A homeless person who hurled racist remarks at a man got a lesson in forgiveness when the man he attacked helped him turn his life around.
Aminur Chowdhury, 30, was at a pub in Claremont, Bradford, United Kingdom when 27-year-old homeless man Ben Gallon yelled racist remarks at him. Instead of reacting with anger, Chowdhury says he did what he thought was the right thing to do.
“Initially I turned the other cheek, but then I was challenging Ben about what he had said to me. I stopped and had a chat with him for about 15 minutes,” said Chowdhury.
Chowdhury could not leave it there, however, and the next day, he came back to where Gallon was staying and offered him the opportunity of a lifetime.
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“I went back to see him the following day to tell him he had been offered a job,” said Chowdhury. “I care for him. It’s a positive story. I could tell when I stopped to talk to Ben that he was a passionate guy. I realize I can’t put the world to rights but I can try to educate people. Ben’s life is changing and changing for the better and long may it continue. Ben is a delight to be with. He’s not a bad guy.”
Gallon says that he was shocked by Chowdhury’s offer and realizes that what he said was wrong.
“I’ve learned my lesson,” said Gallon. “What I said was completely out of character for me. I’m not a racist. There was no justification for me using those words. Kudos to him for forgiving me. I regret it. A positive thing has happened out of this situation. I was worse for drink when I made those comments. I didn’t think anything of it when he said he could get me a job, but he drove me to the interview and I got it. Things are starting to look up for me. I’ve started the job and it’s fantastic.”
Chowdhury says he hopes that what he did can teach others to combat negativity with positivity.
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“This is a great way of teaching Asian people across Bradford of how to respond to racism,” said Chowdhury. “The more love you show, the more endeared they will be to you.”