I look in the mirror and I see a beautiful specimen, albeit, a work in progress, but a beautiful specimen, nonetheless. It is hard for me to see myself as someone, something to hate. I do not hate many people. Even those who will fix their mouths to spew venom at me, I wish them well. I know the depths of their soul is fighting a battle they will never win. Hate eats at a person’s core, it consumes them, turns them into monsters.
When the monster takes over, it becomes harder to get the human being back. I will not watch the news. I cannot. I read enough about such things to feel like life may never get better. I do not want to believe that. My co-worker has recently started opening up enough and yearning to understand who I am and what my struggles are. When I said to her, “I still get overlooked in restaurants for seating. I will watch several white customers who come in after me get seated before I act.” She shook her head, she said, “Really?!” In her world, she does not know, she cannot know how that feels. I do not mind giving her pieces of my world so she can understand, everyone is not living her life. That can be said for any one human versus another, but we are talking about THIS, so I am talking about THIS. She apologizes if she thinks something is offensive. She did not used to do that before. She will outright ask, “Is this okay to say? I am asking because I do not know.”
And, she does not know. There is no one educating her, she never thought to educate herself, but she has had to work alongside a black woman for four years and now she wants knowledge. She will read something to get a better understanding, then we will talk about it. I have noticed the changes in her. Changing is a process, a lifelong thing. But, she says that she wants to. A small piece of me feels like she NEEDS to. When someone tells you, “I hate that I do not know these things” maybe, just maybe they are truly trying. I am praying all of our daily engagements will prevent the monster from taking over.
I do not need another one of those to run away from. I see far too many of them already. Your post, another heartbreaking example of them.