Saturday, September 6, 2014

You Can Earn Respect or Disrespect.

Being nine years old was no excuse for what I'd done.
It all happened at a grade school carnival. I'd left a booth, opened a paper sack, and saw my prize--a green toy with a yellow propeller. Not much, but it was mine.
A security guard stood by a hallway pole. His gut hung over his gun belt.
As I passed, he snatched my prize. He smiled. "What have we here?"
I stopped. "Give it back."
"Just a minute now."
"Give it."
He raised my prize higher, higher, and higher. I tried to reach it by standing on my toes. Once I jumped. Then I looked at his holster.
While he laughed, I took his gun.
He dropped my toy. "That's not funny, kid."
"You took my toy."
"That's different. I was just playing. Now hand over my gun."
I stepped back. "No." But after he frowned and held out his hand, I returned his weapon.
He wasn't through with me. "Don't ever do anything stupid like that again."
The guard never apologized for taking my prize, and I never apologized for taking his gun. I knew what I'd done was wrong but felt no shame.

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