"I sit, late at night, in the Summit, New Jersey, train station, alone except for a half dozen boisterous African-American teenage boys with a boom box. Their loud joking seems to have an angry undercurrent. The knee-jerk racist responses of a fifty-six-year-old white man run in the background. I feel slightly apprehensive: I wish I weren't alone here; I resent their noise taking up all the public space: Why do they always have to. . . ? Wish you'd pipe down! Wish your pushy self-assertiveness were diminished!

"Diminished? My soul wakes up from the grumbling reverie. I'm inwardly cursing them! I take the second breath, turning the inner disturbance toward God. The adrenaline arousal lessens, and the mind opens to the moment. I try to discern the true nature of their mood. It dawns on me that they are just having a good time. The boom box, the loudness, the physical boisterousness reflect, quite innocently, age, class, and cultural differences.

"Then a thought laces through me: These kids must constantly be on the receiving end of white disapproval like mine. I can imagine what it's like to be looked at, felt at, that way. I've been in situations where I just didn't fit in — or fitted some stereotype all too well. Dear God! Turn me and I shall be turned. I turn to blessing, and a new daily practice is born: a heart-blessing for people who are different from me, especially those whose means of expression rub against the grain of my own."