I have a friend named Solomon. He is a dark-skinned Afro-American, not as big as John Koffey from The Green Mile, but just as physically intimidating. We met when I was trying to get Urabe Spirit Art out into the world and he was working as a rep for an art company that played middle man in this process.
I loved Solomon from day one. Maybe it’s because I invite trust, but it was easy for me to see and feel the gentle purity of his heart. He and my partner at the time were surprised to discover that they liked each other, despite both having grown up in racist communities and spent time in prison. They called each other “my brother from another mother”. I like to think I helped bridge the gap between them.
The art shows ran their course and the opportunities to spend time with Solomon in person ended, as he lived in a distant state. But we kept in touch for a while and I clearly remember one phone conversation, in which he was opening up about the pain he carried as a black man. I listened for a while, then interrupted him: “You’re BLACK?” I asked, stopping him in his tracks. “I’d only noticed the color of your heart: love”. He told me that was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to him.
ALWAYS look first at the color of someone’s heart. It will make all the difference.