A Glimmer of Decency 3,000 Miles Away

The other day I was feeling terrible.

Terrible about the 5 ½ months of staying at home.

Terrible about not having to eat out at my favorite restaurants.

Terrible that I can’t go out of town and have a vacation.

Terrible about another video of police shooting an unarmed black man.

Terrible about a viral video showing a white mob bullying a white lady at a restaurant eating at an outside table, confronting her to raise her arm (she did not cave in to such intimidation—good for her).

Terrible that a 17-year-old has parents who would allow him to roam his community at night with a semi-automatic assault rifle that he had illegally, dangling around his neck like a piece of jewelry, calmly walking past police without being halted.  Do you think if that kid were  black he would still be alive today?

Terrible that the President of the United States ignores what most Americans have been going through for half of this year:  unable to send children to school, some unable to keep a job, unable to see family members, some even losing family members.  Doesn’t he get it?

Then, the next day, while on the phone with a Microsoft technical support representative, I met Francisco.

While waiting for the installation to fully download, I had a choice:  remain silent until the program was finished, or talk to Francisco.

So I asked Francisco how he was doing.  He told me that it was raining heavily where he was in Nicaragua.  I told him it was triple digits out in L.A.

I asked him how his country was managing the coronavirus.   He said that their president did not mandate quarantine which is why so many people he knows, including his father and himself, have had the virus.

I asked him if he knew how bad it was in the U.S. and he said yes.  He was also aware of the racial issues suffocating America.

I shared with him my recent retirement from teaching.  He told me that I am lucky to have the opportunity to positively influence young people.  He shares with me that he wants to push himself to speak better English.

“You speak English well,” I said.

“Yes, but I only use English at work, and at work only use computer-type language.”

“That’s quite admirable of you to be ambitious.”

I mentioned that he must have a lot of patience doing the job he has dealing with people’s software issues.   He told me it isn’t a problem.  The other day he spent two hours helping his father figure out how to access email on his phone.

“My father needed to know how to do this when he was sick from Covid.”

And as the download completed, I couldn’t help but think how serendipitous it was that of all the Microsoft tech support employees on that particular day, I connected with Francisco.  He not only solved my computer program, he temporarily restored my faith in decent people.

 

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