Entry #5 Christian Teacher in First Nations Schools~ Journey Toward Forgiveness
Saving Face - Entry #5
You can't reason with perception, especially when its on its own turf would ring in my ears for the next 3 years in that particular community as I would find myself stumbling innocently into one mess after another.
It was "perceived" that I had verbally attacked her in her own home, and that her child was so traumatized she would not attend school and would cower in the corner when I walked by her in the hallway.
The tales were absolutely ridiculous and although I wanted to laugh, at the time I couldn't. I wasn't prepared for the kind of adult bullying I encountered.
Later, I was able to analyze the situation.
1. I was in a I'll-just-explain-and-she'll-understand mode and my appearance at their door was perceived as an intrusion on their privacy.
2. Can't you just picture that small child peeking around the corner at his mother arguing with a white lady. All he would really know is that I was a stranger, coming into his world and causing his mother to be upset.
3. I remember quite vividly that encounter. "Apparently" I went in screaming. No, I wasn't but I can see how in that culture a voice raised an octave could certainly be perceived that way.
Later that year, I gave her daughter my brand new keyboard as I wasn't able to bring it out when I left. I saw her one day in my travels. It was awkward, but at least the compassion was there.