I met and had a wonderful conversation with Mr. Genero during this past carnival over in New Orleans. Sincere, kind and informative, Mr. Genero and I really engaged in chat when he figured out that I wasn't exactly a "tourist".
New Orleans is still a highly stratified city.. those that are making it, and those that take life day by day.
After parting ways, I noticed tourists, "noticing" Mr. Genero. Some walked quickly by. Some cautiously gave a wider berth than if it had been you they were passing down town, on the sidewalk of Canal St.. There is no doubt that many would judge Mr. Genero by his skin, his teeth, the tattoo of tear drops emanating from his left eye or all the aforementioned.. that's too bad though, because self segregation doesn't help us help ourselves to see the world for what it could be.
Mr. Genero (a licensed welder by trade) is a rich book to read; a life that has lived, and a life that still has life in it!
a simple "hello" to a stranger will often reveal an interesting read; socially stimulating.
Conversely, being quick to judge an unopened book can be intellectually costly..