I’m not perfect. Which is not a surprise to anyone, nor is the fact that I don’t think I’m perfect.
I’m not a perfect feminist, I’m not always paying attention to my moments of privilege. Sometimes I forget that I’m a hugely lucky person, who was able to take advantage of circumstances. I forget that by going to Montessori and private schools, I was given opportunities than are not common. I forget that I was raised by exceptional people who regularly inspire others to be great. I forget that not everyone knows they can be great. When I forget those things, I make terrible assumptions about the world that slap me in the face. I can be as misanthropic or mysogynistic or racist as the next person.
I’m not a perfect humanist. I’ll say words that I ‘shouldn’t’ say. Very rarely is it out of a desire to use that word to belittle, but I have called people retarded even though I know I shouldn’t, and why I shouldn’t, and that it is offensive. I have also used words that I feel we should be able to use in conversation, when appropriate, questioning why people feel it’s alright for a Jew to say ‘kike’ as an insult to another Jew, and why is it not okay for me to ask in public about the etymology similar words. I’ll rankle when I realize that, since I’m white, it’s socially unacceptable for me to even ask about certain words, and worse if I should happen to use them (not that I would).
I am human. I am imperfect. I make mistakes. I fail.
But it is in those moments of my imperfections, my moments of failure, that I become better and stronger. I find ways to discuss, as intellectual, thinking adults, about those words. I find ways to help other people, men and women, empower themselves and rise past circumstances. And sometimes I’ll fail in those attempts, and always I will try to learn from those failures to do better.
Never do I question these: I am exceptional. I am talented. I am skilled. I am unique.
Never do I forget these: I am privileged. I am lucky. I am imperfect.
I want to share my uniqueness and skills with others. I want to share my luck. I want to give them as much of the chances in life that made me self-assured and bold that I can.
That’s why I do what I do, and how I do it. I want you to come with me.