I was sitting in an Argo Tea cafe.
I had a window seat to the community.
And audio play by play behind me.
I was waiting for my friend to join me after church.
I had been sitting by myself until I heard a man, and by her voice, an elderly woman, sit behind me. I didn’t turn around to see them, I was too intently focused on what I was doing. Which was, sitting in a cafe, in Chicago, and loving watching out the window, doodling, and absorbing.
They made settling in noises.
The word ‘protestors’ brought my attentions around to them. Though I couldn’t really help but listen I didn’t mean to tune into them.
I knew what the lady was referring to when she said “protestors”. My friend and I were in Chicago for the weekend. The protestors all around. We passed many of them carrying signs, little groups who had broken off from the larger group, and were heading to eat or home, or where ever they were going. We had passed a coffee and food station set up for them. We heard them. We saw them. A lot of the downtown we spent 2 days walking in was prepared for them. Other than seeing the large security contingency we didn’t come across or experience any problems. At one point we asked one of the policemen if there had been any problems, he said no. Everyone was being respectful. He was smiling. No one seemed overly bothered.
The discussion behind me was calm. The lady liked the protestors peaceful nature. Though she did not understand what they were protesting because it wasn’t very clear to her. She wasn’t upset or judgmental, just questioning. The man, who sounded younger, gave his perspective. Twice I heard her disagree with him. Twice, they continued talking, listening to one another. Conceding, not their beliefs, but to the other’s beliefs. They didn’t have to agree to understand one another’s points.
I absolutely loved them.
I didn’t turn around to see them.
I kind of idealized these two people and their conversation as the way we might all be able to discuss our different opinions.
Those two people made me feel hopeful.
People can disagree and get along. I believe if you cannot speak civilly to people in your world about your differences you are part of the problem. And if you can’t speak civilly with people you know, how can you expect other’s to?
Thank you, you two random strangers, sitting in an Argo Tea Cafe in Chicago.
You have proven my faith in peoples.