The more I look at the world around us, the more I start to question the sanity of the people who live in it.
I’m sure you’ve heard the case of the female police officer who mistook a young man’s apartment as her own. The story has made me wonder why such things continue to take place.
Hearing the news and the reaction of a long-time friend made me realize there’s more to this story than what the media will portray.
The Common Approach
Most people have their own way of handling things, and sometimes it isn’t always out of common sense. In some cases, the issues arise from not knowing how to control your emotions.
When I was 16 years old, I found a stranger inside my home. It was a man of color. I was on the phone with my aunt Clara at the time and I told her what was going on.
I approached the young man who was about 18 or 19 years old at the time, and I asked him what he was doing. He explained that someone named Mike had told him to come and get the DVDs. I smiled and said, “Oh really, there’s no one in here that’s named Mike.”
He said, “Oh, there’s not?” He was nervous, but I remained firm. I told him he needed to leave, and that he needed to leave right away.
Although he tried to tell me something, I used my hands to shove him in the direction to leave through the backdoor. I remember it was a warm Sunday morning and my older brother was asleep upstairs with the A/C on blast.
After I had handled the situation, I locked the back door and ran upstairs. I told my brother what happened and we walked everywhere in the area to see if we could catch the young man.
No one had seen him, and I mentioned to my brother how he must’ve had a car waiting for him based on the items he had stacked for him to take.
Although we never found the guy, there was a sense of relief knowing I knew how to handle a situation and didn’t need to hurt someone or myself.
After telling family and friends about what had happened, I was told that I shouldn’t have approached him. I was told I needed to call the cops or yell for my older brother.
None of those scenarios had played in my head. For me, it was important to take control of the situation by choosing to stay firm with him.
I use this approach whenever I deal with people today.
There’s no need to pull out a weapon or treat someone like you’re in a cage match. Communication goes a long way, and a lot of people forget that the best approach when you’re not sure what’s going on is to communicate.
Raising Strong Children
Our kids are loving, but they know to always ask questions, and to approach situations with a clear mind.
Knowing that the world has taken on the mafia approach — handle the situation, ask questions later — we’re constantly teaching our kids about the importance of communication and express themselves.
If something doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t. You can’t pretend that everything can be solved through forgiveness. A high school teacher taught me two valuable lessons in life that I try to instill in our children:
- Never mistake kindness for weakness; and
- Don’t say sorry, be careful.