The Benefits of Being in a Minority Group

The word minority usually comes with a negative connotation. Sometimes, that word can even be used as a synonym for negative words such as poor or unfortunate. In truth, minority refers to a group with less members than another group. They are also the less dominant group. Minority groups may be given additional characteristics but these are the basic definitions that I am going with.

I consider myself to be a member of many different minority groups. I am black (race) and I am from the Caribbean living in the United States (Ethnicity). I am female (Gender). I am also a member of a less popular minority group. I am left handed. I have never viewed being in a minority group as a disadvantage. Instead, I find it beneficial.

When you are a member of a minority group, you have no choice but to learn to survive in the majority group. I had to learn to survive in a white world, in an American world, in a male world and in a right-handed world. At the same time, of course, being able to survive in my minority sub-groups. Before I give examples, I would like to clarify that this does not hold true for everyone and I do not mean to offend those in majority groups. Because I had to learn to adapt to a white world, I am able to go to a white neighborhood or to a white office place and communicate effectively. People of the majority group do not necessary learn how to communicate with those outside their groups. A white person may go to a black neighborhood and not have the slightest idea of how to communicate with its residents. This proves useful in the workplace when you are dealing with a diverse group of people.

The U.S. is rightfully described as a melting pot. When I moved to the U.S., I had to learn how to survive in tat world. Because I came from a different country, I am also able to relate to foreigners. Even though they may be from a country that I’ve never heard of before, I am able to respect that they have traditions and customs and I am sensitive to their interpretations of life. I am also able to easily understand different accents. This is also useful in the workplace.

I am not at all a strong advocate for women rights but I do understand the power of being woman. Having to survive in a male-dominate world, women learn to be strong and sensible while remaining soft and emotional. We are able to relate to both sexes and are able to transition from a dominant to a submissive role effectively. We can be great bosses and just as great mothers and wives. We understand how we think and we also understand how men think. Women are much better at playing male roles than are males at playing female roles.

I also see being left-handed as a blessing. Most of the other left-handed people that I’ve met are able to use both of their hands. That is the reason why most left-handed people claim to be ambidextrous. I can write with my right hand much better than right-handed people can write with their left hands. I use my right hand for many things such as eating. I can use both hands to play sports. Recently, I was using my right hand to throw frisbees then I switched to my left hand when my right hand got tired. The new friend that I was playing with commented about it saying “Oh, you’re switching to your left hand. Trying to show off now?” I then informed him that I was actually left-handed, which he found shocking. People are unable to tell my handedness, and it’s probably the same for most left-handed people, unless I am writing or I inform them that I am. I can also easily write at a right-handed table and usually use them even when the left-handed tables are available. If a right-handed person was asked to use a left-handed table, he/she would probably have a heart attack.

I embrace being a minority and hope others do the same. I don’t see it as a setback or as a disadvantage but instead as a benefit since it allows me to be able to exist regardless of the situation. It is quite empowering to know that I can go anywhere in the world, with anyone and in any circumstance and still be able to function. Again, this was not meant to criticize or offend anyone. I am aware that their are exceptions to every rule and that my experiences may be different from others in the same position.

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