When I first moved to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in 2013, my first job was with a company called ModuVated. It's founder, Modu Seye was born and raised by a single mother in Senegal, Africa. Over the next 4 years, Modu became my boss, friend, mentor and confidant. His stories about the struggle, growing up in poverty in Senegal, and dealing with racism and hatred once he moved to the United States astounded me. One story that was particularly hard to hear, but showed the character of Modu is that of an encounter with a racist man in a coffee shop.
Modu had just moved to Nebraska from Senegal. He had family there. In his late teens he had no English skills. He stuck out like a sore thumb in the community. One day, while in line at a coffee shop, he was having a hard time placing his order. The man behind him in line proceeded to mutter racial slurs under his breath, and commented on the amount of time he was taking to place his order. Sadly, those slurs included the "N" word.
While Modu recognized the "N" word from popular culture and music, he had never had it used against him. His small fishing village in Senegal was not a place that word was used commonly. In all innocence, Modu turned to the man and asked him why he called him that? As expected, the man went pale. Modu said he was not confrontational, just curious as to what that word meant to the man, and why he chose to use it against him.
Modu offered to buy the man a cup of coffee, so they could both sit down and discuss this word, and what it is meant to instill in someone. According to Modu, the man could not in the end justify the word or why he used it. They shook hands, made amends and walked away with newfound respect for each other.
I think this story is the perfect example of how, sometimes, we hold onto things for no good reason. It's also an example of character, on both ends. Modu, showed restraint and beat someone at their own game. The man learned that his racism was unfounded and without warrant.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephanie Mirich’s journey to wellness began August 2012, when she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology with a focus on Nutrition. Shortly after she became a Fitness Nutrition Expert via NASM. That same year, she was offered a position that would change her life and moved to Mexico.
Stephanie has been working and residing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for eight years. She has worked in the health and wellness industry and currently owns and operates a meal preparation company in Cabo San Lucas.
In 2015 she became a mom, after adopting a child and then giving birth to her own child. Motherhood and wellness have been Stephanie’s focus ever since. She is an advocate of "mom-time" and self-care. To date, she has adopted another child and is looking forward to her life as an ever-evolving mom.
In her spare time, Stephanie likes to walk her three dogs, watch Viking Games and enjoy a glass or two of wine.
WHY THIS SERIES?
At Ingomu we believe that our coaches and team should reflect the reality of the world out there. We also believe that we should celebrate diversity, use our voice and actions to uplift humankind by making a positive difference in the lives of many. We interpret diversity broadly. It includes humans of every color, ability, background, orientation and gender identity.
In light of this we want to start celebrating diversity all year long. Throughout the year we want to share stories of how we as individuals, families, communities or teams have been positively impacted by diverse individuals. We are looking to honor individuals, people we may have never heard of. Your neighbors, family members, colleagues, community members…
In February we'll share stories about the positive impact and achievements of Black individuals in honor of African American and Black History Month. In March we celebrate Women’s History Month. In April its National Deaf History Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage, Older Americans Month and Jewish American Heritage Month is in May, GLBTQ+ in June, Hispanic and Latino heritage in September, National Disability Awareness in October, and National American Indian Heritage Month in November.
We invite you to share your story with us and we’ll publish it in our blog and share in our newsletter. You can submit your story here. If you don’t have a personal story, but have come across a great story in your local media, let us know too.
Check out more Celebrating Diversity posts.