There aren't too many states that evoke an opinion more immediately than Texas. Most people have probably never even visited, but they'll throw out a comment about it, as if they'd lived a lifetime within it's monstrous landscape. Yes, there are guns here. They're also in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Iowa too. Lotta Republicans too. Just like there are in every other part of the country. One thing they've got that I wish I did back home, is Waffle House, but that's for another discussion. Basically, yes, there are differences, but so much of it is perception.
One part about life in the south that can't be disputed is its reputation for kindness. Within a few hours of landing, I'd driven an hour outside of Dallas, to the small town of Rockwall. I went to lunch with family and after we'd received our food, I prayed before we ate. A second later, a lady who was sitting adjacent to me came over and touched my ear. In that ear, I have a tattoo of a small Cross. She'd noticed us praying and my tattoo and wanted to come over and say a few words in kind. It was a really sweet gesture and one that could have ended perfectly right there. Twenty minutes later, the ladies sitting across from us got up, left, but not before saying "Bless you both" as we sat, finishing our meal. Again, super sweet and it left my heart feeling warm.
But that wasn't it. As we asked for our check, the server nonchalantly mentioned that the ladies had bought our meal before walking out.
Let me back up for a second. I'm used to being touched, grabbed, looked at funny, and scolded verbally for my tattoos. They're everywhere, from my head to my eyes, down to my ankles. I don't expect understanding, but I always hope that if you reach below the surface, you'll see more than the ink. I try to keep that in mind when I'm dealing with anyone myself. We're all humans. Texas, Washington, Timbuktu. These ladies didn't do what I expected of them when they came over to say something, virtually "interrupting" our meal with kindness. They saw more than the tattoos and they did something that didn't include an agenda. Our hearts were marked today, due to the kindness of a complete stranger.
This happens here. There is a kindness and genuine spirit that permeates all of my interactions with people here. Have you ever wondered how you could save a life? Live your own with kindness and decency toward your fellow humans. Pay something forward, without the need to get anything out of it. Reach out in kindness with your words. You truly never know where someone is at in their situation. One seemingly small moment spent doing something kind can create a sea change of positivity. Stop getting wrapped up in what people DON'T do for you and work on what you CAN do for them. Seriously. Let's change the world. #UntilWeMeetAgainProject Day 41.
I shot this during a senior session that I'm here in Texas for. For this shoot, I had Nicole, Kayla, and Allison all involved in both photos and assistance, from wardrobe to posing.