Two Thoughts of the Day

Two things happened today. Two things that are separate in every way possible, but are connected in how we choose to react to them. Both evoke emotion. Both have caused people to react. And both made me think.

When I got out of bed this morning and opened up my phone to log onto the ole Facebook, something caught my eye. This weird little video caught my eye. This crazy little slideshow that revealed images of my family and friends. Of my travels around the world. Of AmeriCorps. Of Montana. The Beach. Of all the joys in the world that I treasure and cherish.

You see, this was a much needed burst of joy. The past two days, I have felt like death. Okay, not quite that bad, but I didn’t feel like doing anything. I called in sick. Spent four and a half hours at urgent care.

And yet, a simple video (a slideshow actually) was all it took to make me smile. It made a bunch of people smile. It is a celebration of friendship.

I also saw a post from a friend about how some dude was a despicable human being. I scrolled past it, sensing that it was just a normal social media bashing because someone made a dumb comment to the world. And then I packed my lunch and went to work.

Soon after arriving in the dispatch center, the conversation spiraled into some dude named Daryrush and the group Return of Kings, a male supremacist group who coined the term “legal rape.”

Fist off, realize that I spend 8 hours in a room of 20ish people. And I am one of two males on that shift (add in the random firefighters, police officers, and supervisors and we don’t seem that outnumbered).

I work with some really powerful women. Some really strong ladies. Feminists? Of course. But they are also mothers and wives and sisters and fighters.

The conversation suddenly roared like a wildfire, seeming to burn out of control. And when they get fired up about something (I’ve seen it happen on something as simple as a car chase) it is a beautiful sight. And it is kinda scary at the same time. Kinda like lighting a backfire in front of the head of a wildfire.

The fact that there was supposed to be one of these clandestine meetings of members of the Return of Kings at one of the local parks here in the SC upstate gave them more fuel for the fire. There was a rage (controlled, but it was still there) that revealed the warriors that I work with.

You see, somehow this ugly and vulgar message of hatred revealed something beautiful. It revealed a side to the ladies that I have the privilege of working beside. It was a pleasant surprise. And it made me smile because I got to know them a little more.

Yes, I was angered about what we were reading on the internet about this group. It sickened me. But like everything in a dispatch center, there was always something else that caught our attention. Like the ringing phones. Or the officers on the other end of the radio. And soon the conversation drifted behind us as we rode the wave of craziness that is our every moment and day.

Both of these moments today made me smile. Both of these moments gave me some degree of joy. One came out of a beautiful moment, the other came out of hatred.

The lesson to be learned: every moment, no matter how good or bad it may be, has the opportunity to reveal something beautiful. And before I go off on a longer rant, I’m gonna stop here for the night!


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