We do not meet people by chance, they come into our life for a reason. I honestly believe this to be the case when I met one of my best friends ‘Simon’.
Anyone who has started a new job will know how it feels the day before. Little nerves of anticipation but excitement at the same time. My new colleagues were lovely, so my nerves were unjustified and despite the restaurant being extremely busy they made time to interact and include me. They made me feel part of the team. This is how I met Simon and I will always be grateful of this day.
Simon and I hit it off instantly and is without a doubt one of the kindest souls I have ever met. He took me under his wing and looked out for me, he helped make my days a little brighter with his kindness. He took time to listen, help and guide me on things that were not familiar both in work and out. As our friendship blossomed, we discovered more things we had in common. His laugh is infectious and like me he laughs at his own jokes, having a good sense of humour helps when you work in hospitality and got us through some terribly busy shifts. I could just look at Simon and he would know what I was thinking.
We share similar tastes in music and talk frequently about what we like to listen to on our days off but what connected us mainly was our love for photography. We could talk about photography for ages. Simon is extremely modest, but I am going to say he is truly gifted. His art tells a story and one that captures the imagination. I feel not only blessed to have met him but to call him my friend, my best friend.
Now what if I told you that Simon was black? Would that make a difference?
Did you assume that he was white? Simon is Simon regardless of his skin colour, the same kind soul. The same person who looked out for me when I needed a friend. So why then should he be treated any different to me? Why can he not have the same opportunities that I do? To be treated equally like I do. Black lives do matter. Simon matters and he deserves to live a life of love, not hate.
“If only our eyes saw souls instead of our bodies how very different our ideals of beauty would be.”
What can I do to help? What can we do to help? These were the questions I asked myself when I witnessed so much hurt and pain to other human beings. To understand, to encourage, to support. Educate ourselves to do better, educate our children. Racism is wrong and no one should have to go through it. You would never treat your best friend or any friend in this way.