Monday, February 25, 2013

How Times Have Changed

Yesterday, I was walking through Chicago O'Hare airport and as everyone was hurrying along on their way, I saw something that totally caught my eye. It caught me off-guard, actually. I was so taken aback by it that it made my heart jump. I wish I could have gotten my camera out fast enough to capture it on film.

Here, among thousands of people, were a really old black man and his wife, who was also black. And they were in wheelchairs...being pushed by two 20-something white people. At first, I was just drawn to the sweet looks on their faces that old people like that have sometimes. Then I realized how significant this moment was...two black people being served by two white people. Fifty years ago...just a few more years than I am old (oh my)...this would have never happened. The interesting thing about the sight was that the two 20-somethings had no idea how significant this moment was. They had no idea that 50 years ago it would have been forbidden to even think about doing this. Yet, here they were, smiling, talking, pushing these lovely old people along with no qualm about it. They likely had no thought to the fact that these folks had lived through segregation, had been treated as nothings, had probably been called name after name, and yet still knew how to hold their heads high.

Although I couldn't capture that moment in time with my camera, I captured it in my heart and in my mind. I am so happy that my mom insisted that my middle name be that of her good friend, who was black, and that she instilled in me the value of not being prejudice. It is because of that, that I was able to experience this very powerful moment. It was a moment I will never forget.

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