US vs US


I was cutting some basil to go in an Italian noodle dish I like to make. Gluten free noodles, spicy sausage, and roasted peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, and a little cauliflower. Yummy!  Sadly, I cut my finger and had to go to the emergency room. I’m fine now.

While in the emergency room I talked to quite a few folks. I spoke to a member of a local tribe. She and I had a nice conversation about a range of things. She had brought her daughter in to check on something. A few minutes into our conversation a man and his daughter walked in. Her arm was hurting. He was wearing a t-shirt with lots of gun symbols, “don’t tread on me”, and had tattoos with symbols of white nationalism. Was he aware that his clothes and tattoos must have felt threatening to others in the room? They felt threatening to me.

After they had been through triage, I approached them and asked, “If you don’t mind me asking, what happened? It seems like you are hurting.”

His face brightened up and he indicated that his daughter could answer. She had hurt her shoulder on a swing. We talked about it for a few minutes. She almost smiled and dad seemed relieved to know that other people cared.

“I am so sorry that happened,” I said. The indigenous woman also chimed in with, “I am sorry, too. I hope you will be okay.”

We were suddenly human beings to one another, at least for just a moment.

PTU is busy at work creating our Let’s Go Together program. We have big plans, hopes, and dreams. But it is important in this moment to also attend to the small things, the little interactions, the small kindnesses, that can help open one another’s hearts to the fact that we are in this together. In fact, this kind of interaction is what Let’s Go Together is designed to create.

Be on the watch for how you can show human kindness. Small is powerful. It can turn us from US versus US into the larger WE that we long for.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash