Many Hats

It is in my nature to be malleable. I was raised that way.

People who wear many hats puzzle others at times, and for good reason. Who are they really? Some see it as a strength due to our ability to make meaningful connections with many types of people, and others perceive it to be a weakness because we seem to not know who we really are. Regardless of how you see it, this quality is a significant part of who I am.

Children learn motor and linguistic skills concurrently and as soon as they are born. Motor skills are universal, while the languages learned are not. So what about children who develop their linguistic skills in a multi-lingual household? They are raised to “code-switch.”

Linguistically speaking, code-switching is the mixing of two or more languages within the same discourse. Code-switching is malleable itself, for it is essentially a linguistic accommodation tool to enhance communication between people. This concept was developed not too long ago by sociolinguists as migration, intermarriage, and multilingual communities developed. Its’ accommodating nature, augments the chameleon characteristic in me and how I have learned to communicate and interact with others. Meeting others where they are gives me comfort, because its what I know and have always known.

Meeting others where they are has taught me to understand before being  understood, and to listen before being listened to. Why limit yourself and your experiences? There is so much to learn, so many people to learn from, and so much to do. I am all of the things I have learned, all of the people I have had a privilege of learning from, and all of the experiences I have had.

I guess you could say I was tailored to wear many hats from the very start.


2 thoughts on “Many Hats

  1. R. Newell Searle says:

    Malleable–we are all shape-shifters, chameleons, and creatures of the mist. In the process of becoming bi-lingual (at age 65) I discovered a lesser-known side of my personality that thrives in Mexico.


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