Now that I am older and wiser, I’ve become more tolerant and accepting and even appreciative of differences.
I pinned this new Jo down to age. Age and experience have mellowed me, and made me a better and more open-minded person while still maintaining that fight within me. You’d think that the older, more experienced and better trained or educated people around me would be the same. However, in the last month, I felt so disappointed when I encountered a couple of people who disgusted me with their prejudicial views and insincerity.
Assaulted By Insincerity
A few months ago, there were a few fabulous initiatives launched at work with the aim to increase engagement between colleagues. I thought that was a wonderful intent. We took that opportunity to share our hobbies, create common interest groups, share tips about family life, health and fitness. I loved blogging, so I shared my blog. However, through my blogs, a colleague picked up about my love for Tarot and told me that it was “spiritual” and the “mambo jambo” was “personally offensive”. I spent a week feeling upset about this personal assault based on someone’s lack of understanding, intolerance and complete disregard for diversity of interests and experiences. I confronted him to find out what then we should be engaging colleagues about. He promptly replied, “Hobbies. You know, like movies, books and food.” So I retorted back, “That’s great, but my hobbies aren’t movies books and food. It is Tarot.” He couldn’t provide me a better justification thereafter, for his prejudicial views. What’s even worse is that I had initially respected that colleague for his progressiveness, strategic thought leadership and experience. How could I be so wrong in my judgment? I can only be thankful that in my role, I don’t have to work too closely with him.
I was keen to move on from that incident because I didn’t want a “fuddy-duddy” and unauthentic person affect the individuality and creativity that I had come to respect in each of my team members at work. I wanted them to know that in a world full of such unauthentic people, we still need to be true to ourselves, and be proud of our respective gifts. Oh, I am not supposed to use the word “gifts”. It has potentially offensive “spiritual”cannotations.
Assaulted By Prejudice
Another incident happened just last week within the Tarot community. I had been working very hard for awhile now, building my knowledge and skills around Tarot. Having obtained my Certified Professional Tarot Reader’s qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) was one of the most fulfilling experiences for me. I am continuing my esoteric studies only because I have a personal ambition to always learn more and be better.
However, a very experienced Tarot reader whom I had been communicating with via social media slapped me with a personal assault that took me awhile to regain composure from, more so because she was a fellow Tarot reader. When she found out about my qualifications, she said “Who are the TCBA to decide whether I am a proficient Tarot reader or not? I have been reading for more than 30 years and am perhaps a better reader than one armed with a certification.” I was appalled at that arrogance because I don’t believe there are such things as better readers or worse readers. As lightworkers, we exist for the purpose of bringing clarity and assurance to our clients. Bad readers and good readers don’t exist. We are just Tarot readers trying to hold the hands of our clients. I wrote a lengthy blog post about this on http://sungoddesstarot.blogspot.sg/2013/01/being-true-to-myself.html?m=1
Still Older But Wiser
25 years ago, I would have removed a shoe to throw it at people like that, and plied the corridors of my office with loud rantings. At my age, I have learnt to accept that such people do exist and we just need to manage them well, not giving them the opportunity to shake our confidence. In fact, I used these examples to better educate my team at work about the importance of being genuine and appreciative of diversity. I also spoke to my Tarot protégés about not being arrogant about their experience with Tarot as they get better in their reading skills. I’d like to think that age and experience did not just make me more appreciative of differences. I’ve also learnt to manage negative situations better too.
In fact, I shared this outlook with David when he was royally "stiffed" by someone who asked him to take some nice corporate photographs of her as she was starting a new business, for a very paltry sum of money. When she got her photos, she said she liked them. Then after sitting on them for ages, David reminded her that he had yet to be paid. She then suddenly said she didn't like them after all but couldn't explain why. David was very angry because it was a matter of principle which she had clearly violated. David was quite outraged as he had been doing fantastic photography work for years and had an amazing portfolio of photography work under his belt as a testament to his skills. He's never had an issue with his clients all this while. This particular one proved to be that odd ball who was just out to get a free ride from someone so dedicated to his craft. I too, would be mad, if it had happened to me.
Having carried my new "older, wiser, more mellowed" outlook for awhile, I tried to be positive and told him," That's ok. It's only a small sum of money. It had nothing to do with your photography and everything to do with the fact that she couldn't accept her lack of er....grace and beauty. In fact, good photography aside, the best photo-editing equipment and an army of make-up artistes couldn't even help that." I was just being completely honest but that got David laughing so hard and perhaps less mad. So you see, whether you are a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, a strategist or a psychotherapist, it's not your education, profession, experience, and seniority that makes you. My older and wiser self tells me, it's actually your self-belief that does.
About the writer:
The writer of this blog post is a 43 year old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a marketeer at a financial institution, her hobby as a certified professional tarot reader and numerologist, and her family which includes a 19 year old son. She's married to a Scot who has been affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" and prays that he does not find out that the term when translated, has labeled him as a "Ginger Head".