I was sitting at Starbucks Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at approximately 8:06 pm an elderly European lady walked through the front door. She immediately walked in and asked me my age. After telling me she thought that I was 17, I smiled at the fact that I clearly am not aging. She sparked up a conversation right away. This woman shared her age (65) and that she was in town visiting her son. When asking what I did for a living, she didn’t hesitate to ask was I married with any children. She clapped when I told her that I was single, no kids and had a full-time job while being a committed writer on the side.
I was in the middle of working on things for the blog, but I didn’t want her to feel as if her presence was annoying me. (Although it was wrecking my writing flow.) This woman had begun talking about her views on American and how she’s happy she’s a European. She said a few things that offended me, but I never once got upset. I was taken aback by her words, but I kept my cool. Elders have a tendency to be blunter than those who are younger than them. I respected her and her honesty and didn’t get out of line. There was something about this woman’s conversation that annoyed me, but enlightened me at the same time. She was sharing her views of the word from her point of view, something I could not argue with. Who was I to questions anyone’s views or teachings of this world from their point of view? Even though every time the words “Black People” left her lips, my teeth clinched while my chest heaved, I held it down and stayed calm.
There are so many of us who share our views with others expecting them to feel the same. It’s like we are instantly offended when people don’t embrace how we feel and why we feel the way that t we do. How better of place would this world be if we just learned to respect and appreciate each other no matter how much we agree or disagree? We shared smiles and our goodbyes as I packed up my laptop to leave. In my 3-5 minute drive back to my house I thought about what role meeting this woman played in my life. Since life is always speaking to me, I knew our talk wasn’t in vain. I got distracted from my thoughts once I got home and prepared for bed. It wasn’t until I was settled in bed reading my bible that our meeting made perfect sense. I’ve been studying a plan on personal growth and my lesson was on Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” My daily reading said clear as day, “Appreciate honesty from others, even when you don’t agree. There may be things you are told that offend you, but you wouldn’t be offended if they didn’t hold some truth. Be grateful for other people’s honesty, for their iron will sharpen your iron.”
Right there in fine print was an explanation as to why I didn’t get upset and despite me disagreeing with her point of views I still respected her. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t disagree with everything. Still, this lady didn’t let me leave without dropping gems in my life.
“This is a materialistic world young lady; don’t be fooled by what they glorify.” She expressed that living here has shown her how much people desire to look the part, but do little work to be there part. Her advice was to me was not get lost in the desires of this world. Work on building a foundation and owning everything that I have, so that everything I have is mine.
“Your creativity will take you places as long as you’re realistic, yet optimistic.”
“I am very optimistic young lady, but I am a realist. Don’t you dare quit your day job. Work on what you’re trying to build. Your steady job is the means to afford your creativity.” Man, hearing that was like confirmation for me. So many countless days I get… Well, we get weary trying to choose between our dreams and reality. The reality is, the realistic outlook is how we meet our dreams halfway. Be optimistic while you chase what you desire, but be a realist about it too. Don’t get caught up thinking it’ll happen instantaneously and don’t give up on the real job because you think you should be doing something else instead. “If it was meant for right now you’d be there already.”
“Do your own research. The media will lie to you. How can you survive in a world and you don’t know the truth about what’s going on it?”
This woman was very clear and candid about how she felt the media distorted our perceptions of what is really going on. I am no fool, I knew this, but it’s something about being told by an elder that helps it resonate more. She told me to never stop reading and never stop speaking the truth. This night I discovered what Oprah had been saying for years, life is in fact always speaking to you. What may seem like a regular night out at Starbucks talking to a woman who can’t keep quiet to all of you, this was a night full of knowledgeable gems that are forever embedded in my mind. This night was proof that it pays to step out of your zone and create in different places. You never know who or what will inspire you or give you knowledge.
Be Inspired. Be Encouraged. Be Blessed.