Casting Stones Anyone?
Casting Stones Anyone?
Stephen A. Peterson
While eating his lunch in an Army dining facility in Iraq, Army Staff Sergeant Alan Fischer met his long time friend Sergeant Robert Lopez. Staff Sergeant Fischer asked Sergeant Lopez how it could be that in the eleven years he had known him he had never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. Sergeant Lopez just smiled as he swallowed the bite he took out of his Philly steak sandwich. He reached into his left shirt pocket, pulled out a dollar coin size, flat, smooth gray pebble with a single word “First” written in black ink across its face.
“My grandfather gave this pebble to me years ago when I was a little boy,” he explained. “Whenever I change clothes, reach for my wallet or grab a pen, this pebble is someplace on my person to remind me that I’m not yet qualified to throw it at anyone.” Finishing his lunch, Sergeant Lopez picked up his tray and disappeared among the growing crowd of service men and women entering the dining facility.
Later that evening, Staff Sergeant Fischer kicked over a small, flat, grayish pebble. He glanced at it at first then picked it up. He carefully put the pebble in his pocket. When he arrived at his supply room, he took a felt tip pen then wrote “First” on it. He placed the pebble back in his left pocket where his wallet was. Now, when he sees or touches that pebble, he is reminded that an evil, unkind word or remark can hurt a person in the same manner as a five or ten pound stone—all the more reason for not throwing it at anyone.
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The message is profoundly simple and simply profound. Good words that need to be written just a little bit better though. Got some syntax issues and a typo or two wandering freely across the page, but all in all, a good read about a good word. I'd say more but I've got a public stoning to attend to, so if you'll excuse me...(of course I'm kidding, geez) Keep writing!