I saw her walking with a friend outside the temple. They were both striking, bald and dressed in white head to toe. I stared (discreetly of course) and thought to ask for a photo but I hesitated.

Ten minutes later inside the temple, the game has changed and she is now staring at me (struggling to be discreet, she is a little more obvious than I was), nudging her friend and smiling.

Eventually, she musters the courage I did not and asks for a photo with me, grinning widely. She is thrilled that I have granted her wish, not knowing I am equally as thrilled and grateful for her bravery.

I am still learning to be ok with constantly being gawked at when I travel because of my dark skin and nappy hair. Ever so often I catch strangers taking photos of me (it’s worse when they hide – I prefer the open requests) and it makes me all the more conscious of my own actions. I seek permission before photographing humans, especially children, because I know what the violation feels like.

Then there are moments like this one that warm my heart. Another human being looks at me and finds me odd – different – and chooses to engage instead of objectify.

The more I see of the world is the more I learn, “We are more alike than we are unlike.” – Maya Angelou

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This post is part of the Insta-Losophies series – a curation of my more verbose Instagram posts. I wanted a record of them in case Instagram decides to cop out on us. Plus, they kinda read like bog posts so I thought, why the hell not?