“Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Thus goes a song I remember from my childhood. I remember singing this at Vacation Bible School and Sunday School. We learned that no matter what you look like or what skin color you have, you are precious to God and should be precious to others.
Sadly not everyone knows this or appreciates it. Take for example the problems at a Starbucks coffee shop this week. Two black men were arrested for being at a store but not ordering. I think they were charged with trespassing. I understand that quite a few people go to the shops for meetings and no one notices.
In fact at this incident, several witnesses who were white were filmed asking what is going on and speaking up that they too were just waiting for someone. And yet these two men were put in handcuffs and escorted by police officers for doing nothing. What the?!
The CEO appeared on Good Morning America this week and said this was despicable and should have never happened. He apologized for this happening and wanted more information about why this happened. He wants to apologize personally to these men. And, he mentioned training for his staff.
In fact, the entire chain will be closed on May 29 for training for all employees. I am impressed with him and his quick response to this problem. He stepped up, apologized, and took action to make changes. May we all do the same when confronted with problems or things that we can change or impact.
I just don’t understand in today’s society why this is still happening. I thought we’d moved on from this but sadly, it seems we haven’t. Many still have prejudices and problems with others, often for no apparent reason. I, for one, want these to stop.
We need to look past the color of another person, and many other attributes and see them for who they are. People who can be our friends and who have come to a coffee shop for a meeting, or to a church to pray, or to a store to shop, or any other place they’d be going. We shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that they are criminals just because of what they look like.
I cannot imagine living life always being worried about being arrested when I haven’t even done anything. And yet, there are many people who deal with this each and every day. That has to be hard to live with and not an easy thing to accept. I feel for them and want to help make life better for them.
Surely we can do better for one another and treat each other with kindness, dignity, and respect, rather than skepticism, distrust, and fright. We shouldn’t hate and fear those who look different than we do or those we don’t really know. Instead let’s use common sense, kindness and compassion when we greet others.
Most children I know don’t see these differences, but instead see a friend who they can talk with, play with, and have fun with. May we learn from these kids.
A few quotes to think about:
- “Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.” ~ Merry Browne
- “Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” ~Wayne W. Dyer
- “One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.” ~Franklin Thomas
- “I’ve learned this about judging people — you can have all the facts and not know the true story.” ~ Robert Brault
- “If your lens is prejudice, you’re wearing the wrong prescription.” ~ Terri Guillemets