A Humble Reminder

There’s this man. I have passed him many a time not knowing who he is. He is confused, wandering, lost. He has been here since I have, most likely longer. He does not have a home, at least to the best of my knowledge. He is disheveled, long hair knotted, an unpleasant scent leaves a trail as he passes by. I pride myself on the importance of being kind to one another, how despite what someone has been through or who they are at their utmost core, they are human. But today, I have failed. I have realized that this man, this man who once I feared, has not violence in his eyes but fear. He fears what the day holds from him. He fears where his next meal will come from. He has fear coursing through his veins, so deep that I will never fully understand his pain. Who am I to judge this man, to insinuate his motives as violent? I did not even know his name. Until today. Until I watched as this man walked into the coffee shop I sit in writing this, and asked for a cup of coffee. He pulls out a crumpled five dollar bill, but the barista did not accept the money, handing him the coffee with a radiant smile. As he is leaving, the barista opens the door for him.

This man’s name is Gavin.

Gavin.

A human first, situation second. To live under a false sense of fear, under a judgement made on irrational pretenses is unjust. Gavin I hope life shines brighter for you today despite the cruelty I have projected towards you in the past. I am deeply sorry for any pain you may have felt from my wary thoughts and fearful stares. What I have witnessed today makes me reflect deeply on my beliefs and I will move forward remembering this moment of humble act of kindness. We are all humans who cannot move forward in fear. We can only move forward in strength, kindness, and love.

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