I was born a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and a Person of Color (POC) in the good ole’ USA. My mother was a beautiful and caring ethnically mixed HSP, Josephine Valorie (French, Native American, and Caribbean) and my father was, unfortunately, a confused, Black, non –HSP, whom I will call Mr. Man. My Mom is 91 and living alone, but not lonely, in San Jose, California, near my caring and loving HSP sister and brother-in-law (Barb and Keith). Mr. Man is dancing with the devil six feet under.
When I was five years old, Mr. Man was abusive towards my Mom. After one of his binge drinking sessions, we caught him cheating on my Mom, and I was the snitch. As a result, a quarrel broke out. As he was on top of my Mom and beating her with his bare knuckles, I, not knowing what I was doing, tried to stab Mr. Man with a pair of my round-nose, arts and crafts scissors. I was unsuccessful! Soon after that episode, my Mom got him moved out of our home, thank God! Years later he finally got his–his HEART gave out! Physically for him and both physically and metaphorically for me.
Ok, eeeeeeeeenough! I will STOP the rant. I am just saying, so you know that I am a little broken from that episode in my life. As I matured, my Sensitive mechanism, D.O.E.S (Deep thinker, Overstimulated easily, Empathetic and Sensitive to subtleties) kicked in, and I tried to forgive him. However, it has been painfully hard. The aftershock is still nagging me. Even when I look in the mirror, I would sometimes see glimpses of his face agonizing. I am sure some of you can relate.
Guided by Martin Luthur King Jr.
Fortunately, I grew up under the voice and indirect tutelage of Martin Luther King Jr. His spoken words touched me deeply and must have awakened me to some extent. However, I searched for some truth to free me from the shackles of the Mr. Man prison I was still living in. I was also facing the RACE card that I was dealing with during my development. I began to understand that Mr. Man may have been livng in his own baggage of systemic racism from growing up in the good ole’ USA too. This may have caused him to be living in a manic state, Hmmm!!!!
I was raised in Monterey, California’s small seaside village, so I mostly saw the evil of racism on TV and felt the tension at my high school. My Mom never spoke poorly about other races; she never called names nor put others down. She always made my sister and I feel that we had BOUNDLESS potential. But I was still impacted! I was labeled many things, Colored, Coon, Negro, Ni**er, Boy, African American, Black and today, well, I am not sure what we are called today, don’t really care either.
Ok, moving along, the riots came and went, and we (POCs) thought maybe a change was finally in the making. Over the years Hank Aaron had knocked it out of the park, Mohammed Ali floated in like a butterfly and stung like a bee, South African leader Nelson Mandela became a global influence, Tiger Woods was a hole in one, the Williams sisters were doubling down in the tennis world, and then Barack Obama! For a while, “Yes, we can” became the new norm. He made me so PROUD, and like a healthy HSP, I cried for joy and thought to myself that Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ had finally come to fruition.
Learning from Elaine Aron
Then things changed again in the good ole’ USA four years ago. Clearly it will not be permanent. Another thing that changed that really is permanent is that I learned I was highly sensitive. And my high sensitivity has really helped during these times. Sometimes being an HSP can be awkward until you grasp the beauty of this powerful trait. Then you can unleash the positive and take control of your life, making a difference for many, as I hope I have done with our movies. Today and always, I am marching to the beat of a different drummer and proud of it. I am a registered HSP-POC and loving life. I have metamorphosized FOR THE BETTER. FANTASTIC! You will see what I mean below.
All this because I met an angel who truly understands the seat of consciousness. My cherished friend and creative collaborator in many film productions, she is the author of The Highly Sensitive Person, Elaine Aron, Ph.D., researcher, psychologist, best-selling author, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and the godmother of us Highly Sensitive People. She orchestrated our movement (although she hates that term for it!) in concert with her NON-HIGHLY SENSITIVE and loving husband, Dr. Arthur Aron, the voice of intimate relations and love.
OKAY, now for the POINT OF NO RETURN – 2020, two significant crises have simultaneously touched down on Planet Earth amid the Climate Crisis. It seems it has taken one disaster, the CORONA VIRUS 19 pandemic, to keep the global community away from each other (social distancing). And another one, social injustice, to bring us together. What a total paradox, yet it is ‘Supercalifragilistic’ and beyond me. The oddity is now we have the world’s attention. First, you get their attention, then you educate!
My Goal—Educating the Public about HSPs, Especially HS POCs!
My goal is to become an advocate for educating the public with what I have learned from embracing my Highly Sensitive gift. I have already done that with three films, beginning with Sensitive, the Untold Story and there will be more. Now I will also do it with short films on YouTube@WillHarperG2G_HSM.
Again my inspiration is MLK. He was known by many as a sensitive soul. His friends and family told me he was a deep, deep thinker, empathetic towards all, and cried easily. He lived in an overstimulated state, yet he was a real visionary, feeling and reading the state of affairs–affairs that needed immediate attention, not a blind eye. He witnessed systemic racism first hand in the USA. MLK said, “True education doesn’t result in the simple ability to spit out memorized facts and score well on standardized tests. Education should enable the student to learn how to reason, how to determine the false from fact. The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character is the goal of true education.”
Through my new YouTube vlog and my association with the Arons and all my collaborators, HSP and not, we will engage, embrace, and educate. I like to call it edutainment, utilizing mass communication through music, film, and digital applications. I will introduce you to my sensitive and non-sensitive friends of color and share their unique stories about the innate trait of high sensitivity. Don’t forget that 1.4 billion people (20%) of the world population are HSPs and represent various genders, races, and nationalities. We have so much enlightenment to share as we continue on this trajectory of repairing our broken country and our world.
It is the time to stay on the highway to success as we are currently on a roll. It is an exciting time; electrifying is what I would call it. I have come a long way since Mr. Man kicked me and my mom’s spirit around. I have forgiven my father for the most part. Thank you, Elaine Aron, for the bailout, I will take it from here. ☺
I am a highly sensitive person. I am a highly sensitive person of color. I am proud to be who I am and what I am, and I am looking forward because the future is now. Hopefully, we can one day say these words, “Free at Last, Free at Last, thank God almighty we’re free at last.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. August 28, 1963