Everyday is a journey

by Latifah Shabazz
(Atlanta, GA)

Art encouraged me to share this story so here goes...

Everyday is an adventure in my life and it usually turns out in a way that I am grateful for. I recently moved into a new apartment that I share with my sister who is having some health issues and needs my support. Since we currently do not have use of a car I take the Marta Train to work. After work I had a hair appointment which didn't end until around 6:30 PM. I had just met Art and he called me right before this happened and overheard some of the ordeal:

I went into the Marta train station to go home but I needed to add $2.50 train fare on my card. Out of no where an African American male, neatly dressed in his 20's started yelling for me to give him my marta card and I said no I needed it to catch the train; I was so distracted that I almost lost my money in the machine for pressing the wrong buttons. I said, look I need to add more money on my card first, he stuck a dollar bill in the machine and then grabbed my card and ran into the gate to get to the trains. I chased behind yelling give me my card back!! and attempted to follow him thru the gate. He then turned around and started pushing and shoving me. For some reason I had no fear during this whole encounter. Even though he was physical with me, he didn't seem harmful and he didn't hurt me. I could see in his eyes that he was mentally challenged, "autistic" came to mind.

Anyway he never got on the train he came back through the gate and just started staring at me and walking around me looking confused. I kept talking to him, asking him why he took my card and would he please give it back...Then a big tall older brother came over in an attempt to "rescue me" from the situation. He stood by me the whole time while calling the Marta police and using body language that kept the guy away. To be honest it was comforting. Before the police arrived to handcuff the young man and take him away; he handed me my card back, apologized and said he didn't want me to follow him through the gate; "you're not supposed to do that" he said. (it is illegal for two people to come through the gate)

When the police officer asked me if I wanted to press charges I said no, I just want to get home. The brother who stood by me in my defense yelled "You Need to Stay here and Press Charges! Don't let him get away with that he put his hands on you!" I said no they should just take the guy to get some help. But I did give the officer my contact information and asked him to call me to let me know what happened.

I thanked my "defender" for his help and he left looking very frustrated with me. My cousin just happened to call me and told me to wait and he would pick me up. As I waited people were coming over to me saying I could have gotten serously hurt and how dangerous it was for me to be in that situation, that I shouldn't have talked to him at all..and yet I felt compassion and concern for this young man; wondering about his life and what brought him to me..what lesson was I supposed to learn from all this?

I got home safely never really feeling threatened or stressed; just shocked a little at the scenario and relieved that no harm was done to me or anyone else. Soon I received a call from the police officer who told me they took the guy peacefully to the hospital, contacted his family and that in fact he had a record of mental illness and needed help. I went to bed feeling relieved and once again full of gratitude for my day's adventurous journey, for grace and mercy and lessons of compassion learned.


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Feb 18, 2013
the power of YOU
by: Art

I can't help these words keep ringing in my ears!

The power of YOu. There are so many times in life that we do the right thing for us even when it doesn't seem to be right to anyone else.

We need more of it, in words and deeds; and then people will better understand and expect what will happen to them should they try such foolishness, nonsense...

Normally, we do it for our jobs, but our personal lives go lacking. It would be better to say, "to hell with it for the job, but if you put your hands on me...Our communities will no longer be crime ridden, ghetto, traumatized and scared to death to come to the aid of people in need.

You're human and I recognize the Human in you!

Thank you so much for having the courage to do what you do best...stand up for you.

Feb 18, 2013
The Acey Way!!!
by: Dianne

That's so you!!! Come to think of it...That's so your family!!!

Be safe!!

Feb 18, 2013
For Duana
by: Latifah

I know Duana; I "safety first" right?! It's just that I feel so "protected" from my spiritual practice..like no weapons formed against me shall prosper so I don't walk in fear anymore. But for you I promise to be safe. Peace & Love!

Feb 18, 2013
I'm Just Saying
by: Duana Brown

Very courageous and kind of you...I'm not suprised...that's your nature...but pleeease don't put your life at stake anymore...I love u and want you to stay safe...what upsets me about the situation is the family...if they no he is like he is what are they doing to help him? Its not your responsibilty or the responsibilty of the police either to make sure he's not causing anyone harm...just saying

Feb 18, 2013
I'm Just Saying
by: Anonymous

Very courageous and kind of you...I'm not suprised...that's your nature...but pleeease don't put your life at stake anymore...I love u and want you to stay safe...what upsets me about the situation is the family...if they no he is like he is what are they doing to help him? Its not your responsibilty or the responsibilty of the police either to make sure he's not causing anyone harm...just saying

Feb 18, 2013
Everyone is Struggling
by: Andrea

Your story speaks to me like the quote "be kind to everyone you meet because everyone is fighting some sort of battle..."

There are so many times in life that we do the right thing for us even when it doesn't seem to be right to anyone else. You obviously saw that this young man was not trying to hurt you, he was "in distress" and by you not pressing charges that day he got the help that he needed.

Latifah you have always been a beacon of light for all that know and love you. This story is just a further testament to the power of YOU. Love you much and thank you for sharing this story!

Feb 18, 2013
Everyday is a journey
by: Art

The news we hear everyday is tainted. What's important to you is a priority to me.

Reasons: For the continuing vital existence of the people. They can learn from us, just as we from them.

Too long have others spoken for us. Too long has the publick been deceived by misrepresentations, in things which concern us dearly.

Why is it we must consult them for our own truths?

First Black Newspaper

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