In this day and age, teenage boys can see just about any kind of violence, hatred, and conflicted relationships on social media.
Just a few days ago, Ibn Ali Miller, a 26-year-old Muslim man, decided to give us all some hope.
Miller, in his home town of Atlantic City, saw two high school boys fighting in the middle of the street. He did not know them, but that did not hold him back. He walked right up to the high-schoolers, and by merely talking to them, stopped the fight. Not only did the boys decide not to fight, but they decided to shake hands and display unity.
Miller is not a great Buddhist teacher nor is he a famous athlete. He was not wearing a uniform or carrying a gun.
No, none of that.
He is just an ordinary man.
Ibn Ali Miller was raised in the projects just like the teenage boys he confronted. When he saw them doing something they shouldn’t be doing— without missing a beat—he stepped in.
Did he think that he could have gotten hurt? It doesn’t seem like he did. What it looks like, is that he realized he knew more than they did about what they were doing. He also noticed there were other kids around, pointing and laughing, and that he wasn’t going to let such a “game” go on.
“This ain’t no game, yo,” he told them all. “This ain’t no game.”
He fearlessly pointed his finger at the boys in the crowd and called them out for laughing. He didn’t do it with anger or with revulsion, but with the truth.
“You’re almost men, you’re not kids no more,” Miller tells them. “Start acting like it, yo. You’re going to get nowhere like this, yo.”
Miller modeled what it takes to be a man despite what social media has to offer.
He modeled something rare and raw and simple, and he modeled it right on a street corner.
He modeled love.
He even got a shout out from LeBron James on Twitter:
So dope!!! #Salute the homie who stepped in and spoke real to our young generation. We all need a word or 2 to help! https://t.co/hJ4BT611sw
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 21, 2017
Today, “the three lives are intertwined …in ways they couldn’t have imagined when they met by chance.” Colby Itkowitz at The Washington Post.
The City Council honored Miller, a married father of six, at their meeting on Wednesday evening for what he did.
What’s more, they honored the two boys who ended up shaking hands as well.
With love—even love on a street corner—everything changes.
Author: Carmelene Siani
Editor: Deb Jarrett
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