Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Every Little Thing

"Don't worry about a thing
'Cause every little thing is gonna be alright..."

Bob Marley and the Wailers, Three Little Birds

I ran into a rainbow. It appeared on my way to my weekly beach workout at Natural Bridges and I had to embrace the positive beauty of it and take a picture. And just a quickly as it lit up the cloudy sky ahead of me, it was gone.

It got me thinking about the day before at Thinking Day for local Girl Scout troops, of which our girls are part of as Brownies, the troop the Mama (what I lovingly call my wife) helped found. Unlike the recent overnight campout we did at the Beach Boardwalk, this was a gathering of local troops to celebrate different countries and cultures from around the world.

Before it started we recited the Pledge of Allegiance, I stood with my baseball hat on heart and spoke the words proudly.

However, I looked around and noticed not everyone stood, nor did they put their hands on their hearts, and the other men wearing baseball caps didn't even take them off. I thought it strange that, with such a traditional organization, its roots steeped in God and Country, only about half the adults celebrated the traditional allegiance to the flag.

That's all right, though, I thought. It's their right as Americans to celebrate however they want. It's not my place to judge either way. 

And then I moved on from it, being one to never take issue with the NFL kneeling and related activism of the past few years. If anything I supported it.

Later during the Girl Scout event, each local troop presented some brief entertainment -- singing, dancing or spoken word -- that was representative of the country they had. Our troop was Jamaica, and they sang the Bob Marley song "Three Little Birds".

There was no reference before Thinking Day started, during the event or after it, of the March For Our Lives event happening all over the world that same day. The march that was all about gun safety, gun control, violence prevention and stopping the epidemic of mass school shootings.

And there we all were, celebrating global diversity in a high school gym. I didn't have a problem of the not mentioning the march, although the Mama and I are big supporters of it and its mission. We had planned to go, and then decided not to. We had our superficial reasons, but ultimately for me it came down to the fact that our girls are still young enough not to understand the scope of the recent tragedies, or even hear about it at school, at least not enough to pique their interest to bring it up with us.

They marched with us at the Women's March, and the Science March, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march. We talked about those missions with them, but when it came to the March For Our Lives, we were a little marched out and wary of talking about it with them. That time will come soon enough.

Again, it doesn't mean we're not supporters of the movement. We most certainly are. We also couldn't be more proud of this generation of older kids and teens, many of whom are close to if not already at voting age. We want to make it a better world for our girls just as much as they do.

Then came an odd moment during the Girl Scout event: the troop representing the United Kingdom played the John Lennon song "Imagine" and somewhat acted out the lyrics.

"What an strange choice for an event like this," I whispered to the Mama.

"I know," she whispered back.

"I dig it, though."

And I did dig it, because the message wasn't lost on us about wanting the world to "be as one", and the fact that John Lennon was killed by gun violence on December 8, 1980. Paul McCartney was out marching that day as well, remembering his best friend, which really moved me.

Maybe that wasn't the troop's intention, but maybe it was. Either way it was yet another rainbow of hope for me, that those of us with varying cultural and political beliefs can and should make a positive difference in this world. One where we're not going to necessarily be able to stop all the tragic shootings, but where we can make it a helluva lot harder to start them.

As I watched our girls sing the Bob Marley song as best they could, all I could see were two rainbows lighting up my world, and I knew that every little thing was gonna be alright.

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