Halfway down this road and deep into my walk this morning I saw a truck pull out of a driveway. I assumed it was heading out to the main road and quickly learned it was heading toward me.
“Can I help you?” the driver asked rolling down his window. He was missing a few teeth and his skin was red from the sun.
“No, I don’t need any help," I said
“Well whadaya doing on this road?” he asked.
“I’m walking,” I replied.
“Well you’re on a private road and we’ve had a lot of break-ins lately. There used to be a sign saying it was private.”
“Sir there’s no sign and I’m walking. I’m not here to break into anything. I’m walking. I’m going to leave this road and I want to leave it with you hearing that I am walking.” I turned and walked away.
All this got me thinking. Maybe he’s asking a bigger question that others might need some answers to. This walk was in my neighborhood. I was walking around the corner from where I live. Here are four suggestions on ways to help where you live when the sign has gone missing from your private road.
- Ask the walker how our walk has been and give us the opportunity to hear how yours has been too.
- Get out and walk with us. The fact that we haven’t walked in each other’s shoes does not mean we can’t begin to walk together.
- If you want to help. Help. Use your voice and your presence to speak up and out for those that DON’T look like you to those that DO look like you. Call them out on their bullshit assumptions. They’re more likely to listen to you than to us walkers.
- Stop assuming that people of color are casing the neighborhood and want to break into your house. And if you’re really brave flip that into some hospitality. Walkers get thirsty ya know.
May your days be filled with compassion, your faith remain strong, may growth be your compass and joy fill your tables.