Does it matter where we begin?
I would argue no and yes.
Where we begin is not nearly as important as where we are going. We start wherever we are and none of us controlled how we came into the world, none of us should be blamed for where we start. That’s why racism and sexism make no sense, we have no control over the colour of our skin or the gender of our body. We should only be judged on the things we can reasonably be expected to control. Unfortunately we all make judgements based on stereotypes and assumptions. Here’s a completely inconsequential example. People ask me sometimes what team I support, they just assume that because I’m a man living in England I must love football and support one team above all others. As it happens I hate football, I find it unbelievably dull (contrary to stereotypes I would rather be watching Love Actually, which I’ve seen at least a half dozen times, or Miss Congeniality, which was my favourite film for a couple of years.)
It seems to me that where we began is important only when we look back at how far we have come. I spent a few days around my birthday last week getting down about how little progress I’ve made the last couple of years. To counter that I tried to focus on some of the things where I have made progress. This has proved really helpful, though it would have been nice to find that positivity sooner rather than spending my birthday moping around like a moody teenager.
We may not be where we want to be but the place where we began is way of in the distance behind us. Let’s keep going forwards.