The audience anticipates the Artist’s arrival. They wait patiently in chairs stretched out across the showroom floor. Admiring the stage setup and the banners that broadcast what the brand is presenting today they eagerly anticipate what they are about to see. Two minutes until the presentation starts and everyone simmers with quiet whisper. Every seat is filled and the room holds a sea of light skinned faces. The Host takes the mic, preparing to introduce the next Artist. “ Alright you guys here we go! We have an amazing Hair cutting demonstration for you today featuring a very talented Artist. Without further ado I introduce to you, Greg Gilmore! “. The crowd claps welcoming the Artist and to their surprise out comes a piece of chocolate. The audience is a little taken back seeing as how my skin complexion noticeable differs from their own. They stare with wonder awaiting the words that are about to come forth. As I speak with clear dictation the audience is soothed by my calm demeanor and impressed with the confidence I exude.
Although I’m very nervous, wondering about how I sound and how I am being perceived I carry on with poise and grace as I carefully articulate my thoughts to the quiet audience. As I loosen up my movements become less stiff and my animated personality starts to shine. After about 10 minutes in, the crowd is pleasantly surprised and interested to see what I have to offer. I continue on introducing my subject matter and laughing along with a calm crowd that seems to be peacefully enjoying my movements.
“ How y’all like that? “ I ask the crowd revealing my Artistry in front of them. Applause sweep through the room encouraging me to continue. With each stroke of my shear I peel away misconceptions that were once there. With every word I release more tension that fades away as the crowd rides with me on this journey of discovery. No longer bewildered by my stage presence the barriers of misunderstanding fall down. Soon we all are laughing and smiling together having fun within this small moment in time. Seems as if the chocolate on stage actually had much to offer and at the same time has paved a way for more understanding amongst the imaginary walls that keep us apart. Through this new connection we come to realize a significant truth. A truth that reveals the commonalities we share after all.
Many times I have found myself in situations where others have cast judgment upon me. Not really knowing me personally they may misinterpreted what I am really about. Rather it has been a misconception about being gay, or black, or even younger then who I’m in front of I have always had to push through those biases using my wisdom to understand that some people just can’t help it. Of course I am not innocent and I too have held others to preconceived judgments. But with time and growth I have come to learn the importance of understanding people and situations before I judge. People that I thought I would never get along with have actually come to be good friends and associates of mine. Situations that I perceived to be a threat have actually been ones of growth and learning. When we take off the lens that would keep us all from seeing that we actually have things in common, we tend to discover more about ourselves as well as others in the process.
The world has so much diversity in it and it would be a shame to be closed off to it. There can be so much to learn from other cultures and people who don’t look like us. Today we find ourselves in a time where we are asked to look at our differences. We are asked to acknowledge these differences and to embrace them. This is not without some friction for there are many who would like things to stay divided and separated as they once were before. However as times continue and we head toward more evolution we are encouraged by the Universe to accept one another as fellow human beings. We are starting to realize that we are all really in this together and as brothers and sisters of Earth we have so much more to gain when we remain open to the greatness that our differences have to offer. I personally am excited about this time. It’s a time we have never seen before and one that promises new hope and peace towards a way better and brighter future. Cheers to New Beginnings.