Heart to Heart 116

Hidden Figures

Growing up in Hollywood was a unique experience.  One of my deepest memories is of all the different kinds of spiritual organizations around the town.  Zoroastrian, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hare Krishna, Hinduism, and many more would have small buildings around the area that I would walk by.  They dressed in colorful clothing and were always very animated about sharing their beliefs.  I also don’t remember hearing any kind of racial bias from people I knew

I joined the Air Force in 1958 and rode a Greyhound bus from Los Angeles to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas for basic training.  Along the way, the bus stopped in a small Texas town for food and rest.  I got off the bus and walked over to get a drink from an outside fountain.  I noticed there were two water faucets.  One of them had a sign over it that said colored.  My first thought was”wow, I wonder what color the water is here?”  Then I noticed that there was a line of people at that fountain and they all had dark skin.  And then I noticed that folks with white skin drank at the other faucet.  I still had trouble wrapping my brain around why this could be so.  I remember a hot flush of energy fill my body as I realized that the folks with darker skin, weren’t allowed to drink at the other fountain.

I was shocked, I couldn’t believe that some folks were not allowed to drink the same water.  Like it would make it dirty or defiled. I confirmed my feelings when I asked others about my experience.  Then when I was stationed in Texas I found out that Texans hated Mexicans.  I still, to this day can’t truly understand why we would think less of another because of the color of their skin.

Then today, I was out on my usual walk around the village.   As I passed a couple of million dollar homes, I noticed there was a large oil stain on the street in front of one of them.  I remembered that there were landscapers working there last week and their truck must have left the stain; as it sat there most of the day.  Then I thought it was the Mexican landscapers that soiled the street.  My mind didn’t just say landscapers, it said Mexican landscapers.  I felt a sense of shame that I would think those thoughts. I have lived an open, loving life with wonderful people of all colors, nationalities, sexual preferences and shapes and sizes and have felt at one with them.  Somewhere in my brain, there is still a place that at first response can have some bias.  At least in my thoughts.

The movie “Hidden Figures” is a wonderful story of ladies who had darker skin and were given secondary roles in the Space program.  They turned out to be brilliant and served their country well.  I applauded the movie in the theater at the ending for the story of their courage in face of prejudice.  There may be some hidden figures in many of our brains who have not had the experience of being racially judged.  I apologize to anyone whom I have ever judged for any reason.  If I held you as less than you are; it is I who at the time of the judgment, was less than.

I unconditionally love and support everyone just the way you are in all your magnificence.  From my not totally free heart to yours, Thomas

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