Today I took two test for the state of Missouri for social worker positions. I had to go to a government building in downtown KC for the tests. During the break for lunch, I drove around the neighborhood looking for a place to eat. This neighborhood was the hood, I mean the really real hood. This is the neighborhood around Truman and the Paseo. I'm used to going to Quindaro and other ghettos in Wyandotte County, but this neighborhood took poverty to a new level.
I finally found a McDonald's (it was the only open building for miles). While I was standing in line, I noticed one guy accidentally cut in line of this other guy and he was pissed. The other guy apologized and said it was a mistake, but that wasn't good enough for the other guy (who was obviously a gang banger). This gang banger started raving about how he was disrespected and he was going to "Cap your ass". No matter how many times this poor guy apologized, this gang banger was making a scene. Everyone in the McDonald's was watching as the gang banger told this guy he was going to die because he disrespected him, but no one was saying anything.
I'd like to say that I took this opportunity to tell the gang banger about Jesus Christ and how He loves him, but I didn't. I was only white guy around for miles.
After the situation was resolved (the gang banger's quarter pounder was ready, so he left), I ordered and sat down to enjoy my McRib next to these older gentlemen. I over heard their conversation about Christ, Martin Luther King, and other men of peace. They were having a pleasant conversation about philosophy and the importance of loving one another.
I couldn't help but to notice the differences between the situation I had just watched and the conversation taking place. Here are two groups of people with similar socioeconomic situations but differ greatly in age and values. I then began to wonder were did the breakdown in values between generations begin? Why were these old guys talking about peace and love, and the other younger guy was going to "bust your ass" for accidentally cutting in line?