I am currently sitting on a very uncomfortable bench at a nearby park; a park that I grew up around and spent so much of my childhood playing and growing with my friends. I have with me a collection of comic books, a Bible and my notebook. I am enjoying the light breeze as I read through my comic books. From the distance I can hear a small child’s bike approaching along with the footsteps of other kids and parents.
I love when parks are utilized for their express purpose.
I remain engaged to my books when the child rides by on his bike, his training wheels keeping the bike from teetering off balance.
“Hello,” The child said politely as he stopped his bike in front of me.
“Hey, how are you?” I smiled at the child and returned to the open pages of my book. Immediately the boy’s mothers called to him and requested that he move his bike and not bother me. The boy obeyed his mother and moved his bike to the same bench where his mother was placing her stuff.
While this situation began to unravel before me, I kept my attention toward my comics and remained silent about the mother’s request; but I’d be lying if I said that my mind wasn’t running various ideas and observations through my mind. I actually thought quite intently about the implications of the situation while I eyed the Batman collection.
The mother seemed scared. Without a second thought the mother became very protective. Why?
Is our world become that fearful of danger that we live our lives in constant worry of threat? Was I posing a threat to the children at this park by sitting quietly, reading and writing? If so, what was so threatening?
Now, I understand that traditionally we try to teach our children about various forms of stranger danger. Also, with the numerous advances that we have in today’s society, there are more stranger danger worries than ever before; I still do not believe that it benefits our society to live every moment in fear. It doesn’t help us to create a society where we are unable to meet and talk with new people.
A better time:
Through stories, movies, and television shows I have been given a pretty good idea of a time that has long since disappeared; a time where people were generally caring and considerate people. A time where being friendly was something to be valued and treasured.
This is a time way before my time. The only proof that I have of this wonderful time period is what media has depicted over the years and what I have heard from parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
Although I did not get the opportunity to live in this wonderful era of kindness and friendliness, my heart rejoices over the evidence that this time existed.
In today’s world judgment blankets our choices and re-directs our actions. We fill our minds with hypothetical “what ifs” and “maybes” that prevent us from truly connecting with a real person.
Instead of offering a genuine smile to a stranger and a friendly “hello” we hide in our houses and in our bubble of comfort, hoping no one tries to intrude.
As you may have noticed today’s encounter made me feel a bit awkward and outcast just a bit. I felt that this parent saw a young man and in their mind’s eye I was a no good person looking for trouble. Due to their judgment of me they took the steps to ensure that their child was safe, which I don’t blame them, if I was up to no good. Since I was just minding my own business, I see no reason why the parent should be cautious of me.
While I sat there working in the light breeze I continued to think through this situation a bit more. How often does this happen? I can count of a handful of times that it’s happened to me throughout my life. Out of all of the times that it has happened, how many of those times were unnecessary? I believe that most of the times that this type of thing happens it can be determined as unnecessary and unwanted, Lastly, I thought; have I been guilty of this type of judgment in my daily life? I thought about this deeply, hoping that I know better to judge an individual before I take the opportunity to get to know that person.
Now, I must ask those who are reading this; if you think through your days and you notice that you were either a victim to this behavior or an offender to this behavior I ask that you would correct your behavior and ask for guidance to adjust your mindset. Let’s create a society that is free from this judgment, which allows our kids to live in a society that is more like the community-based society that we have so sadly left behind over the last few decades.
Anthony K. Giesick
I grew up loving stories and quickly found myself loving writing poetry, stories, songs! Here is a sample of what Beautiful Feet Writings is all about!.