Have you ever asked a question whose answer you know, but where curiosity is associated with anger, so you want to hear it from the mouth of your counterpart?
Maybe you know such situations.
In your already natural conspicuousness, you do not want to be pulled out of a crowd and checked again. Once, twice, three times is fine, but every day, from Monday to Friday, in the same place?
One day I was tired of being checked by the border cross-border police. At that time, Switzerland was not yet part of the Schengen area.
At that time, I was always driving with other commuters. I was part of this group. As soon as the train arrived, we continued with the connecting bus.
Sometimes only I missed the bus because I was pulled out of the crowd to be checked. Of course, I know I’m striking.
I was a foreigner to the police in Germany and Switzerland alike. Point.
Accordingly, an easy prey if a border guard pulls through his sample.
That day it was too much for me. I was pulled out as always. “Your ID please.”
My ID card can’t change that quickly. I hesitated.
The border guard adopted a different stance.
“Your ID please,” he repeated less kindly.
I then asked, “Why are you only controlling me from this group of commuters?” He was silent. Meanwhile, I have had experience with people who remain silent when I ask such questions. So I asked suggestively, “Is it because I’m black?”
After a short hesitation, he said, “Yes.”
I showed my ID and moved on. I had the answer. Whether it made me feel better: Yes, I had the clarity.
Even if it hurts to create clarity is liberating. Believe me.
But what I didn’t suspect is that this question did something to this border guard. His colleagues watched. I can imagine that they had discussed it.
The next day I was not checked. Not the day after. I already had a strange feeling and was happy about it at the same time.
At some point, not being controlled went into guards simply smiling at me. At first, only one Grüezi was exchanged, and at some point also a few sentences.
It was a pleasant wait.
Because I was no longer treated as a “criminal”. Because I was part of others.
Such twists touch me very much.
What I give you today:
Get into the habit of asking questions.
If something annoys you, create clarity, even if it just says, “Why?”
At some point, these people reflect and the situation will change because you have questioned something. This is a magical path to encounters.
In both directions, of course.
Do you have a similar story?