…this morning a man I had never seen before started talking to me on my way out of the store… The man had slurred speech, dirty clothes, a patch over his eye, and a cigarette in his mouth… When I heard him start talking to me, I stopped, made eye contact, and gave him my full attention. The man then proceeded to tell me about how he had been shot and stabbed before taking off his eye patch and lifting his shirt to show me his wounds.
… after taking only two minutes of my time, it was clear that he wasn’t asking for my sympathy or a handout; he simply wanted to be seen, to be acknowledged as a human being without being looked down at, to exist in my world.
,,,I share this simply as a reminder that sometimes what people need the most is to be seen, heard, and to be viewed as human beings instead of monsters. Sometimes people need to feel visible in the eyes of others instead of like a problem being swept under the rug or ignored.
…to that man: I let him know that I see him, acknowledge his humanity, and wish kindness on him. He didn’t ask me to feel sorry for him, and I don’t. He didn’t ask me for a handout, and none was given… hopefully what I did give was enough.
…To all my folks posting the hashtag #AllLivesMatter; I only have one question for you. Do you feel this way about people that haven’t been killed? ~ Sean King
I’m not at a loss for words, I just find myself saying the same words over and over again. Today like every other day my soul cries for broken hearted parents who find themselves unnecessarily burying their children prematurely. I feel like a murderer every time our society fails the innocents among us. I feel like a rapist every time innocence is taken from a child who awakes to the hopeless horrors and their dreams become forever tarnished. I feel like a hypocrite because every single time a tragedy happens, we become temporarily human, compassionate and caring, and kind. But like all tragedies before this one, the pain, compassion, and human kindness will go away as we retreat back into our self centered bubbles and argue about the principle of what should be, while life continues to be lost to the reality of what is. To say we have to do better is a gross understatement. But I’ll say it anyway because it’s the truth. We must do better if we want to have any chance at a brighter tomorrow. — Sean King