While on my way downtown the other day to take an exam for work, I found myself racing up the Red line stairs to catch the train and I, of course, missed it. I found a bench, zipped my coat up to my nose and had a seat to wait for the next one. As I sat on the bench, my eyes drifted to a crazy looking 50-ish year old lady picking through the station’s garbage and EATING leftover food from the cans. My heart went out to her, but sadly, I had no money or food that I could give. It didn’t matter though because before I knew it, I heard a voice saying, “Excuse me!” It was a young African American boy calling to the homeless lady. She looked up and he asked, “Would you like a slice of pizza?” I couldn’t believe it. These two people could not have been more different… except that neither of them probably had much money. I witnessed this teenager give a slice of his pizza to the woman, who seriously lacked nourishment. I was so inspired by this young man’s giving, I almost started to cry. I told him this and he beamed when I said his gesture was “very, very nice.”
Why am I telling you this story? Because this gesture got me thinking. I was thinking… why are people so judgmental? Why are we always deciding what is best for other people? On the radio last week I heard some big news. Illinois now allows Civil Unions between gay and lesbian couples. Those who know me, know that I am a pretty conservative Republican, but… I am proud to live in the state of Illinois right now. As people called into the radio show to discuss if they were for or against gay marriage, I found myself listening to the pro gay marriage comments and thinking, “that’s a really good point.” Everyone who called against it sounded like close minded idiots. My favorite comment was, “Gay people pay taxes, just like the rest of us. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to have the same rights as a married couple?” So Kudos to you, Illinois. Thank you for proving that the US is accepting of all people, regardless of race, religion or sexual preference.