Today I share with you a feel good Facebook story. Please read the story and then continue with my posting.
This story is extra special to me because Officer Welsh on the right-hand side is the son of a good friend of mine. I met Officer Welsh’s mom about ten years ago when my daughter’s Girl Scout leader, knowing that I was Colombian-born, told me she wanted to introduce me to her other Colombian friend. Back then we were two of only a handful of Latinos in a community that strongly lacked diversity. My friend and I, both American citizens, are married to non-Latino American citizens. Between my friend and I we have raised four children who are all very proud to be multicultural and bi-lingual. I met Officer Welsh when he was in high school. Even back then he knew he wanted to be in law enforcement and over the years worked diligently to achieve his goals. It makes me proud today to see this young man be respectful of his role and responsibilities as a police officer and as a citizen. I am sure the Texas State Police is proud to call him one of their own.
Mr. Harris, thank you for sharing your experience on Facebook and for highlighting something good in this world. The image of an African-American man with a white police officer is a very powerful one and in this case it is a message of hope. There is also a lot more to celebrate in this message. I see a celebration of diversity of many different kinds. I am not just referring to racial diversity. Mr. Harris referred to “JEHOVAH” in his message. I may call my God by a different name yet I celebrate the fact that we are in a country that permits freedom of religion. Today, I celebrate religious diversity, racial diversity, and multicultural diversity. We are stronger as a nation because of our diversity.
It is wonderful when two human beings can communicate with each other with respect and kindness and without judgement. Unfortunately, circumstances in this country have led to a society where people make misjudgments based on first appearances, live in fear of those who are different to themselves, and treat each other disrespectfully. It’s nice to know that in a small corner of this country there are people like Mr. Harris and Officer Welsh bucking the trend and setting an example for the rest of us. I remain hopeful that goodness and kindness can and will continue to prevail.