Trayvon Martin is dead. And he should be alive.
While everyone debates the justice of the acquittal we also need to look forward. We need to make sure the next young man walking in his family’s neighbourhood at night will survive.
Trayvon Martin died because George Zimmerman was afraid. He was murdered by fear.
One of my favourite sayings is:
People are mirrors, they reflect what you show them.
Zimmerman expected violence and danger and that’s what he saw when he looked out his window one rainy February night and saw a young black man in a hoody.
He was afraid and when he looked at Martin he saw fear too. He thought he’d caught Martin at some dark deed and he gave chase. Now a young man is dead who should be alive.
If we want a better, safer, kinder world we must take Michael Jackson’s advice and start with the man in the mirror. Let’s really reflect on what we expect of people and what we show to the world.
It’s true that bad things happen and that sometimes bad people are lurking. Yet the vast majority of people are kind and decent and, just like you, are seeking little more than security and belonging and happiness.
If we show people kindness and respect and love, they are far more likely to be kind to us, to respect us, and to love us. If we are good to people they will reflect goodness back at us.
So next time you look outside your window and see a stranger in the night why not send them a smile and a wave. Maybe they’ll wave back as they pass on by. And maybe the next Trayvon Martin will get to live.