When I first arrived in the States, I watched Latino dads push strollers, buy grocery and walk their plentiful kids with awe. Secretly, I blamed the lazy moms who didn’t do their share.
Somehow I lost the analysis of soft-hearted dads and spoiled moms in my closet of thoughts up until recently. While picking up E. from daycare, I always come across a Latino mom who rushes to pick her kids right at closing time, still in her “please come again” vest and nauseating frying odors. It took me two years to make that calculation: while a Latino dad walks his kids, a Latino mom might be frying someone else’s food and vice versa.
There’s always a combo of sophisticated motives as to why people act one way or the other, let alone why an entire race or a country function the way they do! It often takes us a long time to see the whole picture. Yet, when the whole picture clears up, we would have already moved on to a new and “fascinating” analysis without making the effort to update previous inaccurate ones. Our mindsets are forward-driven and there are hardly justifications strong enough to push backwards.
It’s not to say that realizations are always pleasant! Now, whenever I run into a restaurant for a quick bite I think that an entire family’s life might be switched around while I impatiently await my burger!