Thursday, April 2, 2015

When one lives without dogma, good things happen.

This is what happens when you live without preconceived notions about what things mean, or assuming you know the intention of other people, then you can meet the good in anyone.

This is me and Albert.  I'm the white guy, he's the black guy. Albert is from Texas. 

On November 19, 2014, we were travelling from Toronto to Medicine Hat via Calgary in one of the worst blizzards that Toronto had this winter.  It was so bad that planes were delayed for hours waiting for de-icing fluid to clear wings for take-off.  We started out on time and then the backlog delayed so badly we missed our midnight connecting flight from Calgary to Medicine Hat. The plane normally takes off at 1155 and we landed at 1203.  For some reason, they didn't hold the plane.

There were several people that missed connectors.  We were the only two going to my home town. Air Canada said they didn't have any hotel rooms available because their rooms were filled up and the only ones available were over an hour away.   They told us to go get our bags and we could stay in the terminal. Then in the morning they would get us on a plane. With a few more apologies that was it we were on our own.

So there we were waiting for our bags.  So I got my phone out and tracked down a hotel room that wasn't' too far and wasn't too expensive with 2 beds.  I walked over to him and asked him if he wanted to share the room?

Do you know what he was doing?  He was on the phone with his travel agent trying to find a hotel with two rooms.  He couldn't find a room so he was destined to stay on a hard airport chair that night.

So we ended up sharing a taxi, chatting till 230 in that cold room, and then back for breakfast and the flight out the next morning.  I gave him a ride to his appointment and that was that. I think I've made a friend and I made sure a guest to my city and country was taken care of. And I didn't harm him as his wife feared, which we both laughed at when he told her he was going to a hotel with some random white guy. 

None of this would have happened if we both assumed the worst, nor assumed there was something to be concerned about. None of that would have happened if he had listened to his wife.  To live without preconceptions is to keep all possible options open.

So you can interpret me saying black guy is a racially-motivated epithet, or just a description of a person without knowing his name.  It's up to you and your preconceptions.