Sometimes, I think I’m just simply naïve to think that we all should blend together at barbecues, at the lunch table at work, at restaurants, at play places…all over. But we don’t. We tend to hang out and be around people we find a familiarity with. The problem is, that the familiarity starts and ends at the color of ones skin. How many of us can truly sit and think of people of another nationality or race that we regularly break bread with? It saddens me to know that some of my friends who read this will say just me, or just one. I’m grateful, that my mom raised me around all of types of people. I’m glad that she showed me that choosing friends based on their character should always trump anything else. I’m glad that I can say that some of my best friends are white, and not use that phrase as a way of coming across as tolerant.
Sitting in that restaurant last night hurt my heart for the first time in years. I was also saddened when I went with my friend to a play place she takes her kids too. Again, I was the only black person and for some reason I felt like I was looked upon as the nanny to her kids. Maybe I’m thinking too much…who knows but the fact that these thoughts are constantly penetrating my head these days says something about what I’m being bombarded with on a daily basis. It’s funny, because years ago I went to a bar with one of my white friends and when she walked in she said she felt weird being the only white person there. My response was welcome to my world. I could see the look of insightfulness in her eyes at that statement. Sometimes, if we take a minute to step into the shoes of another we might just open our eyes to a whole new world and way of seeing things. Maybe, just maybe we’d see a different perspective.
I’m grateful for all of my friends from different nationalities and races. I’m grateful that I’ve felt loved by all types of people. I’m grateful, that I can sit here and say that I choose to come from a place of inclusion rather than exclusion. I’m grateful that I make a concerted effort to be better than what others may blindly perceive me to be. I’m grateful that you took the time to read this J