I was struggling to find a lesson from my past to write about. It didn’t take too long for me to find one. I am hoping that you can learn from it. It was a lesson why it is okay for you to be excluded and why it might be beneficial to you, contrary to what the culture of inclusion tells you.
I send us back to January 2001. I had just reported to my ship; “USS Shipname”. I was a little green trying to find my way around a musty, dark ship. I was blessed to meet a Colombian guy from New York that I will call “Pedro”. He showed me around a little and helped me find some stuff around base too. He seemed to be a relatively intelligent person and friendly like the “right kind of people”. I ran into him later in the day and overheard him talking about going to a club. (Noted that I had heard about this club when I lived in a neighboring state). I asked if I could catch a ride. Pedro kind of hemmed and hawed. I was kind of puzzled. He told me that it wouldn’t be a good idea, considering my race and the folks that he hung out with. I was feeling a little slighted. I left to have an uneventful night to myself.
I was peeved at first. I always thought of myself as well mannered and clean cut. I had originally taken it as some form of “reverse racism”. I was wrong on many fronts. The kind of people that Pedro hung out with blew money like it grew on trees. They were also the kind of people that seemed to get into fistfights at known “red zone” bars. A few of the people that went on that club trip weren’t very intelligent in their professional lives, to the point that I got promoted twice before many of them could. Legal trouble could prevent us from attaining certain jobs. I stayed out of legal trouble and they didn’t. It was a good thing Pedro told me to shove off.
After this episode; I found people to hang out with. While they weren’t the most stable either; they invited me to a party and we had a great time. I occasionally hear from a few of the “new friends”. The vast majority of them were able to get through college okay and they don’t find themselves in the arrest column. I felt inspired to not be some drunken redneck lout but to be cultured. I learned that every time someone rejects me gives me an opportunity to find someone better to associate with.