I met a school principal who came to America from Africa. He grew from a teacher to principal after teaching pre-kindergarten, middle school, high school, and college. But I learned he didn’t feel like he blended in or belonged here. He helped open my eyes.
I was selling him my old laptop that he would take to students in West Africa. He asked if I would take his $100 into the bank to ask for change. He said it looks bad sometimes to have a black man ask for change for such a large bill. I asked if he felt this way often. He said it’s the way it is.
We talked about an instance which shocked me. He was going to a coffee house where they advertised a viewing of the live famous golf tournament. The workers changed the channel to soccer, and he asked if they would switch it back. A lady in the coffee shop said he “doesn’t have a say” because “he’s not from here.” Whoa!
The closest experience I have to being a stranger in a new place is visiting France. I found myself lost for words and apologizing for this women’s prejudice. There are those out there who don’t understand the hard work it takes to become a U.S. citizen and become a contributor to our society. I don’t get involved in the political side of immigration. My hope is to make everyone around me feel loved and to share kindness. My heart was saddened to hear others don’t approach life in the same vein.
More and more I find myself wanting to spread hope and love in a world of confused an hurting world.
To those who experience others’ hatred, I’m sorry. You are valued, loved and respected by at least one person - me.