Sunday, June 6, 2010

the others

Okay so it hasn’t even been a week at camp but I feel pretty out of place. It’s not bad, just different. I’m sure it will get better. I’ve made friends and all that and it’s fun. I’m getting use to things. I just thought I would check in and tell you all about this interesting eye-opening things that happened today:

So apparently every Sunday, the camp holds religious services. I told my boss that I would not like to participate in these religious activities but he told me I had to which I pointed out was against my constitutional rights and he said “You don’t have any constitutional rights in here. It’s part of your contract.” He did tell me that there was an alternative, non-religious service and that I would probably feel comfortable with them. SO me and my buddy, Kevin, went to the Others. The Others was an interesting collection of camp misfits which included two of the foreigners and handful of awkward kids all led my Darryl, an Usher wannabe. Darryl was suppose to tell the story of Jonah and the Whale without religion. He did not take this task very seriously. In his interpretation, Jonas was Steve and God was Mike. Basically Mike asks Steve to do something but Steve doesn’t and then gets eaten by a Whale only to call Mike on his cell phone for help. “And the moral of the story is to just do what people tell you and don’t be a pussy.” Darryl said smugly. I had so many problems with this. There were children present. I raised my hand “What if Mike is asking you to do something you don’t think is right? What if Mike is asking you to do something like drugs?!” He interrupts me, “you should just do it.” The other dude-bros all laugh. I was so frustrated. I go off on a rant for the kids sake about how you should always question others and just not be scared to do what you think is right. After a bunch of ridicule Darryl gets control of the group and follows his lesson plan and asks everyone what their afraid of. One kid says roller-coasters, another spiders. Then one boy, maybe 7 years old raises his hand and says “I’m scared of dying.” There was silence. Then all the kids smiles fall and they all chime in with, “I’m scared of Dying too”, “Me too!” Darryl and the other counselors realize that this is a moment to step up. We all tell them that everyone is scared of dying but you have to do your best not to focus on that and just do your best to live a good life and not waste a moment. The mood lightened a little and Darryl and the other dude-bros end up kicking me out of the group saying that I was disruptive. The kids thought it was funny so I didn’t mind.

I couldn’t get it out of my mind about what the kids said about being scared of dying. I never realized I had so much in common with a seven year-old, especially a 7 year-old overly-privileged boy (remember this is a really nice camp that costs thousands and thousands of dollars). In the last year I had been thinking more about my own mortality than any other time in my life. I would get panicky about it. If our lives were parallel to that of a plant or flower then right now I’m at the peak bloom but eventually I’m going to start to wither. But hearing this, from such a small child, a sprout, made me buck up. It was useless for me to stress about dying when there is so much living to do. Even though I originally didn’t want to go to the “religious services” I’m glad I did because I got something I needed out of it.