…As I Am
Young Travon Martin had recently been murdered by George Zimmerman!!! If you don’t know the story, perhaps you’re still turning a blind eye to the atrocities plaguing the black community and maybe this will help you open them. I only mention Trayvon’s name to bring context and timeline to this story, but the issues are unfortunately very current.
It was an early spring afternoon when I noticed her walking…struggling a bit, but continuously moving. She was an elderly white woman and hindered a bit, but still able enough to care for herself. I was done making my deliveries in this affluent western suburban area and relaxing in my work truck for a spell when she crossed my path. I watched her toil along for a few yards with her belongings and wondered what her family background was like. She was exiting a retirement home on her way to her car parked in the same lot I was parked in, and I thought to myself where was the help of loved ones she may have. I thought about my mom and what I would do for her as she got older in age. I thought about how she raised me… as a man with values, principles, integrity, and a respect for life in all that it entails. She raised me to respect my elders, to be a gentleman, open doors, and exhibit manners at all times. Then, I took a look at my current self and immediately contrasted all that I was at that exact moment. I was a middle aged black man dressed in jeans, a hoodie, and a scull cap; attire suitable for a delivery driver on a brisk afternoon… but to approach an old white lady, not so much! I’m at a crossroads! Do I uphold all that was instilled me and offer to “help an old lady across the street?” Do I try to tidy up my appearance to ease her fear of danger from a black man in a hoodie and skull cap? Do I now turn said blind eye to an elderly white woman in need of assistance same as white America does the black community? I chose the first option and approached her As I Am, as my my mother and village raised me to be, and conscious of the state of the world as it is. Hello mam, do you need any help carrying your belongings? Much to my surprise, she gleefully obliged. My car is just a little ways up, the yellow one she said. As we slowly strolled ahead we engage in small talk about the weather, her past employment as a receptionist, and how she enjoys the retired life. She encourages me to look forward to the same and we even share a few laughs. See people, we are all the same at the core….PEOPLE! We all want the same things…to simply live and enjoy life. I’m glad I had all my preconceived notions about who she might be, but approached her in spite of. And I’m even more grateful she saw that a black man in a hoodie and scull cap wasn’t a threat. He was a gentleman, a father, and help when she was in need.
Embrace NECESSARY Things