On Saturday two boys came into the photo studio asking for hard candy. They could have been up to trouble or just being pesky... but I had a feeling they were seeking to help someone having a diabetic attack.
I was right.
There was a woman sitting on the bench outside the studio who was very ill, I could tell by the sound of her voice. I had scrounged up some hard candy from my coworkers and she already had one dissolving in her mouth.
The boys who came in for the candy were absent from the scene. I inquired as to whether or not she knew them.
Their mother had noticed this woman's pailing face and lethargic countenance and recognized what was going on. The boys came in for sugar while the mom sat with her.
I made a comment about how great it was that even in Waldorf, Maryland, there are kind and wonderful people still left in the world.
"Oh, I'm not from here," the woman said. "I'm from Tennessee."
I shared that I'm from Alaska and then added that I went to school for a bit in Utah and how I am so glad to be back in such culturally diverse surroundings since Utah was just too white for me.
Open mouth, insert foot.
She looked at me and said, "That's what I'm used to. This... this is not the place for me. I'm so uncomfortable here. I can't wait to be back home."
How terribly sad I was the rest of my shift that night. The boys that came into the studio and literally saved this woman's life by finding some hard candy for her were nice, polite, helpful, kind, and... beautifully colored.
If only she could see that and grasp onto it... that it makes no difference what appearance a person has, we're all people who are equal in every way.