I’m More Than What You See

February 13, 2017

Sometime in the summer of 2004 I was coming out of Safeway getting my morning coffee from Starbucks.

I was driving my black Toyota Tacoma then and both my Rottweilers Nahla and Max were in the back, tied down in the bed of the truck.

It was a beautiful summer day.

As I walked out to my truck wearing shorts and a tank top with my head clean shaven , I was approached by a man.

He said “Excuse me, can I talk to you” ? I said sure what’s up ?

He said “I want to apologize to you”. Even though I’ve never met this man before I listen and said “Apologize for what”?.

He began to tell me a story, he said that he is a traveling salesman in the city and usually takes his lunch at this Safeway.

He said I see you come here almost everyday with your big truck, big dogs, your shaved head and your muscles in a tank top( granted I was in shape then lol).

He went on to tell me that everyday he sees me he gets angry and despises me.

He said in the 60’s when he was young he and his best friend who was black tried to get people to register to vote (this gentleman was white) .

He begins to get emotional and tells me how his best friend an he were attacked during their efforts to register voters. His best friend was killed and he was in the hospital for 6 months.

Then he said you reminded me of my attackers, I thought you were a skin head or white supremacist until I saw the sticker in the back of your truck that I’ve never seen all this time , the sticker that says “End Hate End Racism”.

He said I’m sorry that I judged you and believed you were someone you’re not. I said it’s ok I’m sorry you lost your best friend.

It was an eye opening moment for me, because I never really think much about how people see me or if they question my motives my intentions as a White male.

Many people just see what’s on the outside initially they don’t see my heart or know that as a Jew I try to live by the phrase “Tikkun Olam” (To heal or repair the world) .

The truck and the dogs are gone and so is the sticker, but that moment will stay with me forever. We never know who is watching us or what they think of us.

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