Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Targeted Stabbing

Sadly, there would come a time in the spring of 1972 that I was so disliked by some students that the word was out that I was going to be physically attacked. Well, one of my closest friends, Gregory Reeves besides playing football and being a swimmer was also a member of the gleek club and was going to be performing in the upcoming Spring concert. As good friends do, a number of us turned out to support him. Both teachers and football coaches were on hand as well.

Before the concert was over word began to spread through the audience that this was the night that I was going to finally get my butt handed to me. When the concert ended several athletes, coaches and teachers accompanied me outside where a number of guys were waiting for me. As one of the football coaches asked what they wanted one kid ran up behind me and just as he was about to stab me in the back our shop teacher, Robert Wright grabbed him and effectively removed the knife from his hand. Thank God for Mr. Wright's presence of mind and fast reflexes. Mr. Wright had also been a youth counselor at the Bellville Children’s Shelter and he actually taught me how to dunk a basketball and now in a split second he had quite possibly saved my life. Thank you so much Mr. Wright. Wright won the battle that day!!!

Quickly, one of the football coaches who was also a gym teacher began speaking to everyone present about how crazy this situation was and how serious it could have been if someone has been injured. Then he left it up to me to decide whether I wanted to report the incident or simply drop the matter with the hope that everyone would go home and think about how everyone’s life could have been changed in an instance. I said that I just assume we forget about the whole thing. The other kid apologized, we all shook hands, and everybody went home. The kid who was going to stab me was also black, someone who was constantly in trouble, and rarely stayed in school. That night this kid came close to changing his life and mine possibly forever. There must have been at least twenty witnesses to everything that transpired so that kid got a huge break along with a chance to choose another path going forward.

While the kid who attempted to attack me eventually dropped out of school altogether he never presented another problem for me or any other kid at the high school. This happened to be a kid who simply did not like me for a very long time and he made it known to lots of other students. I was his target stabbing that dark night but we both got the chance to walk away and see the light of a better day. I hope that his journey became clearer and smoother from then onward.

That night I am pretty sure that none of us knew whether there was something more in store for our lives. Maybe you are even wondering why you're here now at this particular time in the cosmos. This is what the French call your raison d'etre, an organizing principle and sense of direction that gives shape and meaning to your life. I would simply say that after an experience like the one I've just described, whenever you get a second chance make absolutely sure that you do not squander it! Because something very meaningful likely awaits you.

Of course that experience definitely shook me up inside for a long time. I could not recall having ever done anything bad or wrong to this person. I didn’t compete against him in any sport, we never tried to date the same young lady. How could it be that someone could dislike me so strongly that they were prepared to stab and maybe even kill me?

It made me strongly question everything that I had been doing since becoming enrolled at Clifford J. Scott and then suddenly I no longer wanted to be involved in anything. It just didn’t seem to be worth the emotional investment anymore. As a result, I became a guarded and less extroverted person. Maybe, some things happen in our lives precisely so that we are better able to get in touch with being stirred up, awakened, and made ready to respond to both the mysterious and miraculousness. But I really diidn't know what to think then.

What happened that night will forever be a mystery to me but the outcome regardless of the angle from which I look at it was truly a gift as I see it.