I was attending a personal growth seminar in 2018 when the vision for GUS first materialized. Attendees were broken into small teams and together we choose a team leader. My team leader’s name was Shawn. Shawn was from Jamaica and over the course of the seminar she and I formed a friendship. We regularly sat together during breaks and mealtimes talking on and on about all we were experiencing and learning.
One night the dining hall was very full when I spotted another attendee, Lana, looking for a seat to dine. It just so happened the seat next to me was open, so I waived her over to join us.
As Shawn and I carried on in conversation Lana turned and asked us how we kept our marriage so vibrant seeing that Shawn lived in Jamaica and I lived in Florida? It seemed somehow Lana got the notion in her head that Shawn and I were married!
We looked stunningly at each other and then started to laugh. Not wanting to give up the opportunity for some good-natured fun, we decided to run with the idea. I turned to Lana and said, “Well it is not easy, but we talk on the phone a great deal, we text a lot and we also attend seminars like this one.” Shawn and I were still laughing when Lana spoke her next thought. She looked at us and said, “You two remind me of my husband and I.” It was at that moment I stopped laughing and asked her, “Really, how is that?” She said, “Because we’re and inter-racial couple too.”
I will never forget that moment as long as I live. In that moment I saw an opportunity to connect with Lana on a deeper level. I reached for Lana’s hand, held it and said to her, “That’s interesting but unless your husband has four legs and a tail, there’s no such thing as an inter-racial couple.” Lana looked perplexed and asked, “how’s that?” I said, “Because there is only one race, the Human Race.”
At GUS we believe everyone belongs to the same human race. We also believe there are many different ethnicities and cultures within humankind. What we do not believe in is the idea that within the human race there are separate races. We understand differences as well as the next person but around the globe, regardless of skin color, human beings possess more similarities than differences. For the most part, we are all conceived the same way. The gestation period for human beings is universal. We are all born the same way and we all come out with the same features; two arms, two legs, ten fingers, ten toes and so on. Of course, there can and always will be exceptions and at GUS we believe in acknowledging and celebrating exceptions, together. We believe, as one race, we all need to care for each other.
In today’s ever shrinking world, technology has brought us all closer together and yet, as a species, sometimes we still seem to be extremely far apart. We cling to outdated ideas if for no other reason than “that is the way it has always been.” At GUS we believe now is the time to reconsider and forge new ideas and social constructs. Ideas that celebrate our minute differences as opposed to those that look to categorize and separate us by them. Together we inhabit one world, we belong to one race and both our world and our race are more whole and complete by the existence of our many beautiful colors.