Me Knows Better Than to Say This… but I will. Recently, Jimmy had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Cuba (legally licensed by the State Department) as part of a People to People education exchange. It was as they say, a chance to explore my Hispanic roots… yes, I know, I don’t look Hispanic nor can I say anything in Spanish other than “hola” and “gracias” and all this while still sporting a bit of a Minnesotan accent. But my grandmother was born just outside of Havana so I can officially make that claim.
One chance encounter left me with a reminder that no matter the “race” we claim or think we are… that we are all really the same deep inside and made truly in God’s image. While in the farmer’s market, a group of Americans and a group of Cubans were mixed in an open square watching as a young Cuban toddler was drawn to woman in our group. He climbed into her open arms and she held him for some time. All the while, the crowd, both Cubans and Americans were smiling at the cute sight and then broke into laughter when the child refused to go back to his mother or father. The more they tried to persuade him, the more he resisted with arms pushing them away. The crowd continued to laugh but at some point started to feel a twinge of empathy for the parents since their own son was choosing a complete stranger over them.
The grandmother spoke to another woman in our group explaining how unusual this was since the toddler was scared to approach anyone he didn’t know. The show continued for some time until a middle aged Cuban man in front of me said something to his companions immediately to his right. Even though I could not understand the exact phrases, he had that playful look and said something like, “Watch this.”
Immediately he proceeded to get down on all fours and crawled up to one of the attractive women in our party and reached up while on his knees yelling, “Momma – take me!” At this point the crowd broke into a huge roar of laughter knowing the dual meaning of the phrase.
At that sanguine moment, we were neither Cuban nor American, Communist nor Capitalist, Spanish, African, English, Irish, Chinese… or whatever class of race that we box ourselves into… but we were all part of the same race… a box we should more appropriately check called the Human Race.