He looked me right in the eye, and said the word nonchalantly as we crossed paths in a Brooklyn train station. It was a word I hadn't heard since I was a lanky 8 year old girl and my family became one of the first asian households to move into the neighborhood. I could feel the familiar stings of teardrops quelling in my eyes, my lids struggling to hold them from falling, the anger boiling from within me like a teakettle about to explode. I confronted him, calling him a racist as he scampered down the stairs feigning a half hearted apology. I watched as he ran away down the stairs, regrettably without consequence to his actions, and my shoulders squarely carrying the burden of his words.
It's dangerous to let your thoughts run rampant sometimes. I stewed on the train, thinking of all the comebacks I could have used on him. I'm not a violent person, but I found my thoughts taking that path, Karate kicking him down the stairs, pulling his hair or slapping him in the face. I had caught myself in a rage, and found myself thinking of things I would never really do. In a world where blacks youths are consistently being shot and killed by police, Syrians refugees are being turned away from other countries, religious fundamentalists are attempting to define an entire country of people - what was my matter in comparison to this? How could one word, turn me, a relatively chill girl into an wannabe Liam Neeson extracting revenge? Why should I add to the negativity?
So from here on, I'd like to send to you, my lovely readers, just a thought.
The next time you lock eyes with a stranger, send them a smile. The next time you see someone needs help, offer a hand. Call your parents and tell them you love them. Stop blaming. Stop complaining. Stop defending. Stop talking down about yourself. Talk about all the good things you are happy about. When you're feeling sad, put on a silly song and dance in front of the mirror in your underwear. Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen to your heart. Listen to what you want out of life. Surprise a friend by sending them a book you've always talked about. Read more. Question things. Ask for things. Most of all, be GOOD. Just be good.