Kindness knows not color. Just as hearts beat red and tears burn pain, love always softens both.
I am Irish white, but my heart is shades of color. When I’ve been most desperate for help, it was Harriett Tubman I turned to for courage and Maya Angelo for a reason to dream. My whiteness did not bother them. Their blackness did not bother me. We knew each other through the secrets of our hearts and the tears we released.
I’ve never understood the racial divides, though my mom told me this story. I was just a few years old, she said, when a gentleman visited our family’s home looking for work. He was black in color, and I crawled upon his lap. According to my mom, I rubbed his arms thinking the black would come off, which tickled him and left me in giggles. A little white girl and a black man – both laughing at their difference.
A child does not know hate; a child knows wonder - until the child is taught otherwise.
I’m reminded of a quote by Leo Buscaglia. He said, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Travis Rudolph made a difference in a young man’s life, a difference that may affect all that lies ahead for him.
I wonder, what if each of us did the same? Could we, you and I, make a difference in the child down the street, the one who flails his arms when he walks or stutters when he speaks?
Just one child, what if we could help one child see white and black as shadows of the same.