Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Shuttle Man

My shuttle guy tells me that he could identify me because he can match voices. He can talk to you over the phone and when he looks for you, he can spot you easily. I'm gentle, humble, open and dignified according to his diagnosis. (that's how I can tell if someone gets me or not. Those who say I'm loud don't get the real me at all. So this guy is good.) 
He then went on further to give me even more diagnosis of other people he meets, how he deals with angry people, people who belittle and demand. People who work in the service industry in unequal societies particularly like ours have to be very good judges of character in order to navigate their humanity. Often treated as though they were less than human. 
He was Christian. He then proceeded to give me prophetic encouragement. All of this in less than 5min. 
He told me about how he treasures joy above all else.
He told me about how people develop character over different amounts of time.
One can become something great in 10 minutes but lose character as quickly. 
He has found the essence of what matters and that is what gives him joy.
There are a few things that are more precious than kind exchanges between perfect strangers who will never meet again. 
What a guy! I can't imagine how many people's lives he's touched. 
I will remember his name. Just as I will remember the name of a teenage girl in Mozambique whose language I couldn't speak but she asked me not to forget her name. And how could I? 
As we say in our indigenous languages, names are expensive. And sometimes they are hard to pronounce because they are sacred not because they are hard to pronounce. 

To be human is to be loved by God through other human beings.


With much gratitude,

Siki Dlanga 

"We are the ones we have been waiting for." 
- June Jordan 1970s 
Poem for South African Women


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