"When you look at the color blue do you see the same color as I do?" Courage of Fear, Barbara Boyer
I believe Jennifer was in tenth grade when she arrived home that day. She appeared disgruntled and antsy. "What's up?" I asked. "What has you so on edge?"
It appeared that day in one of her classes they were discussing abortions. The teacher had asked the class to take their stance on pro-choice or pro-life. As usual certain youths were called on to present their case and argument to back it up. Jennifer argued pro-life.
After the class, one of her classmates cornered her in the restroom. She was very angry with Jennifer's position. Jennifer explained to me all of the young lady's opinions and normal debates on pro-choice. She was appalled Jennifer would try to set women back with her pro-life stance.
Good for her. I said to my daughter. She was, after all, entitled to her opinions and passions therefore.
That wasn't the problem, according to Jennifer. What was the problem was that this girl was trying to force, through intimidation, her thought process on to Jennifer. . . to make her change her mind. . . to make her agree with her. That was what had Jennifer so upset.
Now, granted, this young lady probably had no idea that Jennifer was a result of a teen pregnancy; I thought to myself. She probably had no idea that my family thought and verbalized that I should have gotten an abortion. I had no right to have a child at my age, where I was at that time in my life. Never mind what Jennifer's rights were at the time (and having been now almost grown and able to think for herself she now thought that it was very likely, had I followed the wishes of my family she wouldn't be.) She probably had no idea, while she was yelling at Jennifer in the high school bathroom, that with each point she made she erased Jennifer's existence just that much more (and maybe I think too much.) Even though all those thoughts raced through my head I simply responded:
"What color blue do you see?" pointing at the hanging blue towel.
What does that have to do with anything? She snapped.
Look at it. Do you see the same color as I do?
Well, ah, yeah. It is blue.
But do we see that color exactly the same?
Are you sure?
Look, honey, we all see things based on the colors we see. There will never be a way to know we see things exactly the same. All that girl did was showed you how not to bully someone, to teach you not to make someone feel guilty because their colors don't let them see things the same way as you.
Even though it was a difficult and traumatic event for her. I have since heard her ask me the exact question.
What color blue do you see?