Another school shooting. Another mass murder. Blood is being shed before the eyes of their peers in real life. Innocent lives needlessly lost, cut short, leaving behind grieving fathers and mothers, siblings and friends, and a community giving way to tears. At the same time, there is this instant knee-jerk reaction of rage, trying to piece together what happened, pointing the blame, and calling for change. Social media becomes overrun with memes providing a quick and easy solution to the problem. But which side is right?
A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.
As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mum taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger… he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.
If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn’t seem to mind. (more…)