"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beach Trust

On my mind today are trust, safety and neighborliness. Most strangers are normal human beings...they're you and me and our friends and relatives. Most people who talk to us or approach us aren't dangerous and are perfectly trustworthy. There are of course the random few who are devious, unreliable or even terrifying. This is reality. That said, it is my opinion that those people are:

A.) very rare
B.) usually very spottable

I'm of the old mindset that says you should smile at strangers, wave to people if they let you cut in traffic and make friendly small talk with the other people in line at the bank. I don't teach my children that they aren't to talk to strangers, I teach them that when the nice grandpa ahead of us in line at the check-out says that he "Likes those red shoes young man!" you should dimple a grin and tell him politely, "Thank you very much! I like your tie!" I think if we just trust the people around us we'll buy goodwill for ourselves, show the love of Christ (He did say that love would be the magic mark of His followers) have more fun waiting in lines and sometimes other people will help us when we need it most.

Reid meets the sea 
I still teach my sons of course that they shouldn't take candy apples from strange women with warts on their noses, they shouldn't get into cars with random men with green skin and there is to be no signing up for a lifetime supply of iPod just because a really fast talking young fellow with a big grin suggested such when we were down in Times Square. Don't worry. But, I'm trying to avoid the philosophy of stranger danger and instead preach love for fellow man and that we should know and understand our neighbors...even if they're just our neighbors for an hour in the next booth at a restaurant.

Mostly, this sort of courtesy is warmly received by the public but almost never do I hear similar ideas proposed by other mothers. Moms today...yea people in general are terrified of everyone in the world that they do not know. I think this is such a crying shame. But, I do have to share that I have noticed two things that have given me hope.

1. This woman....and the parenting movement she spawned.
2. Beach Trust

Everybody locks their houses up like crazy and people lock their cars, password their computers and have secret codes for everything under the sun but the one place where people still trust each other? The beach. Have you ever noticed that at the beach people leave all of their belongings sitting there in bags and run off like silly kids to splash in the water?

 Unattended beach goods at the Rhode Island shore this past weekend

They drop their towels on the beach blanket, leave behind the sunglasses they love, glinting on the top of their beach tote and go off for a half hour stroll down the shore, far out of sight of their goods. This is a fabulous thing that always makes me tremendously happy to encounter.
 Our own unattended beach goods!

I've never witnessed a beach robbery although I'm sure once in a blue moon it happens but I have seen perfect strangers haul a strolling families worldly goods up out of the range of the encroaching high tide or seen a woman chasing an absent swimmer's hat down the beach after it blew away. I love to see that. I love to be part of it. I love that something about the beach has allowed us to let go in some real, deep way and love and rely on the people around us.

Not just when the beach population is like this:

But even when it looks like this:

More love man, more love.

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