I grew up in a small town in China. From elementary school to high school, everyone has the same hair cut and wore the same uniform, we all shared same point of view towards political issues. There is a clear answer towards anything but there is no sense of individualism.
I religiously followed every single rule and I was popular and well liked. In my second year of high school, I decided to do something different, I grew my hair over my shoulder, even though the longest length you could have was just over the ear. Instantly, I was criticized and punished for being different.
Moving to New York for college was a big culture shock. I was asked to write a paper about a Russian issue, and used the information I had memorized in High School to write my paper. The professor asked me if I had an opinion on the issue, and I was so confused. I thought I had covered all the points I learned in High School. I didn’t know it was possible to have an opinion towards history.
We all have the moment that we felt criticized, or misunderstood by others. We question ourselves and wonder if we did something wrong. Different points of view doesn’t mean good or bad. They deserve to be heard. Our life experiences, education and many other elements affect our views. When we have limited information, we see things from a limited perspective without further understanding the situation.
For instance, the disagreement between vegan and non-vegan people. It all comes down to being a personal preference. There is no good or bad and both deserve respect.
My sister earned a Finance degree and decided not to pursue anything with it. Instead, she decided to work in a small shop in Brooklyn to help the Chinese community. She told me she is happy and I am happy for her. Although I used to think she can do better, I now know that is my expectation not hers. She wants different things in life. There is no good or bad. We all want to be happy in the end.
Next time, if you see something different, ask before you make a judgment. As I mention in our mission story, we want to change the stereotype of the nail industry and will do so by showcasing our nail specialist’s stories. They might have different lifestyle, but they are amazing individuals who deserve the utmost respect.