Life is interesting, and often full of surprises; the following experience is one that made me shake my head in wonder. While on duty, I headed outside, listening to the sound of the door locking as I stepped outside; what was I was not expecting, however, was to find four young males standing next to their parked vehicle, coincidentally parked in a no-parking zone. Normally, this type of occurrence would not faze me; however, it soon became clear, after speaking with them, that these young men had been involved in a shooting, leaving one of them hit in the midst of the robbery. In addition, the fact that they were blocking my vehicle also made me want to inquire as to their well-being.
When I approached them, these young men were high on adrenaline, considering the recent occurrence in their lives. What was more important, however, was that we were able to leave skin color out of the conversation, and just speak as human beings. These four young men were very respectful and intelligent, and just wanted to talk about what just happened to them, and have someone listen to them without any accusations. Of course they were reluctant initially, partly because I caught them off guard by walking out of the door and approaching them in a part of the parking lot where nobody should be; this put them on alert even higher than they already were, but they soon realized I was not there to further complicate their night, and I just wanted to talk with them. What had actually happened was none of my business; I believe that respect is vital in any situation, so I showed respect, and made sure they were okay, although what actually had occurred that lead to the shooting versus the explanation they provided prompted the (after-the-fact) head shaking.
I am not shaking my head with disapproval, but, more so at the potentially close call these young men experienced. I would like to think that our very brief and positive conversation was a bright spot in a tough evening for these young men, and, after reading between the lines (and picking up on what was not verbalized in the conversation), this made me think about how our youth (of any background, economic status, etc.) need a sense of direction. After all, I was once young and played Russian Roulette with my life more times than I choose to remember. As I have aged I have come to want that extra day, that extra time on this planet, that extra opportunity to make a difference. If any individual wants to play a game with their lives, particularly by putting themselves into a situation (such as a drug deal gone sour) in which their lives are at stake, one may be better off putting a bullet in the revolver, spinning the revolving cylinder, pulling the trigger and seeing what happens. At least one would have the same odds of survival if death is one’s game of choice.
See you in the next post.