On Friday, I got to my bus stop after a long week. I was stuck in my routine, about to get onto my bus, when a guy came along with his headphones. Next thing I knew, the beat had overtaken him and he was turnt up on the side of the bus. Literally like this:

He had his phone attached to his hip with the music video playing for us all to watch (but not hear). I risked it all to video it for the gram but never saved it. If you missed it, my bad! (And if you don’t follow me on Instagram: @kookiechilengwe).

I came to the conclusion that he was just an arrogant guy, obnoxiously trying to be “cool”. When I uploaded the video of him, everyone kept messaging me pointing out how close I was to being caught. I’m not even going to lie, I even thought he would switch and pull a gun out or something (people from Charlotte don’t play but I’m dramatic I know). Anyway, I survived. He got off the bus and I never thought anything of it.

This morning on my way to church, the same headphone guy got on the bus. I immediately pulled out my phone in anticipation for any moves he would bust. He sat down in front of me but unfortunately didn’t have the same energy and so I lost interest.

Some time after, an old man jumped on the bus. He was going back and fourth with the bus driver, however, I head my headphones in and didn’t think too much of the situation. Next thing I knew, the headphones guy got up, walked to the front of the bus and put in $3 which allowed the old man to sit down. He didn’t say a word and returned back to his seat. I was blown away by his generosity, not because it was an extraordinary thing to do but because his actions challenged the perception of the guy I had decided he was.

I have had my fair share of being mislabeled in America. At times for the color of my skin, the fact that I’m a girl, or even my accent. I know what it feels like to be judged unfairly. Being labeled as someone who is so far removed from who I am, at times, has been painful and extremely discouraging. Despite it all, I’ve learnt to not put all my energy into trying to prove people wrong. This has been a struggle, the depths of which so many of you may never know.  I’ve learnt to not waste another breath screaming down deaf ears. I have found strength in learning that simply being who God wants me to be is more than enough. In this life people are going to have preconceived ideas of who I am, what I can do or even what I can offer them. All that matters to me is knowing who God says I am, who he has created me to be and what he has freely given to me.

This post has not even scratched the surface of what I have to say about prejudice. However, I have a few more bitter pills to swallow before I can share all my thoughts. To the headphones guy, I was wrong. Thanks for giving me something to think about!

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