Oct 032019

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.

Today’s Approach

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:

  1. Never mistake kindness for weakness; and
  2. Don’t say sorry, be careful.

How are you teaching today’s generation to deal with situations?

Fatima Torres

What's life like with three kids and two pups? It's entertaining, that's for sure! MTME breaks down family fun ideas and shares personal insights from a former B2B editor and digital marketer turned mom running a business and a household -- all under one roof. With her husband as her #1 fan, there isn't anything she can't accomplish. Read on to learn how she breathes in fire and exhales success.

Reader Comments

  1. I felt this was a touching story. You handled what could have been a bad situation with strength and poise. We could use more of that!

  2. Wow! I’m not sure how I would have handled that situation. But I do think you’re right. People nowadays resort to violence without gathering facts. Just last night, there was a shooting just a mile or so from my home. The guy got cut off in traffic and instead of breathing through it, he pulled at a gun and shot at the other car. It’s a scary world.

  3. As the mom of 5 kids, I take every opportunity I can to teach my kids to advocate for themselves and to handle as many situations as they can. In this generation, so many parents are fighting their kids battles for them and those kids have no idea how to handle any adversity or any situation out of the norm.

  4. I really loved reading through this. I think it was handled the right way as well. I probably would have done something similar as well.

  5. I don’t know what I would have done in your situation at 16. As an adult I can see where communication is important.

  6. You’re brave to have approched the situation calmly. I have no idea what to do if that happens to me. Lucky that I’ve never experience it, hopefully it will never happen.

  7. I know how hard it is to a young child facing that difficult situation but I am happy that you overcome your fear and letting your brother know about it. A good communication and a proper way of explaining things to your kids are the key of having a good relationship with them.

  8. You handled it well and I’m not sure if I’d have handled it like you did. It’s good to raise kids that can express themselves and communicate their feeling well. Totally agree with you on not mistaking kindness for weakness.

  9. We live in a world that is so scary, the new “normal” response is to immediately aggro the situation. I think you’re right, though. Communication works wonders if we use it.

  10. I loved reading this. This is really important. When I was younger, my mom would always teach me and let me be aware of situations so that I would know how to handle it when needed

  11. There are seriously countless ways to handle this. I would say for you so far so good. Hang in there. you have support in us!

  12. Kindness is not a weakness but a weapon for modern day stress. Also, we should teach kids the importance of empathy and kindness. It takes baby steps for a small good change in this world.

  13. wow, this is a great story. it must have been scary to have this happen. Althiugh oncde i accidentally walked into someone elses apartment – the lift stopped on the floor below but i didnt realise. The layouts were identical until i saw a bald guy asleep on the couch and tiptoed back out lol

  14. We need so many more of these positive outcome stories vs. the opposite. Thank you for sharing your story and for trying to help others in a difficult situation.

  15. I like the way you handled the situation with the intruder. We got to take control of the situation without panicking and as you right mention communication is the key. Having control over emotions so very important too. Nice read.

Leave a Reply