After reading the column about verbal microaggressions, I am stunned (“Through My Lens: Verbal microagressions are common and painful,” July 6). It has gotten to the point that most anything a person says is sure to somehow offend another person. I can’t understand how “Where are you from?” turned into a bad question. I am from the Deep South, and I hear that question multiple times a week if not a day. I see it as a chance to share my heritage and customs without taking offense. By sharing, we have the ability to create understanding and maybe break down some barriers.

As for stereotypes, if a Muslim invites me to dinner I, too, would not bring a bottle of wine. Not as an insult or expecting him to hate wine but as respect for the host’s religion. What indication would I have of whether or not it is a social faux pas to arrive with a bottle? I have many Muslim friends, and the first time we go out to a BYOB, my co-diner will let me know he will bring red and I can bring a white. (People are not mind-readers.)

Here’s my advice for all people: Be proud of who you are, where you are from, your customs, your race, your religion and your family. Step forward to share yourself and request that others share with you. Getting to know your neighbor is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Donald Moore
Westfield, New Jersey