The Responsible Giant
I like stories. All kinds of stories. History, action, drama, fantasy, sci-fi, mythology, thrillers, etc. are all welcomed on my Kindle Paperwhite. But it’s the stories that happen around me that intrigue me. I’m talking about the kinds of stories that unexpectedly play out right in front of my eyes. The stories that happen as I’m sitting outside my local café sippin’ on some refreshing iced tea. These are the types of stories that really captivate me. Stories that are real, raw, and unedited. I have one such story to share with you now.
But before I get to that, a word of caution. The following story will be sure to ensnare you, forcing you into a world where you’ll find yourself wanting. A factual tale of excitement, action, betrayal, anger, suspense, and love. With all the ingredients of an academy award winning screenplay for best picture, this story is sure to leave you with a major case of the feels. So sit back, relax, break out the tissue, and get ready for one of the most exciting and riveting rides of your life.
The other day I was sitting in the food court at the mall just finishing off the scraps of what used to be a six-pack of cinnamon rolls, and no not the minis either, when the following transpired. Oh wait, one final thing. Please note that all character names have been changed for the sake of privacy and also because I have absolutely no idea who these people were. OK! Here we go…
THE RESPONSIBLE GIANT
Darlene: Mother of three, middle-aged, loves yoga and hand sanitizer
Sister: eldest child, just wants to be included in things
Giant: middle child, wears lots of black
Troublemaker: youngest child, hits at will with no regard for others
Takes place in a crowded mall filled with hustle, bustle, excitement, chaos, and most of all….DRAMA!
Enter Darlene and children. Darlene walks through the mall at a pace that suggests she has no time for nonsense when she is suddenly stopped in her tracks by the sound of ear piercing screams of agony. She turns around to see Troublemaker in tears.
Darlene: “What’s going on? Why are you crying troublemaker?”
Troublemaker: “He…he hit me!” as he motions to Giant with an accusatory finger
Darlene: “Why did you hit him?”
Giant: “He hit me first.”
Darlene: “Why are you guys hitting? You don’t do that! You don’t hit people!” she sternly declares. “And you Giant! You don’t hit him. You understand? You’re bigger than him. You’re stronger than him. You don’t hit him, even if he hits you.”
Giant, with eyes gazing at his feet, nods as if to convey he understands but doesn’t necessarily agree with Darlene.
Darlene: “You both understand me?”
They nod yes. Darlene resumes her focused trudge. The children follow.
It’s been but two paces when Troublemaker makes a motion to lay the smack down on Sister, struggling to place his aggression on any available target.
Sister: “Don’t hit me. You rascal yeah?”
Just as Sister tries to stop Troublemaker’s hand from landing, Giant steps in.
Giant: “Troublemaker stop. Don’t hit people. You’re not supposed to hit people mom said.”
The troublemaker, clearly upset, crosses his arms in protest and gives the meanest face that a toddler could muster. Simultaneously, the commotion has gained the attention of Darlene and she advances towards the children, ready to interject. But before she could make her move, she is stopped in her tracks once again. This time by the sight of Giant getting on his knees to meet Troublemaker face to face.
Giant: “It’s not nice to hit people. You don’t hit people okay.” he mutters as he places both his hands on the shoulders of Troublemaker. Troublemaker, visibly rattled with his arms by his side, clenches his fists ready to take another swing.
Giant: “Please don’t hit people okay. It’s not nice. I love you.” he sincerely says as he pulls Troublemaker in for a hug. The troublemaker, overcome with emotion, releases his grip on the air, raises his arms, and hugs Giant…”I love you.” he replies.
Darlene, having just witnessed this tremendous act of love, is now wiping tears from her eyes. A man selling vaporized cigarettes at a kiosk fakes puffing an e-cig as he struggles to hold back his emotions. Everyone around the family is touched by what had just happened between the children. Everyone except one man. A man who drew an immense amount of attention to himself as he spilt iced tea all over himself while definitely not trying to wipe the tears off his face. And while that man struggled to sweep the remaining iced tea into what looked like an empty case of cinnamon rolls, the family turned around and went on about their merry, and loving, way.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “WOW! That was beautiful and amazing, plus all things that make this world beautiful and amazing.” And you would be right to exclaim that from atop your rooftops like I assume you are. The reason being is that this story, like all great stories, has a lesson.
If you’ve had the privilege of viewing The Spiderman circa 2002 starring Tobias Vincent Maguire, you’ll know that “with great power, comes great responsibility.” Unfortunately, the world isn’t made up of people like the Giant who understand that we shouldn’t exercise power just because we can. Our past is riddled with figures who obtained power and instead of utilizing it for good, did the exact opposite. Individuals like Anna of Russia, former ruler of Russia during what historians call the “dark era”. In addition to being empress, she moonlit as a matchmaker. Her most famous union being one where she force married a young man of nobility to an elderly woman and paraded them through the city dressed like jesters. Adding injury to insult, she made the lovebirds sleep in a house made of ice while completely nude. That’s right, you read that correctly. A HOUSE MADE OF ICE…WHILE NAKED! Talk about Jack Frost nipping at your, well your everything.
Another individual who practiced the art of cruelty, and practiced it well was Josef Mengele. A psychopath infamous for his medical experiments in Auschwitz during WWII. Experiments he was allowed to conduct thanks to the unbridled access to human subjects gifted to him by the Fuhrer. And boy did he take advantage of that unlimited access. Taking a particular interest in twins, he would perform extravagant experiments in the name of “science”. Just hacking and cutting people open at will, often without anesthesia. But in all fairness, who has time for anesthesia when there are so many medical questions to be answered. Questions like, what would happen if I take this kidney out of this person? Well I’m no doctor Josef, but I’m pretty sure that person would totes bleed to death.
When I look at all the people that have and still abuse their power and influence, I am overcome with concern. I am concerned for the path that our futures will take. I am concerned by the examples that our children are being provided with. I am concerned for the ideals that future leaders will strive towards. And then I decide to take a minute to relax, eat a few cinnamon rolls, and drink some tea only to find myself reminded that there is still so much good in this world. For every negative, there is a positive. While this world may have people that choose to exist through anger, greed, and hate. There are many more who understand that love, compassion, and empathy push forward the development of our race. William Shakespeare wrote, “O! It is excellent to have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.” To use strength wisely, is to use it correctly. I believe that as long as we utilize the power of compassion to overcome adversity, we may succeed in turning the troublemakers into, well, love makers.
Educ8 Writer Ordinaire