Just witnessed the most heart-warming interaction. While waiting for BART at the Macarthur station, I overheard a young Black man speaking to a young Black boy (around 9 or 10) that he seemingly didn’t know.
“I’m on my way to college. I go to San Francisco State. You can go there too if you keep your head up, and study hard. I’m going to be looking out for you and every time I see you, I’m going to ask how your grades are.” He gave him a couple of dollars and the young boy just seemed lost in thought, obviously admiring him, but a little shy in his behavior.
Me being the secret grandmother that I am, I felt compelled to run up and swoop up booth of them in a big hug and tell them I’ll be watching out for them too, but somehow, I was able to resist that urge. I did however, start talking to the college student when we got on the BART train. His name was Darius. He told me he always saw the young boy around our neighborhood and was always reminded of how hard it was when he was that age. Today was the first time they had talked. Darius shared that although he was just 23, many of his friends he grew up with were in jail or dead. He survived being shot 3 different times and after surviving the most recent shooting, received a scholarship to study juvenile justice at SF State. “I just try to talk to as many people as possible, I don’t want to see them struggle like I did, go in and out of surgeries, trying to maintain. If I can just save one life from senseless violence, I will feel as if I would have won.”
I saw the way that young boy looked at Darius and I know that exchange won’t be easily forgotten. I know Darius already did win. And I was reminded, yet again, that the most extraordinary things are found in the most ordinary interactions.