When I was driving to work this morning a sheriff’s car was behind me in the other lane. As we approached the intersection on Randall and 64 the stoplight turned yellow. I slowed down and stopped because I’m sure the sheriff had his eye on me. And of course my license plates are expired.
So then the sheriff gunned his car and blew through the red light. No sirens, no lights, just horsepower. Whether or not he was within his law enforcement privileges to do such isn’t important to what I’m writing here.
What is relevant is that at one time in my life I would’ve thought to myself, “Eff’ing cops.”
But I don’t think that way anymore. There are only policemen. Some are good, some are bad. Just because one guy does something doesn’t mean that I should throw out the whole lot.
Just the same, I don’t think of the “damn mexicans” anymore. Nor do I think of the “stupid white boys” or the “blood sucking lawyers” or the “strung out crackheads” or the “christian zealots” or even the “soccer moms.”
Taking time to know people from those groups, talking with them, learning about their lives and struggles, wins and loses — all of that — has only made my life better. It’s made me a bigger person, bigger than the small town cracker I was growing up in Iowa.
Okay fine, we can categorize people. There may be some truths in stereotypes. But there’s a difference between that and judging people, condemning a whole race or social group.
I don’t know about you guys but I don’t like being lumped into a group because of what somebody else did. Or didn’t do. I want to be judged based on who I am and what I do.
At the end of the day we’re all just humans. You’ll find good and bad in any group. I want to look for the good. I’ll never go wrong with seeing people as individuals and making new friends.
See what I did there? I called myself a cracker…but not everybody in every rural town in Iowa. ↑