Took the dog to the park the other day, to poop him. Yes. I always carry bags.Looking for a place to park, I drove by a young man, sitting on an orange plastic bucket right next to the curb, on Main Street.
He was holding up a sign and he yelled something at me as I drove by.
I didn’t understand what he said.
I parked a bit up the street.
Domino and I got out and we did what we do.
I stood still, bored, while he ran in circles around me.
I walked around a bit and watched the young man.
He yelled at every car that drove by.
That he picked this spot, on this day, baffled me.
It was not a good place to yell at cars from. There was no stop sign, no reason for cars to slow down or pay attention to him.
It was a Monday, around 11am. I mean, come on…Monday?
His sign was handmade on cardboard. It was hard to read. The legibility was really bad.
I only understood what he was yelling as I got closer to him in the park. I’m sure that cars driving by had no idea what he was saying.
Keeping It On The Tracks
I really don’t want to derail this into a socio-political-religious discussion, so hang with me here.
What the sign said is really not the point I’m trying to make.
His sign said “God Loves Gays”.
He was yelling “Say No To Racism” at the cars driving by.
I have no idea what God loving gays has to do with saying no to racism, but there it is.
There’s this young man, sitting on the side of the street, not even a street corner, but in the middle of the block, holding a sign and yelling at cars.
The sign can’t be read. You can’t understand what he’s yelling. He’s in a bad location. He’s sitting and not even standing up.
If anyone did hear or read his point(s), they are the kind of issues that people have really firm, solid opinions about.
He’s not going to change any minds out there.
What an idiot.
I couldn’t help myself. If you know me at all, you know that I’m going to go talk to this guy and find out what is he thinking.
I walk over to him, which seems to surprise him.
He’s not sure who I am or what I want.
“Hey. Dude. Why are you out here?”
He gives me some generic “trying to make the world a better place” nonsense.
“Yeah. But why are you out here today, right now?”
“A friend of mine is gay and he got beat up last night.”
“What happened and where?”
“We were in Santa Monica, over near the beach, with a bunch of people. A couple of my friends started kissing. This skin head looking guy came over and started harassing them. then he beat them up.”
That hits home. I get it.
All of a sudden it makes sense.
It’s personal and I’m moved by it.
This guy was moved by what happened to his friends, so he wanted to do something, anything, no matter what it was.
He really WAS trying to change the world.
His tactics were horrible and ineffective, but he was doing something.
I applaud him for “doing something”.
It was better than what I was doing. I mean, a dog’s gotta poop, but in the grand scheme of things, what was I doing?
Doing It Better
It would be better, and more effective, for this guy to make a better sign, to stand instead of sit, to choose a better location, to yell clearly, or to do any number of things to improve his results.
It will always be possible to do it “better”.
We can spend a lot of effort on doing things “better”. That can slow us down and keep us from doing anything.
Before we can “do something better”, we have to “do something”.
That’s more than a lot of people are doing right now.
What “something” are you doing?