Friday, April 27, 2007

Companionship: Beyond Race and Ethnicity

Companionship choice is best not about race or ethnicity, it's properly about sensibility. Race and ethnicity are short-term at best--or false at worst--criteria when arguing for social groupings/harmony. A shared set of sensibilities is what ultimately separates--or unites--people.

For example: I like to be around (relax around) people who feel and act as I do. Like appeals to like. I like quiet. I like intelligent, complex analytical conversation (as opposed to competing, argumentative 'sound bites'). I like wit (as distinct from more base humor). I like classical music. I like cleanliness. ("Cleanliness is next to Godliness," I was brought up and subscribe to.) I like courtesy. I like consideration. I like to hear and offer the phrases: '...if you don't mind'; 'thank you'; 'excuse me'; "I'm sorry".

True, I sometimes seek--and find appeal--in the 'other'. Especially when seeking stimulation, I may (and often do) seek a wide diversity of sensibility (life styles, cultures, music, attitudes, etc); the exotic, if you will. But when I want to relax (and perhaps feel 'safe', comfortable), I always return to people and environments that express sensibilities akin to me, who think, feel, act and comport themselves in a manner consistent with me and my contextual desires.

As to my particular ethnicity and race, I am Turkish-American, swarthy of complexion, my original socio-economic class was urban, inner-city, upper-poor; but my sensibilities, my cultural desires, my desired human and physical context) are what others call 'white', or 'WASP', or 'Anglo'; and what I would prefer to call Euro-centric (Northern Euro-centric, at that).

My closest friends come from all races, and diverse ethnicity, but share and adhere to my Northern European sensibilities and desires.

I neither apologize for my groups like-minded choice, nor condemn the 'others'; that is, those with different sensibilities. "To each his own," as my mother used to say. 'Side by side,' I would add; in a free-flowing, while egalitarian, somewhat separate but peaceful harmony.


Post a Comment

<< Home