I am a white woman, and two of the friends I talk to the most are women of color. We talk about a lot - politics, relationships, parenting, whatever - and I love them. Because we talk about big stuff a lot, race also comes up a lot. I have learned so much from them, but am constantly trying to be thoughtful about the line between asking questions and putting the burden on them to educate me, which I never want to do but I know does happen sometimes. Any tips? Dear Truth Seeker:
Someone once said, “A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues as a friend unchangeably.” It is so important to have friends that you can talk to anything about…no matter the subject. You should not feel as if you have to censor yourself around your friends. I am happy that you are able to have this friend circle and that you seek advice and guidance on topics you may not understand. This is how it should be. I don’t want to speak for your friends, but I would bet they don’t think this is a burden. They would much rather you seek knowledge and understanding than make assumptions. Making assumptions simply means believing things are a certain way with little or no evidence that shows you are correct. You can see how this can have huge repercussions. This is the beauty of having a diverse circle of friends. You are able to share different life experiences, cultures, and knowledge. Recently, very recently, I had two acquaintances who were presented with the opportunity to come to me on controversial topics that don’t directly affect them but do directly affect me. I wished that they would have come to me to seek understanding. Albert Einstein said, “A fool can know, but the point is to understand.” If you have a friend that you can go to, willing to explain certain things that you don’t understand, and willing to not judge you; but simply help you see another perspective, then why would you not tap into that? Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance and seek the wisdom to grow from it. Knowledge on its own is nothing, but the application of useful knowledge is powerful. So, I have to applaud you for taking steps in the right direction. For having the awareness to recognize the things you don’t understand and then seeking the knowledge to grow in your level of understanding even when the topic may be controversial. We all should take a page out of your book. When you know better you do better, and ultimately you become better. ~ Honestly, Rach
What has been the biggest drawback to joining the bachelor franchise? And what would you do differently if you had it to do all over again? Dear No Regrets: I always say that I have a love/hate relationship with the Bachelor franchise. I also say that the Bachelor franchise is a gift and a curse. Being on the Bachelorette has changed my life completely for the better. I am married to the best man. I changed my career path to something I am passionate about and feel invigorated with creativity and passion I once lost. Also, I have a platform to use my voice for the voiceless and have been given the opportunity to create change. So, to answer your question, I would not do anything differently if I had the chance to do it all over again. I was honest, open, strong, and vulnerable but that doesn’t mean that this platform did not come with some drawbacks. The biggest drawback for me has been having high expectations of others whether that be contestants, leads, production, the media, or Bachelor nation, and those expectations were not met. I have equally been beautifully surprised and disappointed at the action or the of lack of action of others. I usually function under the belief that you shouldn’t blame people for disappointing you; blame yourself for expecting too much from them. I guess I forgot to take my own advice. I have seen friends come and go, been affiliated with insipid “beef”, lied on, and misunderstood. I wanted to be the Bachelorette to represent myself to an audience that had never seen a person that looked like me in this role. I knew that not everyone would be a fan of me; but I never anticipated the hate I would receive, the senseless stereotypes, and the pre-conceived notions that were placed on me as the lead. To this day, I am judged for certain things because of assumptions rather than on truth. When compared to another member of Bachelor nation, I am usually not given the benefit of the doubt. The media has been a huge drawback as well, as many times I am unfavorably categorized with headlines, images, and stories for use of clickbait. However, I have come to the realization that I cannot let a few headlines bother me. I have to use these drawbacks as my motivation and not forget the reason I started on this journey in the first place. I was given this platform for a reason and for a purpose. We are called influencers because we have the platform to influence others and the ability to use our voices for purpose. Not everyone can handle that type of power or responsibility. Not everyone can step up when it sounds. But I am of the belief that this is not all about pretty pictures and dance trends. It is about using this space to aspire, to inspire, and to make a difference.
~ Honestly, Rach