Thank you. Thank you stranger.
Where would I be now without you? What kind of person would I have become? Would I still be the sort of wretch I once was, before you came along?
There was a time . . . it seems like several lifetimes ago . . . I was so naive about everything: politics, religion, even the very world around me! I was a part of the problem.
But then in one fell swoop you changed my whole perspective. You taught me about all the evils of our time, and how we can all live in peace.
I'll never forget that day, stranger, the day I read the bumper stickers on your mid-90's Honda Accord with one broken tail light.
Each one was special, but I think the "Coexist" sticker had the most powerful effect. Something about the way it was written out all in religious symbols . . . so clever! Yet so true. So very true. If only we could get that message to all the countries in the world where religious intolerance exists today, we could change everything! People would stop, mid-persecution, and realize how wrong they'd been. Even if religion was only an excuse used to cover up more serious cultural and economic motivations, even then the tyrants would be left stunned . . . if only they could be stuck behind you at a red light.
And then there was your "F The President" sticker, right there in the center of your rear window. I was so shocked. I didn't even know that some people didn't like our president! I thought the job he'd been doing was actually super-good. But you knew better. And you knew that only by purchasing a sticker of your beliefs and slapping it on your window could you ever change people's minds . . . and hearts.
When I meditate (as I do nightly) on your wisdom, I wonder: Does that sticker mean you're giving the president a grade of "F?" Or is it short for the expletive, and you're saying "F the President" If only the light hadn't changed when it did, I would have asked.
Oh if only you hadn't driven away, how much more I would know now. I could have posed all my questions to you and been enlightened by your informed, well-thought-out arguments on each one. And your ideas wouldn't be based on egotistical snobbery, like so many others in the world, but on calm and careful reasoning that points to a clear, comprehensive plan for action.
As I consider each one of your nineteen other bumper stickers*, divining out their tenants on heath care, war, and global warming, I take comfort in knowing you're still out there changing the world, one stop sign at a time.
*One of which is always a Mac Apple.