Edi­tor’s Let­ter

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Kayra Wil­liams

My morn­ing trek to the of­fice con­sists of run­ning into a stream of peo­ple whose faces have not failed to reg­is­ter on my mind. I know pre­cisely at what point I will en­counter them. Ac­tu­ally, I can al­most pre­dict our in­ter­ac­tions. Tues­day, how­ever, was a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. I stopped by a small shop on the way to work. The as­sis­tant was talk­ing about a man I'd seen a few times on my com­mute. “No one knows where he is,” she said, ad­dress­ing a shop­per who'd walked in be­fore me.

“His boss called his fam­ily and they don't know where he is ei­ther." She went on talk­ing about how the man had told his em­ployer, the day be­fore he went miss­ing, that he had to han­dle some busi­ness. With just a hint of con­cern I left the shop and made my way to work. The next day I stopped at the shop, as usual. Still no sign of the miss­ing man. Then news of his dis­ap­pear­ance started cir­cu­lat­ing through the small com­mu­nity.

Some­one asked me whether a miss­ing per­son report had been filed with the po­lice. On an­other visit to the shop I over­heard the as­sis­tant whis­per­ing to an el­derly pa­tron, “Some peo­ple just al­low their prob­lems to over­power them; they don't know how to deal with things.”

I found my­self won­der­ing about the likely out­come of a young male dis­ap­pear­ing with­out a trace in Saint Lu­cia. Mur­der? Sui­cide? Ac­ci­den­tal death? I quickly tossed the grim pos­si­bil­i­ties out of my mind, af­ter of­fer­ing a silent prayer that the miss­ing man would show up un­harmed. What a re­lief when af­ter three days I saw him at­tend­ing to a car at the garage that em­ployed him. He smiled when he saw me and re­minded me for the umpteenth time: “I hope you know I still want to take you out to lunch!”

The mat­ter of his dis­ap­pear­ance still has not come up. No mat­ter, I had been re­minded yet again how quickly things can change; that we never re­ally know what's go­ing on in the lives of the peo­ple we daily en­counter. Good enough rea­son to be­lieve it is al­ways worth the ef­fort to be more hu­mane, to be al­ways pleas­ant even to ca­sual ac­quain­tances—to be espe­cially ap­pre­cia­tive of those who care about us enough to show us un­con­di­tional love!

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