"You don't look like a jose"
and other lenses
What's with the title?
I've heard that particular phrase many times as a child and more so as an adult. Whenever I introduce myself to a person for the first time I almost always get a brief pause and a look that says, "Jose, really?" I can distinctly remember half a dozen times where the individual, either through familiarity or plain bluntness, has told me that I don't look like or sound like a Jose. My favorite episode was when I was asked for my driver's license to prove that I was indeed a Jose. True story.
Preconceived notions, preferences, convictions, stereotypes, pigeonholes, labels.....lenses, we all have them. We use our "lenses" to simplify, compartmentalize, contextualize, and relate in our professional and personal lives; i.e. we see what we need to see.
"We never look beyond our assumptions and, what's worse, we have given up trying to meet others; we just meet ourselves. We don't recognize each other because other people have become our permanent mirrors. If we actually realized this, if we were to become aware of the fact that we are only ever looking at ourselves in the other person, that we are alone in the wilderness, we would go crazy....I implore fate to give me a chance to see beyond myself..."
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery
This is my feeble attempt to swap out the lenses, see more, experiment more; then write about it infrequently. Enjoy.
© 2021 Jose Corella. All Rights Reserved.