MONROE, Conn. – April 20, 2021 – PRLog — “I like your shoes,” one of the girls said to me as I walked past after shooting some hoops at the park. “They match your cap,” she added. Delightfully surprised, I lifted my head and smiled. “Thank you,” I replied, “they are my soccer shoes.” Then I continued going my way, walking toward the edge of the basketball court where the two girls were playing. They had arrived about two hours before me and took up a game on one of the adjacent courts, and I pretended not to notice them. But for some reason, one of the girls decided to say something about my shoes as I was leaving. Maybe she wanted to cheer me up after reading my gloomy face glued to the ground. I don’t remember my exact inner feelings at the time I walked past them.
Until she said that she liked my shoes, I did not even notice that the sky-blue color of my soccer shoes matched the color of my hat. Dressing to match is something I consciously stopped doing years ago. However, now and then lightning strikes, and that day my dress colors matched like the winning numbers of a Mohegan Sun slot machine.
Of the many times I put on those shoes and hat, that was the first time I received a compliment. Where did this teenager learn to cheer up a black middle-aged stranger? It seems that every time the world spins with mayhem and racism, any act of kindness across the racial line becomes magnified. Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about how a little white girl wrote him to express how happy she was that a blade-wielding assailant missed his neck jugular veins by inches. A slash through the big vein would have killed him. Thank goodness the assailant missed, the little white girl wrote to Martin Luther King, Jr.
In case you have not noticed, there is a fight between evil and good in this world. Every time evil men and women spit out fires of hatred, good people fight back with arms and love. As such, acts of violence in one part of the world evoke generosity from other parts of the world. Acts of hatred from one pathetic soul evoke acts of love from many souls.
When Hitler invaded France, American soldiers went after him. When Gowon bombed and starved Biafran Igbo Children during the 1967-1970 Nigerian civil wars, mercenaries and humanitarian organizations from across the globe countered his efforts to kill us. With the death of George Floyd and the mistreatment of Asian people, whites, blacks, and all races have escalated their benevolence.
I can sense it; tender love is in the air at this moment around the world. Without what is going on in the United States and around the world, I wonder whether that teenage white girl would have been so nice and gifted in wisdom.
For my childhood’s memoir about the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, visit https://www.amazon.com/