Lonely child discovering his reading wasn’t right, his writing couldn’t read, dyslexia affecting his esteem, he retreats into a shell.
Pants sagging in protest to the tests he failed, day to day life transpired to no avail, cigarette dangles from mouth with nothing to say, anger ruling his day, intent on believing this place would never pave a way that being productive in service would never really pay.
It is said man will begin to believe that no matter the circumstance he will never achieve beyond the stick you use to measure his success.
They would say he was a thug, pulled the rug from beneath his dreams until it seemed futile to forge forward he clings to the backward swerve his brain interprets one singular word
Dr. King said “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
Now picture this – same boy grows into what society labels a deadbeat young man, but the media, naysayers and neighbors can’t see the steady beating of untapped achievement in his heart. He hasn’t yet had his first start, let alone fresh start, he starts to date a girl whose world rivals his own, her house never cared for into home, addicted mother, less child equating love with leave they cleave onto one another for dear life until they’ve succumbed to life only to reproduced another life.
Her pregnancy changes things.
Because whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly and Indirectly this boys direction begins to rearrange the range of thoughts he looks into the future to see his daughters facing him and asking him “daddy, what do YOU want to be when you grow up” he roughly shrugs shoulders to shake this boulder of a nightmare then makes a decision which indirectly affects you, and you, and you, the thought of raising his daughter impoverished makes him nervous, he makes a decision, in a time of war, to join the service.
“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”.
He’s in the Army now, once girlfriend now wife, once welfare now warrior, Infantryman standing on the wall protecting us all.
Service is steeped in sacrifice.
Service takes a long hard look at who we are and makes demands on us and we have no choice but to submit because the call to service doesn’t listen, doesn’t discriminate and doesn’t quit.
The call is relenting, it’s in your bones; it is a song you can’t stop singing, it is a clarion call ringing. I’m not speaking of high profile service today, I’m talking about the ones we never see, don’t recognize on the streets, the invisible service, the oft time forgotten servants.
The mother whose lost her son to violence will grieve but the thought of a mustard seed of grief being inflicted onto another mother will make her serve, she will counsel you, cuddle away what little pain she can gather from your hurt; a fatherless boy will grow into a man who mentors, his memories of crying into his pillow in an empty room grooms him into a man with a plan of prevention, he will serve.
A prostitute will close her legs and open a shelter for runaway girls to eradicate the numbness and defend what was never protected for her, every little girls ache projected and deferred, she will serve.
We survivors know that serving stems from wanting to decrease injury, the way a doctor wants to heal, a lawyer wants justice, an activist wants resolution – Service is a revolution dictated by the needs of a community, a city, a nation.
It is our station in life to lift up, light up, praise up, rise up.
In service we celebrate the paths we’ve creased utilizing our lives as a significant piece for peace found most often during a bleak period of time and in time perhaps the griots will remind. They will tell our stories, of how we learn from missteps & blunders stepping inside striving, leaning beside surviving and dining with strength, how we steer village vessels serving through diverse gulf streams, how we prevent high beaming low hopes or make believing seeking dreams more than a wing and a prayer.
In service we all make it up the stair casing survival of men and women like you/ like me / like we.
For those who serve it is never about awards, recognition, applause or the money we’re paid – no measure of service can ever be weighed, the absolute honor is found in the difference we made.