Latest News/Ongoing Projects
The Ask and the Tell
May 6, 2017

To complete my trilogy of blogs from American Samoa, I start with a slight unfortunate incident. In preparation for the final rehearsal on my final day, I implored the students to be timely, as we would have just about an hour to run through our devised play before one actor had to return to class. Quite wonderfully they were all true to the promise, although one young woman approached me with an air of deference, which suggested a problem. She apologized and asked if it would be okay for her to leave early as she had received a call that her daughter was sick. She wondered whether that would be okay. She had intended to stop by the hospital before rehearsal but thought it was important to show up and ask. I responded that if this was about her daughter, I didn't think she even needed to ask. Of course she had to care for her daughter. She ensured us that she didn't have to leave right then, that she could stay for the first hour. 

Her ask put me in mind of multiple times just over the past year in which people didn't show up to a workshop or event and then told us afterwards why they had a legitimate excuse and seemed a little put off that we didn't automatically forgive them the absence and then mentioned to them that they would need to make up for the absence. 

The ask and the tell. 

In my recent blogs, I've written of the differences in human interaction from one place to another, how certain behaviors and attitudes permeate a place and really contribute to how you, yourself, want to then respond and behave. 

The ask suggests, to me, that the speaker feels it is a privilege to have the opportunity to share time with you and uncomfortable with burdening you with their issues. 

The tell suggests, to me, that the speaker feels it is their privilege to make decisions that are good for them despite the possible inconvenience or problems that it might cause you. 

The cult of the privileged vs. the culture of feeling privileged to share time with others whom they don't wish to disappoint.