By Caprice Coleman
Sunday I buried one of my classmates. His name was Jon. Jon became friends with whoever he encountered.
I was far from popular in school; I was mostly just tolerated. I remember times when I was sitting by myself in the lunchroom and Jon would stop by or sit with me. I can recall being the smallest in my class, being picked on, and Jon assuring me that they’re just messing around.
As we got older, we lost contact until recently. Jon, out of the blue, would give me a call. He never introduced himself; he would just start talking as if I’d seen him yesterday. That’s the type of person he was. He knew you knew who he was.
Jon was the type of person that when he said, “I have black friends,” he was telling the truth. He showed understanding, empathy and compassion.
John was “one cool white dude.” He wasn’t trying to be black; he had a diverse group of friends.
He’s one of the reasons Ian Riccaboni and I are so close today. I see a lot of Jon in Ian. He just gets it. He never tries to be something he’s not and genuinely cares about who you are.
People often wonder how to achieve world peace or the end to racism. I would love to say it’s Christianity or love for mankind. The truth is it’s people like Jon.
They see the person instead of their color, religion, sex, creed or orientation. When they ask, “How are you doing?” they wait for a response because they really want to know.
I feel I owe it to Jon to be more of the person that he was. I can say that I try to be, but I fail. There’s a saying you can only be the best you. I think we can all be the best us, but also add a little Jon.
Just something to think about. I call it a dose of Colemanism.
Caprice Coleman is ROH’s color analyst and has been wrestling for more than 20 years. He also is an ordained minister and motivational speaker. A Dose of Colemanism appears every Thursday.
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