Fear can blind us to where compassion should be extended

Earlier this week as I was leaving the Houston Today office, a woman stopped me asking if I would help her carry her bags to the greyhound.

Earlier this week as I was leaving the Houston Today office, a woman stopped me asking if I would help her carry her bags to the greyhound. I will admit, the request caught me off guard.

She had two in her hand and one around her shoulder, clearly having a difficult time. I’m embarrassed to say that I was paralyzed, unsure of what my response should be.

I found myself mentally transported to all the times I have travelled. And though I was clearly at the Houston mall, I approached this woman like I would if I were at an airport, with caution.

I remember asking myself if acquiescing this woman’s request would be an inconvenience for me. I had no where else to be tosay no. And the greyhound station was not very far from where we were.

What startled me was realizing how hesitant I felt to help out someone in my hometown. By all accounts should I not feel the safest, the most secured, to extend a hand of help in the place I grew up in?

I’m not sure where this wariness of trust stems from, but it made me think about Trump’s immigration ban at the airports.These places are already a mass gathering of hostility. Airports are a place of limbo. A geographical place where people temporarily situate until they can continue their migration to a destination they know provides a sense of security.

And now a law has been implemented that creates an inflation of enmity affecting the substantial influx of people that daily enter the airport doors.

This distrust is a contagion, and if we are not aware of it, fear will consume us where compassion should be extended.

I’m sorry to say that I do not remember this woman’s name who needed help walking her bags to greyhound. But I am grateful for her brief presence in my life, and for the test of character I was presented.

We were just two people in a small town, one that needed help, and the other accepting to extending it. I just hope that one simple action of kindness is enough to counter the many that have been played in fear.

 

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