My mum always used to talk about the importance of exposure when I was in teen, and I with my limited life knowledge but
know-it-all attitude agreed. I always thought about it from the point of travel exposure. The reality is, however, that for most people they won’t live too far from where they grew up and even more than that can’t afford to travel due to time and responsibilities or simply money.
But you don’t only have to travel to gain exposure. We live in the age of smart phones with the world at our fingertips. And yet we see people claim ignorance when they get called out for wearing black face. Or claim ignorance with their “Mexican themed” Halloween parties.
Exposure helps us to broaden our perspective on life and how it can be lived. The way we live life is through a series of filters: upbringing, peer influence, culture (which may or may not include a heavy dose of religion).
I watched an interview a few weeks back called “Ask a Crip Member” and the guy said that being crip was all he knew. [Crip; a Los Angeles gang] His father, his uncles and everyone around him lived this gang lifestyle so there was no question about if he would join or not, but more like when. Seeing this interview made me reflect on the importance of my job as a school counselor and why it is important to expose children to different types of careers as early and as frequently as possible. It’s also important that children see people from all different backgrounds (including their own) in different job fields. It helps break the stigma that only certain people can work certain jobs.
We cannot be what cannot see. We cannot create what we cannot imagine.”Second sentence is from lucille clifton
Several years ago (a good while after my husband introduced me to podcasts and audiobooks and I had dismissed them and came back to them) I found this podcast called Travel Like A Boss. I think this was after I spent a glorious year as a recruiter for my uni. and travel fever was high.
I wanted to know how people could make a living just traveling the world or how they made a living just blogging full-time. I got exposure! To a whole different way of living and idea of traveling the world. I heard dozens of stories from different people who was interviewed on the podcast about how they sold off their possessions, created an online business and moved to a low cost of living country while they traveled around.
Who knew people could just be living life on their own terms and not just the limitations put on us by society and our family?? I mean it’s not a complex concept, but family pressure is real and when you have to be the main provider, it’s easier to do the status quo or what will appease your family rather than chase a “silly dream” because no one has been exposed to the possibilities.
- Exposure is having a conversation with a stranger about their culture, opposing political or religious views. You don’t have to adopt their views just listen and learn.
- Exposure is taking 15 minutes of your hours-long social media scrolling and reading an article on a topic you don’t know much about (like the Sudan crisis).
- Exposure is travel (but open-minded travel). Don’t go to a foreign country to stay at the resort and be ordering chicken tenders. Let’s do better!
- Exposure is reading your local newspaper and becoming aware of the issues going on around you. (which reminds me I should read Frontier Magazine and catch up on Myanmar things.)
- Exposure is making an active effort in closing the gap between the things you know you don’t know and the things you do know about. Or something like that. It’s removing the windows of ignorance that we all look through when viewing certain things.
Exposure is also why I have a bunch of random celeb facts, trivia tidbits and rap lyrics stored in my brain instead of useful things like how to make a million dollars in a week.