January 22, 2017
By Arthur H. Gunther III
I do not know at which point you realize there is less road in front of you than behind, but for me it came on the supermarket line just the other day. I was the only Caucasian in a four-person queue, and I suddenly thought that if I do make it upstairs, and the jury may well deliberate on that, probably I will be a minority on the bus. And since there is no priority seating in the after life, whatever prejudices I may still carry, whatever relative wealth I may possess, whatever position I may have attained get me nowhere. But if you are on the bus, you are on the bus.
In that short moment on the “express line” at the supermarket, which it isn’t and that tests my great, annoying impatience, I understood the folly of earth, that possessions, status, money, awards are so very temporal. Now the man who was in front of me may be rich though a recognized minority. The lady behind me, also a minority, may be as close to a saint as this mortal coil allows. We may all be on the bus together, or some like us, and we all have to go through the checkpoint.
While whites still comprise the largest percentage of the world’s population, about 19 to 26 percent, according to various estimates, and about 75 percent in the United States if you include Hispanic whites, both percentages are declining. (The U.S. is expected to have minority whites by about 2050, if you accept some estimates.)
I do not know the percentages in Heaven. Maybe God is a black, Jewish woman, and we are all her little, happy babies. Perhaps we keep coming back to earth to live various existences in different eras, as males, females, transgender, as black, white, Asian, whatever. As rich, poor, good people, not so good. As religious this or not. And then when we get back upstairs, a bit more perfected, perhaps we continue those lives and all those relationships, spouses, lovers, friends included, all at once, however we chose to be in the moment. If it’s Heaven, it’s possible.
Now all this passed through the mind of an impatient man called me, on a supermarket line where I was the only white. Made me realize there is no superiority on earth and certainly not in Heaven. If only we fools, political and otherwise, understood that down here.
The writer is a retired newspaperman who can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org