After catching myself in the act of not practicing what I preach about ignorance, I was pretty disappointed in myself. The good news is that I caught myself immediately, reflected on it and had the chance to apologize on the spot.
This happened a few weeks ago at a Christmas party with my former teammates from Media Training Worldwide. After some heated games of Wii bowling, we settled as a group for a game of Pictionary – girls vs guys.
Our team rocked, especially with the contributions of Susan Justice. Not only is Susan a stellar person, she is an up and coming singer/songwriter. I remember looking at her and thinking that one day her music will be everywhere and I’ll be able to say, “oh yeah, I know Susan personally. We played charades together and kicked the other team’s butt!” Then it hit me. What if she turns into one of those crazy stars who becomes addicted to partying and loses herself in fame?
I turned to her and asked her to promise me she wouldn’t let that happen – wouldn’t let fame ruin the amazing person she is.
Her smile faded and she shot back, “you know, that really isn’t all that common. Not everyone does that.” I stopped in my tracks and felt about “this small” (imagine my fingers making the itty bitty pinching gesture).
I immediately regretted my statement, and felt so very ignorant. After a few minutes of contemplation, I apologized and specifically called myself out on the ignorant assumption. She explained that she hears comments like that often, especially “don’t forget where you came from.” Her frustration was evident.
The joyous part of this situation is that ignorance is detectable and able to be rectified with a heartfelt apology. Sorry again Susan. Thanks again for graciously accepting my apology.
p.s. When you have a minute, check out her bio. Amazing life story.