Yesterday as my mind drifted back to events at Trader Joe’s on Tuesday, cemented was my brain on my brief – specifically less than 5 seconds – reaction to many children’s stares.
Through no fault of their own, given the fact that their young lives – I’m talking about numerous boys & girls I passed, probably around ages 6-10 – have yet to experience seeing many people looking “different” or “out of the ordinary” to them, I felt & indeed witnessed their stares as their eyes locked on me. I knew what they were thinking as they peered up at me with a confused look noticing first my cane & then nothing protruding from underneath my bucket hat: “Where’s her hair?”
In past times I’ve touched on this subject although this time, a day later it hit me more than ever: I am given upon spotting those innocent stares just one chance to offer a kind look & friendly wave (which I’m happy to report is sometimes returned), which will undoubtedly influence 1. the way in which these growing individuals behave & 2. help determine their comfort level (by hopefully increasing it), around people who are different than them in future times.
Big deal, right?
Actually it is, because maybe I – or you or your relative or friend – am the very first person that the child has ever seen looking a certain way, & thus have been granted the awesome responsibility/privilege to forever influence their future reactions to other people’s unique appearances. This sign I spotted in a local shoe repair shop long ago says it all.