During this time of social discord and racial tension it is easy to see and hear only the negative. However, there are positive stories too. This is my brief story.
Some time ago I decided to take up kickboxing as a form of exercise to stay fit. I walked into the local martial arts school that teaches kickboxing, grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and I loved it.
The classes have a good mix of ethnicity (African, Asian, Hispanic, Caucasian), age and gender. We greet each other with smiles and by name. We hold pads for each other to strike and we sweat profusely in front of each other. We encourage each other when we are exhausted or become frustrated.
Respect is not influenced by skin color, age or gender. Perhaps this is because we are taught to respect ourselves and each other in equal measures. Or perhaps it is the common desire for personal improvement that has brought us together. Whatever the reason we are all the same when we show up and give it our best.
I should probably add that the owner of the school was born of Jamaican parents. But I doubt many of us give this much thought. He is a World Kickboxing Champion and he is our respected Master. Every day without fail, right up until classes were suspended because of COVID-19, Master B patiently taught us how to be better individuals, both physically and mentally.
What is your story?