My examiner told me to come in the room, the verdict of my PhD oral examination was up. I remember clearly how I entered that room as a puny student who felt the exam as the worst colonoscopy ever, with a clear indication of a non-pass. "We've decided to grant you the award, with some minor corrections of course," he said with a smile on his face.
I froze. The examiner, befuddled, grabbed my hand to shake it, "You're a Doctor, son. You seem disappointed." And I was. I stepped out of that room, and one of my professors, who I saw as a superior in every single way (and still do), asked how it went. When I told him, he stretched his hands in what he saw to be a level-playing field. But it isn't.
Now, everybody is calling me "Doctor", as if my knowledge in the field has suddenly sky-rocketed. It hasn't. I'm still that puny student with a bleeding anus. Only now, I can legally put a title before my name.
The concept of titles has always eluded me. It seems as the precursor of a black and white world where I am this and you are that, and there's nothing in between.
I am a heterosexual, and you are a homosexual.
I am a capitalist, you are a communist.
I am a Professor, you are a student.
I am a christian, you are a muslim.
I am right, you are wrong.
I know it's useful in certain situations: you are a man that needs a liver transplant, and your blood is type A+. Period.
But it's limiting in all other cases. My identity is an array of shades of grey, which is in fact the reason of the infinity of possibilities that makes up my personality. This is me, and there's no one like me.
- I'm very against the involvement of government in my day-to-day life (taxes, laws, the democratic process), but I believe that it must also ensure some sort of well-being to its citizens (national security, health care options).
- I prefer women, but if the right guy came along, I would consider him as a life partner.
- I enjoy watching pornography (which many consider misogynistic), and, what from female friends have told me, I'm way too in touch with my feminine side.
- I'm very anti-religion, but I've seen the good it can do in people.
- Some consider me an expert in some fields, but I don't enjoy reading about them.
Is there a title for that?
It always seems to be a personality that has been forced-upon when using a title. And, unfortunately, that personality usually implies prejudice upon other titled people. But, if you took the title away from something and really look at it, is it really the same thing as the title it was given?
- I've heard many christians say that the Bible says that homosexuals are going to Hell, but they have nothing against their homosexual friends.
- I've known of many capitalists denouncing communism (equating it to fascism and nazism), but want their government to provide all the solutions to their problems like Healthcare and Education.
- Everybody hates that person called "boss", but wishes to be one.
- The main argument of the proponents of making gay marriage illegal was that the word "marriage" applied only between a man and a woman. Most if not all of them didn't have any problems of providing the same rights to gay couples as if they were married, just didn't want to call them "married". The more surprising thing was that gays wanted to be called "married"; it was their right, apparently.
- The Health Care reform currently in everybody's mind in the USA was delayed because the Democratic Party wanted to spend time in rebranding it to something else that wasn't called a "Public Option". It sounded like it came from Canada, and who wants that?
- Israeli officials wanted to change the lay-man title of the "Swine Flu", because it wasn't kosher, to "Mexican Flu".
It's as if the problem is not the root issue of a cause, but the way the problem is called. Even the branding of "bad words" as taboo, when looked up closely, seems completely stupid.
As always, Georgy puts it best:
I think the whole reason we're encouraged in this country to think of ourselves as "black and white" (instead of "pink and brown," which is what we are) is that black and white are complete opposites that cannot be reconciled. Black and white can never come together. Pink and brown, on the other hand, might just stand a chance of being blended, might just come together.
If we took the time to go beyond the title, into the actual nitty gritty of our selves, we would be surprised that we are closer to each other than we thought. That the rounding errors of the black and white in this world are actually quite big, and that, even though we are all different, we are also pretty similar.