Living, Loving Color
January 31, 2014
By Mark Giles, All Access
I was three years old, sitting in the lap of Ethel Acreage. We were watching TV, and she was crying. I asked her what was wrong, and she said "A good man died tonight, honey."
Martin Luther King had just been murdered. Ethel's skin was darker than mine, but I didn't notice. It wasn't important. She didn't care, and I didn't either.
Ethel loved that little white boy. And I loved her. My view of skin color and race relations would be forever changed by my interaction with her family.
Some of my very best friendships and relationships have been with people who have a different pigment, including a Jewish carpenter that I've grown to love, respect and follow.
I wonder how many folks are going to be surprised when they look at His face and realize that he's not Caucasian? I've got a funny feeling that it won't matter then, at all.
I sure wish it didn't have to matter as much as it apparently does to a lot of folks right now. In case you haven't noticed, we have a President with a different skin color than previously elected. This has brought race relations and pigment debate even more into the forefront.
Does the color of a man or woman's skin allow them to reason more skillfully? Does it give them advanced wisdom, or supreme intellect? Does it increase their productivity or their decisiveness? I think not.
The color of our skin has become such a dividing line. It's almost as if we think we had anything to do with the choice, and that any one color is better than the other.
We need to get over ourselves. And we need to stop looking at color. You'd be amazed at the beauty you will find when you get to know a person's heart and mind. Try smiling and engaging with someone of a different shade when you meet them today. You will walk away having made a new friendly acquaintance, and they will realize that the barrier is not quite as insurmountable as they had imagined.
Thank God for Ethel Acreage. She truly colored the spectrum of the rest of my life. And showed me love through an unfiltered lens.
May her example continue to live in my heart.