Dominoes Episode Fourty

Tracie’s next interview was with Josh. While the first two interviews were with interns who came from difficult circumstances, Josh came from a privileged background. Tracie was especially interested in his call to make a difference since he seemed to have much of what would be considered a good life.

Tracie:       Your background is different from the other interns in your class. Could you tell me what led you to Charley and the desire to make a difference?

JoshOn the surface, it would seem like I had a good life, but that wasn’t the reality. I was basically raised by my Nanny, Maria. My best friend was her son Ernie. He anglicized his name from Ernesto to fit in. Maria and Ernie lived with us.

My parents sent me to an exclusive academy for my education, and I hated it. My classmates were snots. I had nothing in common with them, their values, their interests, or their view on society.

When my parents were away in Europe, Maria’s mother died. She took me to her home for the funeral. That was a value shaping event in my life, as Charley would describe it. I never felt so at home as I did with Maria’s family. I felt blessed to be so welcomed and that set me on my quest to reduce the cultural divide between the privileged and those who struggle.

TracieI must say that there must have been something in your own mind that was bugging you about equity.

JoshI guess there was, but it’s something that’s hard to recall and reflect on.

TracieWhen you joined the other interns, did you struggle since your background was so different?

JoshI don’t think I struggled, but I believe they had a difficult time accepting me. I felt they were suspicious of my motives and sincerity.

TracieHow did you overcome that?

JoshThat’s something I learned and now share with others: Be your true self. Too many of my classmates in the academy were phonies. They didn’t really like the trappings of privilege, but they felt they had to act the part. They were some of my first believers and they flourished in becoming genuine.

That is also a challenge with those who come from not the best backgrounds. They feel they have to portray a certain image that society has put on them. It was tough getting them to accept those who didn’t have the same life struggles.

TracieHow did you eventually overcome those acceptance struggles?

JoshAs Charley would say it: One domino at a time. Every cultural bond we   established opened up doors to other ones.

TracieAnything else you would like to share with me about your striving for acceptance?

JoshActually what you are doing now is something that is key. We share our life stories. It’s amazing how acceptance is gained when you destroy false perspectives.

TracieThanks so much, Josh.

JoshBy the way, Ernie is now Ernesto.

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“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”– Martin Luther King, Jr.

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