The challenges most of us look at today are filled with fear and fear mongers.
I still choose love. There are so many people placing their phones in front of me with videos of screaming people. There are those on the ground being choked, those in their own yards being questioned, because, “they do not look like they should live there” and even people purposefully taunting police while videoing to see if they can create a reaction. Where does one stand on these things? I see police officers going from one crazy call to another and they are suppose to be calm and patient, no matter what is happening around them and in the media. Right now is a difficult to be a police officer.
I do not choose sides and I do not condone racist behaviors or unjustified force. I also do not condone taunting officers and trying to provoke them into unprofessional behavior.
When people start the topic I begin to breathe deep and stay calm and try to understand where they are coming from without adding fuel to the fire. If possible I will change the subject.
How does a human stay peaceful in the face of so much negative and hurtful energy? It is a daily challenge. I believe in love. I believe that even in the face of such hateful media that we still have the ability and even the obligation to stay true to who we are. I am not saying it is easy. But I am saying we have the choice which road we travel down.
Recently outside of St. Louis an incident happened that was a part of the unfolding of a potentially sad situation. A man was hired to keep a gated community recreation area cleared of any people that did not belong and any trouble. It was a part time job and the pay was ok, but more than that, the security man kept the job for many years because this community was like a small family. He arrived on time every shift and made sure that the lakeside residents only play land was run correctly. He ruled with an iron fist when it came to enforcing who was allowed to be there, the very clearly written rules and having cars towed and people removed when necessary. He patrolled and controlled the beach as of it were his own personal back yard. He also carried things for the residents when the load was to heavy, gave kids free floats to play on and made sure that when the residents were on the beach they were happy and taken care of, they were like family and they liked the “father figure” that made it easy for them to enjoy life with out worries.
After the recent police interaction in the St. Louis area it became very apparent that some troublesome people wanted to create trouble and many had been harassing police in a “get a thrill” kind of way. Most of these cases did not even involve people that live in the community, they were outsiders just looking for a way and reason to cause trouble.
A group of young men decided to “crash” the lake area beach. They did not belong there, they were not invited…. Except one teenager wanting to belong in a new group and have new friends decided to allow his new friends the pass code on the main gate. As the cars one by one used the code and slowly drove near the recreation the tension had already begin to rise. One of the residents called the security guard on the phone to tell him there were trespassers on the property. The group entering chose a spot within a very short distance from the beach and began to migrate to the beach.
When the security guard arrived at a potential problem he first he did was noted the cars not carrying parking stickers. He made his notes of them all and slowly walked to the beach where the trespassers are sitting. The majority of all the trespassers are teenagers. He quietly explains the rules and asked them to leave. One person tries to speak for the group. “We were invited here and you cannot make us leave”.
The guard explains. “Ok, well here are the points I need to make. You do not have a stickers, you do not have a guess pass and I am pretty sure that who ever gave you the pass code did not get permission from the owner of the residence, therefore I can have your cars towed and have you all arrested for trespassing. But because that is not the way I like to do things I can make you a deal. You show me that pass code that was given to you, you get in your cars and leave now peacefully and I will not go any further with calling the police, having the cars towed or charges.”
All but one of the trespassers was in agreement. After one teenager showed his phone and the pass code the guard shook his head, said “thank you, now lets walk up the hill together and get you guys out of here.”
As the people moved up the hill to where the cars were one angered young man became belligerent. “Who the Fuck doest he think he is? He can’t make us do shit. I am not going let some cop push me around like that.” As the people entered the area where the cars were parked the angry young man pulled a gun to waive in the air to prove his power, a few people stepped in front of him to stop him. Little did the guard know that another resident had called the police already to assist. The police arrived as the incident had started. No one was hurt but the young man with the gun was arrested. The cars were escorted out and a report was filed.
My point? A uniform can make you a target. A young man with a chip on his shoulder can make you a target. The majority of the trouble is coming from people outside the area where the incidents are happening. This small community could have had a shooting of a security guard from an outsider that hated cops and wanted to find a way to vent his anger. But the people inside made a decision to choose love over fear. The guard ruled with a strong, loving force the way good parent does. The community became a little closer and the nothing happened that day. The community loves the security guard and knows he has done his job and will continue to do his job protecting them. They have changed the pass codes, and educated the community of what happened that day and they made a decision not to be fearful of what could have happen but to be grateful of what did happen.
These stories happen just about every day now. Another sad part of this is that less than 1% of people are causing these problems but the media insures that you feel it is everywhere around you and pummels you with fear. The media is leading you with fear.
Think about this less, than 1% of the population. 99% of the population is in a state of emotion reaction to 1% misbehavior. I choose love. You can choose love also. Just imagine if all 99% of us chose to stop listening to the fear tactics of the media started reporting our own happy news in percentage of what is really happening we would all be able to choose love easily. But you can and you can do it starting now.
I choose love. I choose forgiveness and I choose gratitude.