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A “Thought”

How a dinner table conversation changed my world view.

By saanviPublished 4 months ago 2 min read

My father's immediate bosses who I "thought" were Americans (pay attention to the word thought) recently joined us for dinner. They were not necessarily Americans though. One was a 55 year old man born in France to African parents but earns his livlehood in America by working in a NGO which supports the poor in the Asian Diaspora. The other was a beautiful 70 year old French woman who fell in love with an American man in Italy and hence raised a family of four in Boston, USA.

Post a delicious dinner followed the typical conversation one expects in a multi-nationality sitting - A conversation about varying culture norms ,ongoing geopolitics and how kids these days are addicted to phones. The latter most topic obviously being the most important one.

The one unspoken rule of any group conversation is that every sentence is unrelated to the previous one. If I may add another unspoken rule, it will be that topics of interest in a dinner round table change even faster than a politician’s promises.

In our personal symposium, the debate started with Covid-19 & its repurcussions and quickly jumped over to a totally distinct argument on parenting. The American/African/ French man, also a father to two beautiful sons, impulsively stated a profound yet elementary thought which struck my chords, for a long time, a very very long time.

He quoted,

"My children adapt so quickly to different environments. They were born in USA and went to meet their grandparents in Africa for 7 months and quickly picked up the African Accent. They stayed with their mom for a several months in France and started to love, write,speak & breathe French. The sons kept on joking about they don't know what to say when someone asks them what country they belong to. It was kind of complicated until i found a simple answer. I told them - you are what you feel. Nobody can be in your shoes and tell you who you are. So you say whatever you feel like.”

The conversation, as I said before, continued and swirled on to another 100 topics. Everyone was sharing their thoughts, their experiences, their beliefs and their lame jokes. Most importantly,we were sharing a part of our very own selves. My father, mother, I and the 2 bosses live absolutely different lives from one another. Yet throughout the never ending conversation, for not even an ounce of a moment did any of us not relate to what the other person was saying. Everybody went through more or less the exact same things, exact same feelings, the exact same crossovers. Beautiful.

So Now, I have already decided what i will say 20 years down the line to a random teenager when I turn 40 years old and hopefully wiser.

I will let them know that the more I talk to different people, the more I realize how similar all of us are.

That 55 year old man was correct. You can let nationalities, race, caste,religion segregate you from one another but not define you.

You are just what you are.

No less, No more.

At the end when he left, my mind just saw him as a talkative and sweet man who happens to be my father's boss. Just a boss, not an American boss, like I “thought.”

humanity

About the Creator

saanvi

words elaborate the emotions you see in one’s eyes while the eyes define what one’s soul feels.

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Comments (1)

  • Andrea Corwin 4 months ago

    Aww, I loved your story! So relatable and fun.

saanviWritten by saanvi

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