As I was walking into Barnes & Noble yesterday afternoon a young African American woman approached the door at the same time from the opposite direction. She was nicely dressed in jeans, a colorful shirt, and knee-high boots. Just as she approached the entrance a voice cried out in a leering tone, "You're awesome! I'm married, but you're just awesome. Come over here for a second and talk to me". A middle-aged African American man was leaning up against the wall, obviously waiting for someone, but the girl just continued on her way and eventually entered the store.
I felt sorry for her and the the fact that she had to endure that sort of treatment from a complete stranger on the street. Why did the man feel it was appropriate or acceptable to speak to anyone that way? I wonder what he would say if someone approached his wife or daughter like that. "Wow", I thought, "your karma sucks." Then I realized that it wasn't just his. He affects how that woman, and probably countless others, view men, of which I'm included. So his karma is now linked to mine. When I realized that, I opened the door for the woman and apologized that she had to endure that sort of treatment. Can we delink our karma from others? I don't think so. What one person does, affects us all. Please smile at the next person you see, because that guy at Barnes & Noble is going to need all of the help he can get.