I Failed You

To The Lady…

An average small town night. An average trip to the local grocery store. Basically, a milk and bread run. I wish it had stayed that way. To the lady that was checking out at Meijer at 5:45 last night and had the guy steal her self-checkout kiosk, I’m terribly sorry that happened to you. I want to apologize on behalf of my gender. This guy chuckled it off like it was no big deal and that he had only one item to buy. “It’s okay”, he said. Then he proceeded to purchase his one item nervously laughing the whole time and left. Without an apology, without any sense of shame, he simply left. Meanwhile, you patiently waited for the next self-checkout kiosk to open and used that.

To that lady, I want to say I’m sorry. I failed you. I failed to stand up and confront someone who thought they had the right to take advantage of someone else. I failed to stand up for someone who was bullied and basically pushed out of the way. I failed to confront for fear of confrontation. I’m sorry. I can tell you it will not happen again. I should have asked him why he thought it was ok to assume he was more important than you. I should have asked him why he didn’t have the testicular fortitude to look you in the eye as he mistreated you. I should have done a lot of things. I could have done a lot of things. I’m bigger than he was. I wasn’t afraid of him physically, though a physical confrontation was not what the situation called for, that’s not what held me back.

Probably what held me back was the social programming to “Not get involved.” That message has been drilled into us for so long that I can see the impact of it. I didn’t want to get involved, and for that, I am ashamed. Please forgive me.

To The Person Who…

I use the word person intentionally. I refrain from using the word man or guy or any other reference to a masculine gender because, as a person who is actively seeking a Biblical brand of masculinity, I weep for my gender to think that one of us could treat another person with such disdain and contempt to brush them aside as if they were less a person as yourself.

To the person who rudely cut in front of this lady at Meijer at 5:45 pm yesterday, I apologize. I failed you as well. I failed to call you to a high form of humanity and compassion to your fellow man (or woman as this case is.) I failed to call you to the opportunity to stop and ask forgiveness for your actions and recognize that you are not the only one on the planet that matters. I should have asked you why you thought it was ok to mistreat someone the way you did. To you and those who act like you did, I make this promise…

It Won’t Happen Again.

From this point on, I will not back down from doing the right thing and getting involved. I will stand up for those who have been wronged, even in the little things such as this. I will not be afraid of making a scene or even of a physical altercation as a result of my intervention. For that, I would like to apologize in advance to my wife for any future embarrassment I may cause you in my attempt to help others.