The following happened several months prior to the pandemic.

As was the usual custom whenever I went to T.J. Maxx, I would explore the food and seasonings section. As I perused this section, a gentleman turned to me and looked me straight in the eyes and said, “I apologize for being white.” I was so shocked that I was rendered speechless. After I caught my breath, I told him he was not to blame for all the bad things that were happening.

I spoke to him about my very close German friend. I said blaming him would be tantamount for me to blame my friend, Karl, for all the atrocities of Hitler.

We conversed a bit more and smiled at each other. As he was moving on, he told me he was a seminary student. I wished that I had hugged him.

As I continued on to shop, I kept thinking about the burden he seemed to have placed on himself.

Personally I had dated and had several relationships with people of various nationalities and ethnicities.

When she was 11 in 1982, my daughter, Kelli, spent almost an entire month in Bobingen, Germany, with Karl and his family. We went mountain climbing, visiting several castles and eating so much delicious food and pastries that remembrances linger.

Over the years, traveling to other countries and sharing so much with other people was always so enjoyable and fascinating. I bought two sets of castanets when I visited Spain. My grandkids have mastered the ability to correctly hold them with their thumbs.

So many people from all over this world have enriched our lives. The voices crying for justice and voices crying for righteousness, are they any different?


Nira O’Connor


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