finding comfort in uncomfortable spots

i took my first beekeeping class the other day and it was amazing. extremely informative, engaging, and envigorating. i only thought "i'ma get stung TF up" about 7 times in a 2.5 hour time frame, so i'd say that's pretty great. 

i knew one thing before i attended and was about 89% sure that this thing would remain true: 

i'ma be the only person of color in here.

we've all thought it. we've all been there. we've all felt that cool breeze of uncomfortability after shady looks are directed towards our melanated skin. 

i was, in fact, the only person of color in there.

now to be honest, i didn't feel too uncomfortable - on a scale of 1 - 10, i was at a 6.9 for the majority of the time. i've grown up around the clear folks my whole life, from the schools i've attended to the jobs i've worked in. the only thing i was truly uncomfy with was the location itself and generally being farther than usual, out in THE country. *cough, cough*. i will also say the hosts gave me a bit of a Get Out vibe when the senior keeper, we'll call him, gave a concluding anecdote and referenced the same "Hitler awarding Jesse Owens in the olympics" story, eluding to the fact that humans are the only "animal" on earth that places situational right and wrong, i.e. our moral compasses.

bees don't have any of that. see, bees live as efficiently as possible, only having enough room for those that benefit the hive. each bee has a duty regardless of their "titles". when that duty has been or can no longer be fulfilled, the remaining bees that are on their jobs get rid of whoever is of no use. bees are ruthless AF but with how they live, it makes a lot of sense. beehives contain thousands on top of thousands of bees at a time, and the space is very, VERY limited in traditional hives. so in a sense, i completely understand it, but for bees. this senior keeper made a point of "while it's easy to get whisked away in how bees operate and their work ethics and lack of morality", we humans have that moral switch and should always choose to do good and not evil.

at first, i couldn't have told you where he was heading with that point, but once he got there, it did make sense. bees are fascinating and amazing at what they produce; they make a lot of beneficial things, but they have no mercy. humans take care of other things, we know right from wrong (hopefully), we care and have empathy for those around us. genetically, we love and should always choose to do so.

we all spoke afterwards about beekeeping and farming; essentially living a lifestyle of self-sufficiency and sustainability; being able to live off the land and fend for ourselves should the worst ever happen. they didn't make me feel like an outsider, aside from the fact that basically, everyone but me was a member of their family in some way, shape, or form. i was just a student in their class, learning about bees and all their wonder. 




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Victoria Jones