the REAL duck that's underneath the one I've labeled based on my own biases. I may find that I was entirely correct in my labeling...but...more often, I'll probably learn that there's a lot more to that duck than could be summed up in my cute and funny phrase.

Christine said this in my comments in regards to the fact that she is not typically labeled gay by the way she looks, talks, or acts....
So maybe what's needed is to look at why me being, looking or acting "feminine" is culturally viewed as incompatible with being gay...instead of insisting that I must be straight because I look it, walk it, quack like it...

I could turn that very statement around....and talk about how many "feminine" qualities like creative expression and emotional sensitivity in men are often viewed as being incompatible with being straight.....

I'm tired. Enough of the ducks already. *quack* quack*quack*!


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Jim said...

Ah, you've discovered the 'Create a Link' feature. Excellent. :) Thanks for the thought-provoking writing! It's always a joy to read your thoughts, grace.

grace said...

Thanks! Discovered would make it sound like I sort of new what I was doing...more like..."stumbled onto"! ha!

Angie said...

Oh Grace, this one has always bugged me. I think maybe one reason I'm so open to getting to know THE REAL PERSON as opposed to the perception/snap-judgement is b/c I'm overweight... So I have to fight for people to look beyond what they see and get to know the real me.

People do it all the time when it comes to looks (he's feminine, she's a dumb hick, he's stupid, she's a fat cow, etc.)

OK, so maybe we can't help it if we notice externals... It would be foolish to say we don't. But to leave it at that is a terrible injustice to the person being scrutinized and a big loss for the person doing the scrutinizing.

You have a GREAT POINT! I guess the only thing we can really do is be the change we want to see and pray that it spreads...

Sure did enjoy this post!


grace said...

Thanks Angie! :)

tdubtx said...

to Christine

Whoa--sister! Do I hear ya on that item...!!! (from your previous post but i wanted you to see this comment so i posted here)

How many years have i bemoaned characteristics that i possess that absolutely reflect God's image...that "traditional men" view as "feminine."

one of my closest male friends (and one of the most "male" guys i know if you get what i mean--he's not a redneck but he's a "guy's guy" and not all me) told me once, "you're probably closer to "whole" than I am bcz you possess so many qualities that are so difficult for me to even think about. you're a great father and all "this other stuff" (we were talking about playing sports which i love but suck at and other "masculine" traits) are so easy for you to get to!"

that statement was about 2 years ago; since then he has continued to treat me like...well...just another duck. (albeit a duck with maybe a little more hair product and better shoes than the average duck but a real, genuine drake.)

that's how we should love people, right?

and to dear Grace
thank you for loving me (and others) without concern as to, say, in my instance: what a dumb duck i am from time-to-time.

and for bringing out the "inner drake" in me: thanks for that, too.