A Positive Experience in the Midst of Ferguson Unrest

In a previous post, I suggested we start sharing stories of positive experiences with people of other cultures and color to help dispel the fears that drive so much of the prejudice we see. A Facebook post by Kelly Spann is just the type of story I was hoping for and she has given me permission to share. I pray we all actually look for opportunities to share love and common ground. These are the things that will help our community, our country, and the world heal. Here’s Kelly’s story:

I just had the most amazing experience at QuikTrip…..Let me start out by saying I was incredibly sad listening to what was happening in Ferguson last night to the point where I couldn’t even watch. My heart just ached.

I stopped in QT this morning to get gas and my usual ice tea. However, this time was different. It felt completely different as I walked out of my car and I couldn’t put my finger on whether it was a good different or bad. On my way inside, everyone (black, white, & in between) was unbelievably nice and courteous. Then when I was inside getting my ice tea listening to everyone talk about how sad everything is and wrong and how we need to move forward. I stayed out of the conversation, even though I agreed, and then while reaching for a straw, I made eye contact with an older black man. He smiled and said How are you? It was so genuine that I started tearing up right there. He immediately hugged me and told me that “It’s okay. We are all sad but we can and will make it through this together.” I smiled at him and said if only everyone felt this way. We told each other that we hope that you have a great day and to remain positive.

Then as if that wasn’t enough….everyone was courteous and nice on the way out! Finally, when I was in my car, I sat for a minute to just breath and I looked to my right where I say a different younger black man, looked at me, smiled really big, and gave me a thumbs up as if to say everything will be alright as long as we keep up the good. Needless to say I left tearing up again.

A hug, a smile, a kind word can go a long way. And thankfully, this post is traveling far and wide as people are sharing it. How about you? Do you have a positive experience to share that will help dispel stereotypes and bring healing?

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