this year’s thanksgiving festivities made me much more thankful for my education and the opportunities that it has given me. sitting at a table with people who find no problem with racist slurs has made me realize just how much more open-minded i am than even my close family: aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. i have been blessed with chill parents who have an open-minded worldview and a thirst for knowledge, and they have passed that on to me.

during this thanksgiving dinner i actually got into an argument with my aunt’s long-time boyfriend about the usage of the n-word in todays society. he genuinely didn’t see why it was so terrible for him to say. i immediately downed some wine and started spouting off about topics from my women and gender studies class and the many discussion’s i’ve had in my honors seminars about oppression and class attitude within the contemporary united states. i yelled that he was a heterosexual caucasian male, and that as so, he had no idea the struggle that others have gone through in life, no matter how hard his may have been. he responded that “my people have been persecuted too”, and that was when i rolled my eyes and realized that we were never going to have a real dialogue about the issue.

each fact that i brought up in my argument only served to anger him more, and, by the end, he was tuning me out and i was frustrated at how someone could just not get it. i mean, seriously!? a word so rooted in hate and you see nothing wrong with throwing it around in casual conversation?

the entire conversation/debacle made me realize how far i’ve come and how far i still have yet to go. my education in high school was meh, but that only served to make me more passionate about learning once i got to heidelberg. being there i’ve gained so much knowledge and life experience, and for that i am truly blessed, because that’s something that not everyone gets.

some people stay still, in the same old small town, doing things as they have always been done. but, in my opinion, if you’re not moving forward, then you’re stagnating. life is all about growth: spiritual, educational, artistic, etc. i am so thankful for all of the opportunities for growth that i have had in my life, and i can only hope that during my life journey i continue to have more.