Sam Ross Henderson

  1964 -
  City of Birth:
Philadelphia, PA
 
 

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I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome.  I wish ...


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The Birth of Charles Leonard Wiggins

The story has already been written for awhile on my blog "From the heart of Praise, Prayer and Perseverance. 0; Here is a link to that posting, Below are the pictures of the blessed event.   http://fromthehea rt-dotwigg.blogsp ot.com/2008/03/an other-2-prayer-re quest-answered.ht ml


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Sam's Story > Categories > Mindless Musings

"We Have History" 

 

Date Range: 1971 To 01/13/2009   Comments: 7   Views: 11,010
Attachments: No
 


We each have our own cultural history. Here is part of mine. My mother’s family members were immigrants to the United States. My grandparents and eldest aunt came over first; then my mother and three of her siblings were born here. English was my mom’s second language, which she started learning in school.

She was very proud of her English and critical of her friends who never got rid of their family accents. She never taught me her native language and today I regret that. I envy those who still have that language connection to their cultural heritage.

This was western Pennsylvania. The country my family came from is Poland, but our background is actually not Polish but a mix of Czech, Yugoslavian, Iranian/Persian, and French! My mom was been born in 1933. And I grew up in the sixties. My parents at that time were not very tolerant people. I remember them making disparaging remarks about other immigrant groups, other races, and other religions. Why did I not adopt all those prejudiced attitudes of my parents towards other groups of people?

I think it’s partly because when several other minority families (African Americans, South and Latin Americans, Asians) moved into my neighborhood, my parents could not afford to move away as they wanted to. Living as neighbors with people my parents had previously disliked and feared helped break down many barriers. My parents (and I) came to respect and care for many families in our neighborhood, who, it turned out, were not so very different from us.

That was a past time in western Pennsylvania and this is 2009 in Philadelphia where I live. The minorities have changed, but the dynamics remain similar. We are still studying, working, and living alongside some folks who are different from us. There are differences in skin color, language, religion, food, and country of origin. In addition to our personal cultural history, each of us has had certain experiences, teachers or books that have shaped our tolerance for people different from ourselves.

It’s time to share our stories with each other and with our children. I’m hoping that parents will take some time to reflect on their own levels of tolerance and think about what your children are learning from your words, attitudes, actions, and family stories. And if it seems too complicated as you’re teaching your children how to get along with their diverse classmates and neighbors, just check in with any elementary students. They’ll tell you the simple truth. We should all treat others respectfully, the way we each want to be treated.

 



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Member Since
Jan 2009
Amy Siegert said:
posted on Jan 15, 2009
I live in a bubble compared to this!

Hey Sam, I agree with you wholeheartedly!  Wow, you have so much more diversity in your background and current life than I may ever have.  It's easy for me to sit here in the midwest and say "how can people be so prejudiced" when I haven't really been exposed to much diversity.  Thanks for sharing!


Member Since
Jan 2009
Sam Henderson said:
posted on Jan 15, 2009
Which part of the midwest?

THere have been minority immigration waves into many cities - Philly, Pittsburgh, and slowly moving west. I recently read an interesting stat about how many people from South and Latin America are settling North (Michigan for example). I still wonder "how can people be so prejudice" and I've come to two conclusions, take for what they're worth ;) - 1) fear (change, whatever)/ignorance; 2) low self esteem, putting down others makes one feel superior. / Checking my parents, yes and yes! thanks for commenting!


Member Since
Aug 2007
Susan Janneck said:
posted on Jan 16, 2009
Ah The Golden Rule

I have always lived by the Golden Rule and continue to do so. "Do onto others as you would have them do onto you". It has worked wonderfully for all these years.

Thanks for the memory.


Member Since
Jan 2009
Sam Henderson said:
posted on Jan 16, 2009
Susan

I agree. And when I don't, it comes back to bite me in the arse!!!


Member Since
May 2009
Bruce Jackson said:
posted on Jun 02, 2009
Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Preferences

First let me say that your writing is an easy read and flows well.  I enjoy reading about peoples' cultural influences.  Secondly, I must be the Devil's advocate.  Everyone HAS prejudices.  Likes and dislikes.  Some prefer blondes others prefer Red-heads.  Some are attracted to dark skin, others to light skin.  Being prejudice is part of life.  The only base or improper thing is to allow your personal prejudices influence your decision making ability to treat others as equals with respect and fairness.  It is ok to dislike the cultural earmarks of the "Blue-Skinned" race of Earwaxia.  Not because they have blue skin; but because it is perhaps contrary to your cultural-religious-family values.  It is on the otherhand wrong to be RACIST regarding Earwaxians rights as humans and as citizens of one's country and of this beloved Earth.

Respectfully,
Bruce R. Jackson

PS--Some of my best friends are Earwaxians.


Member Since
Jan 2009
Sam Henderson said:
posted on Jun 03, 2009
True Bruce

Perhaps I should have used the word racism instead of prejudices. I thought about it. The reason I hesitated was b/c racism usually interpreted very narrowly :)


Member Since
Dec 2009
cha menguito said:
posted on Jan 01, 2010
thank you..

hi thank you for the comment you leave on my story about misunderstanding..i dont know where i would leave a comment for you and i just browse your profile to see a comment space..thank you so much for the comment. i am new into the relationship and i dont want anything to destroy it so im trying and were trying to mend it and happy that yes we are on that stage..
  im hoping that me and my boyfriend will be as ok as before..