EXPERIENCE ESSAY 1
Likedfor Myself by Maya Angelou
The story ofMarguerite reminds me of a family gathering that was attended by somefamily members who lived far away. Just like Marguerite, my defensemechanism was not to integrate with people (Angelou, n.d.). However,unlike Marguerite, I did not suffer in silence and was veryinquisitive. When I was faced with strangers, I cherished staying bymyself and in this gathering I strayed away from other familymembers in the gathering. Just like Marguerite did not have thecourage to speak her mind, I also did not have the courage to facestrangers.
A distant uncleapproached me in my solitude and introduced himself and continued toask me about my immediate family. He stated that he was concerned whyI was not joining the other group and I answered that I was notaccustomed to mingle with strangers because to me most of the peoplein the gathering were strangers.
He seemed to understand but then asked me what my ideal state ofbeing happiness was. I replied that it was being alone or aroundpeople who I am well acquainted with. He then informed me of thereasons why I should engage more in talking with people who I did notknow. He elaborated that true happiness was to understand the worldfrom different perspectives and interacting with people who sharedthe same experiences and culture limits an individual’s worldview.This also reflects on Marguerite’s experience since failure toverbally communicate with people hindered her ability to understandpeople in different contexts since she could not decipher theemotions associated with any form of communication she encounteredwith members of her community.
According to myuncle, there are various reasons why people should interact withpeople. One of the reasons is that most people are friendly andwilling to share their experiences in life with other people. Humanbeings are social creatures and as such, most people are very eagerto start interactions with people they have never met before.
The other reason isthat some of the most meaningful relationships are initiated bypeople who met as strangers. There are people who develop friendshipsthat are closer than the immediatefamily members by strangers they met while they were adults. It doesnot hurt to initiate conversation and interact with strangers becauseif one finds that they are not helpful in any way in their lives,then they can forget about them as soon as they part.
I came to learnthat older people impart some life changing wisdom if one caninteract with them. Just like Marguerite learned to appreciateherself because she was approached by a woman she greatly respect, Ialso learnt to confront my fears of interacting with strangers andthis has helped me to interact with people from different culturesand learn more about their cultures.
Angelou, M. (n.d.).Liked for Myself. A Short Story.