For My Big Brother, Bobby

While we read MSN and FOX and CNBC and CNN and all the media outlets that scribe to truth, there are a host of alternative blogs and news commentaries that also claim truth. Unfortunately, I have yet to actually hear anything that culls the slant and truly writes from a perspective that appeals to no side.

The side we all desperately wish to hear.

So, what to do?

As I pondered this, I heard the doorbell and went to answer knowing that in Arizona, at our vacation house, I had never heard that chime unless it was pre-arranged – ever. So, with naïve gullibility, I answered thinking – “oh, maybe it’s a neighbor here to say hello”, ummm…did I mention, naive?  No such luck. I was greeted by a solicitor and my face fell. Oh, dang, caught.

I listened to the appeal, the magazine subscription that I would never see, the cost that was four times the online cost, the pathetic need, and despite my better judgement, I acquiesced and bought a ridiculous subscription for $72 that ordinarily would have cost $20.

After he left, I immediately went online to see if I had been hood-winked. As I read the review of this company, it was pretty bad.  But I read more and discovered something terribly awful;   the company was actually a kind of front and they used these people to make lots of money for themselves while only offering food and a bed to their salesmen.  I remembered the man asked for a bottle of water.  He asked if it was okay if he sat down for a bit, he was so tired. And the more I read, the more I realized this man was the victim, not the perpetrator. So, instead of cancelling the subscription, I quickly put together a bag of food stuffs and charged off in my Hyundai to find him. After a few passes on neighborhood streets, I spotted the neon pink shirt he wore. But, he was with another guy, taller, bigger, more authoritative.  I thought maybe this wasn’t the safest thing to do…

I had to make a choice to totally ignore this or – not. A quick u-turn, I pulled up to the neon pink shirt and opened the window to hand him the bag of groceries. I handed him the bag and nothing. His face was a map of confusion. He didn’t understand the gesture.  But then he thanked me and I drove off.

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I was right. I don’t know, but the review I saw online that made my gut wrench was the fact that these people are called ‘human traffickers’. This man was trapped. He had nothing. And his existence was dangled in front of him like a carrot of performance.

It reminded me of something Joe and I had shared recently in which a man who is a part of his Bible study offered that the reception of Christianity and Jesus in countries like Pakistan, India, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey was so much more pervasive than in the United States. Jokingly, I said, “Maybe they’ll start sending missionaries to the US from those countries to teach us morality and Jesus.”

The point – we need to start by not condemning, judging and being so fearful.  Maybe I was wrong – but then what if I was right and the food and the gesture changed him in some way?

FYI – I have been very vocal about the fact that in order to go on a mission – the mindset is that Africa is the place of choice. Therefore, because it is Africa, you are performing a ‘mission’.  I always thought, well, you could go just ten miles into the downtown area of Denver, or Arlington, or Jacksonville, or Little Rock and find conditions, not much better, if not worse. In fact, maybe a mission will ring your front doorbell.   

As we isolate ourselves from the finer values and ethics of right and wrong, who are we to judge? Isn’t that basically Hillary’s defense? Everyone does it? And although it is a sad reality, the sooner we face its truth, the sooner we can fix its demise.

It exists in our homes, our communities, our cities and in our government. It has permeated every aspect of our existence from our schools to our universities. It is a cancer. And only a complete eradication will expel the cancer, treating the symptoms – does nothing. So, what is the cancer?

It is complacency. It is a thought process. It is the acceptance of that which we know in our hearts to be WRONG. It is looking the other way. It is saying, I don’t want to get involved. It is turning the other cheek. It is allowing behaviors and attitudes that are just not – right. And we know it. It is being a coward. Being lazy. Being that person who points and says, they should take care of this. It is the song, ‘He did find a solution – He created me!’ Waiting for God to fix everything, we forget that we are the actioners. We are supposed to freaking fight for our freedom and values and ethics and beliefs and faiths and garbage to all the finger pointing at the guy next to us – ummm, him?

Each of us You’s.

In that light, I would like to offer, proffer, Kudo’s on my big brother and his wife for doing/acting/being what other people talk about doing/acting/being! Yeah to you!

Manno-e-manno, I salute you.!

And, in that tribute, I say, thank you for being so patient with me! God Bless Bobby and Dawn!

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