Happy Father’s Day
Four years and a day ago my dad passed away. Life is short. Loved ones are precious. Cherish the good, forget the bad. Hug your dad.#
At about 5 AM Pacific yesterday morning I was attacked and mugged. Most of what I was carrying was stolen. My iPhone, my weekender bag containing my clothes and various business cards from a conference I’d just attended, and my MacBook Air. I did not see it coming.
I was standing outside my hotel waiting for my cab. The sun was barely starting to show. The street was well-lit and cars were driving by, but not at the moment of the attack. The person who attacked me timed and staged it perfectly: when no one else was around, and from behind. I’m not going to get into the physical details of how I was attacked but it was violent and it was abrupt.
Physically I am okay with no injuries to show whatsoever.
I am very, very lucky.
Emotionally and mentally I have a lot of thoughts about what happened. Not a sense of loss—the things I lost were just material belongings, nothing I can’t replace. And not a sense of anger—what is there to get angry about in that which you cannot control? But I am sad. I am sad for my assailant and for our society.
So to the person who mugged me yesterday, I just want to say one thing:
I’m sorry society has gotten to a place where it felt right or required to do this.
I’m sorry we’ve all let you slip through the cracks. Families care for each other.
I too am guilty of becoming blind to those in need.
For that I am sorry.
I’m not sure if this was a choice or a “choice” for you. And there is a difference between the two.
I realize that all too often we label people as having a choice when really it was a “choice”, something in actuality completely out of that person’s control. Something they were required to do to survive.
If there truly were no other options left and this is what you had to resort to to survive, I forgive you.
If you had other options available to you, I still forgive you. I forgive you because I know all too well that an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. I do not wish harm upon you. I wish you simply didn’t feel the need to hurt others to help yourself. I wish you never to hurt someone again.
The only way I know to help others become better people is not through punishment but through compassion. And so I wish only to show you compassion.
To everyone else like me who tends to stand around holding their phone in public, a few thoughts: pay attention to your surroundings, especially if you’re on your phone (I’m not going to tell you to not look at your phone; I’m not that unrealistic). Wait inside when possible; make cab drivers call you when they arrive.
Not everyone is as lucky as I am. I’ve been in this type of situation before so I knew how to handle the situation and myself physically. Even so I recognize this could have played out very differently for me. I am thankful it didn’t.
Everyone, please take care of yourselves and of each other.