Consider the middle finger. It’s essential and useful, typing the “i” and the “e” on the keyboard, for just 2 important uses, but we know it has even more power than that!
When the middle finger is held up, and the other fingers are down, adrenaline often surges.
I’m no exception; despite my “Live Aloha” bumper sticker (and attitude, I like to think), when I noticed a middle finger being held up at me by a smug, hiding his face arrogant young guy in the backseat of a passing Beamer with 2 other guys in the front seat, accompanied by a loud incoherent yell at me, I was immediately enraged.
“Gotta f–king problem?!” I shouted at the arrogant bastard as I sped past them holding up my own middle finger. WTF?! There I was just driving along, and boom, a middle finger flashed at me completely flared my emotions. I didn’t recognize the guys; nor do I know of many people who would be pissed at me and give me “the bird.”
It launched me into a contemplation of our reactions and emotions to other people; we can be so affected, or not. Maybe overcoming my natural instinct here to become angry and strike back and letting their stupid action have no affect on me was my lesson there.
Deep sigh. I ruminated over it the entire 16 mile drive to the beach. Sunset.
After the sun set, I attempted to throw the ball to my dog as we walked down the beach (seems my throwing arm could use some improvement)… when I saw this boy, who thankfully, also needed some improvement in his throwing skills.
“That’s mean!” I said to him, twice b/c he (acted like?) he didn’t hear me the first time. The boy, about 16 or so, was throwing stones at seagulls. He almost hit one as I was walking toward him. “Don’t throw rocks at the birds!” I admonished him and his friend, who looked astonished that some random girl with a dog on the beach would correct him. He looked at me and didn’t answer.
His parents, I’m assuming, were a few steps beyond him, and as I took a few more steps, the dad raised his eyebrows and lifted his head toward me. “Do you think it’s okay for him to be throwing rocks at the birds?” I asked him.
“He didn’t hit the birds,” he answered.
“Well he almost did, and he tried,” I insisted. “It’s not cool. I don’t understand why you guys would come to enjoy the beach and throw stones at the birds. It’s just not cool,” I said, tugging on my dog’s leash and grabbing her ball that she had dropped in front of the dad, oblivious to the exchange I guess.
the lessons of a bird.