Have you ever taken the time to reflect and think about how people’s lives are different based on their circumstances, communities they live in, and/or the choices they make? I mean think about it for a minute. When you look at your life and compare it to the next person what can you do that the other person cannot do? What opportunities are afforded to you that are not afforded to the other person? How is the lens you look through different from the other person’s lens? What have you learned from the other person? How will you apply what you have learned from the other person to improve your life? Why is your life the way it is, and the other person’s life the way it is? The answers to these questions will vary as it depends on a number of variables. However, the one commonality is, we all are humans and have free will.
I reflected this weekend as I engaged in a number of activities. I decided to go to another bank to pay my mortgage instead of the one I usually go to. This bank was in the direction that I was headed. The bank was located in the inner city. Unlike other banks when you go to the counter to speak with a bank teller the tellers at this bank are behind bulletproof glass. Now for members of this community, this scene is normal. If you go to the post office, check cashing place, gas station, or the subway restaurant just to name a few everyone is behind bulletproof glass. This disturbs me. It may not bother you, but when I was standing in line I was thinking and saying to myself what has this world come to. The bank was put in the community to serve the people. Unfortunately, years ago the bank was robbed several times and as a result of multiple robberies, bulletproof glass was insulted.
This has become customary in far too many urban inner cities across the United States. Unless you are a member of these communities and/or frequent the businesses in these communities it may be somewhat difficult for you to understand how people in these communities accept this. People that live in these communities accept it because in their world this is the reality. I have a choice. I only went to this particular bank branch because it was in route to my destination. A number of members of this community don’t have the same options. This saddens me because although the bank is protecting its assets, it is also dehumanizing the people that live in this community. Again, I have a choice and some of you may be saying that they have a choice too. But their choices are not equivalent to my choices as their circumstances are different. This week I ask that you be mindful of the choices you have. Respect and appreciate what you can do, and be grateful for the opportunities presented to you. Finally, if you are in a position to help someone help them. We all reap what we sow. So be careful to sow diligently.