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Be curious, not judgmental

Courtesy of Izayah Morgan

By Izayah Morgan

Opinions Editor

This week marks the start of a new chapter in my life, for no particular reason other than that's what I feel God wants for me. This Op/Ed may shift your perspective on others and encourage you to look, to understand, not judge. 

As a boy I grew up in my younger adolescent years with no father. He passed away in 2010 due to an overdose of drugs found in his body. It fundamentally changed my outlook on life, with people-pleasing tendencies taking hold to make sure I would never lose anyone again.

I was angry at him for so long, and blamed him for ruining my life - taking responsibility from myself in the process, to make sure I wouldn't feel that pain again, I grew into people-pleasing tendencies. 

It also caused me to blame my mother in the process, creating some divide between us. It didn't help that we were on the lower income end so stress at that time was high.

I was an angry Black boy, who often felt misunderstood by his teachers, peers, and yes, his own family.

I did not give my mother the grace to understand that she was raising a growing Black boy on her own, with limited help from the government.

Eventually, I would go to live with my uncle and aunt for a while, who are now happily married. There I learned many fundamental principles on how I as a man must live. I took on many responsibilities, whether it was academics, sports, or clubs.

It was all a distraction to what I truly wanted, however. After I graduated highschool, I questioned all the existential dread and people-pleasing tendencies I had. I question whether or not I had anything to give so people wouldn’t leave.

Some left, but others stayed.

At first, I was angry at others for leaving. Now after some time of reflection, I understand it more. We as a society have been scarred by our teachers, peers, parents, siblings, and even ourselves. We have been taught to hide this pain throughout society, which is understandable. 

Which is why some left, and others stayed.

But don't look at the people who have left as evil people. They are people who have just been hurt and who do not know how to process hurting someone else.

That is why I make it my God-given purpose to do my best to show love to my fellow Man, not out of people pleasing, self hate, or trauma. But because that’s the purpose I'm here and for me to understand that so early is a blessing in disguise.

I must thank my creator.

You end up limiting yourself by limiting your understanding of other people. As a person when I am present with someone who hates me for being me, I don't just hurl insults back at them, because in a way I would just be proving their point of why they have those biases in the first place.

So instead I seek to understand why they think that way, which is most likely pain and trauma. Maybe I show them a different perspective but more so I keep my integrity as a person.

That may be even under threat, insults, embarrassment, or even fear, that I still have love to give.

To end on a high note I will quote my favorite TV series of all time, “Ted Lasso,” who is an American football coach who ended up taking a long flight to coach for a European football team. 

Ted is what I seek to embody as not just a man but a person. Overwhelming positivity that is still present in the face of adversity, betrayal, lies and hate. He still seeks to understand the person causing the hurt. He keeps his integrity but also the love of himself.

He often describes people as “tough cookies.”

Thinking about it, we have all met someone who is a tough cookie.

Ted would respond, “You know what you do with tough cookies right? Dip ’em in milk.”


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