Archive for May 11th, 2011


day saved

The day yesterday started off badly.

I received a call informing me that certain people engaged in our youth advocacy work have been discovered to have been doing so under false identities, and that at least one of them had apparently been doing so with the purpose of disrupting the work.

I got another report of more official weirdness in connection with the handling of James Prindle’s case in Memphis which suggests once again that something nefarious is afoot there.

I received an e-mail from a man in Pennsylvania who persists in sending hate messages to the Jordan Brown website and is now threatening me.

And  at the same time I was dealing with a commenter who seemed to me to be trying to divert attention from the fact that our government is conducting a “war on drugs” and all the while secretly dealing and profiting from the very same drugs the “war” is supposedly against.

The confluence of all this in just one morning was a little overwhelming. It got me to thinking that the evil in this world is apparently greater and more pervasive than I’d previously believed. I’ve tended towards cynical views of human nature and reality, but this morning I had begun wondering if I actually haven’t been naïve all along.

Try as I might I couldn’t shake off the pall. I called a friend and discussed a plan for responding to hateful e-mails (the number of which I expect to increase as the youth work continues). That didn’t help.

Alex called and we settled on a plan for today’s plea hearing on the traffic charges. That made me feel better, but it didn’t dissipate my dismay at his relentless and unforgiving persecution by the state of Florida, which in my view is unmitigated evil.

I had a productive day working on a development plan for our parricide initiative, but even that didn’t put my mood right. So I finally dealt with my sense of discouragement by simply pulling back and taking a nap.

Shortly after I woke up I received a call from Alex’s public defender, and I liked the guy. He sounded personable, interested, and smart. He told me about a plan he and Alex had discussed involving the payment of about $480 in damages to the other driver which, in combination with a couple procedural things, he hopes will minimize the danger of the traffic infractions being used against Alex in his upcoming probation violation hearing. This sounded very good to me and put me in a better frame of mind. None of the private attorneys I’d talked to had suggested this approach. As I said, I liked this guy a lot.

Yet even so, it was not until the end of the day that my discouragement was finally exorcised, and I’ll tell you how it happened… the heavy sense of evil that had been burdening my day was finally dissipated by a small kindness by a stranger. Otto and I drove down to the lodge to do a load of laundry, and I stopped after hours at the restaurant there to buy an iced tea.

“Our till is closed,” the woman said as she handed me the cup, “but you can stop back another day to pay for it.”

It was just a dollar and a quarter—a small sum. She didn’t know me. But she trusted me. She was nice.

It made the grimness of the day go away and restored my hope for the world.


Groove of the Day

Listen to Jackie DeShannon performing “What the World Needs Now”