Charles Swindoll, a dynamic preacher, is credited with the saying, “Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it,” but I believe about 90 percent of people react pretty well when faced with adversity. I’m amazed at the examples I see every day and to illustrate my point, let’s stroll through the summer’s garden in search of orchids and onions.
AN ORCHID to Rachel – who won’t reveal her last name – for the way she reacted to an angry tirade by a customer at the drive-in window during Chik-fil-A’s unprecedented “Customer Appreciation Day.” Adam Smith videotaped himself telling Rachel, “Chik-fil-A is a hateful company. I don’t know how you sleep at night. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values!” Rachel handed him a cup of water and told im to have a nice day.
AN ONION to the same Adam Smith, who was promptly fired as the CFO of Vante, a Tucson-based medical manufacturing firm. Smith promptly issued an apology on YouTube, explaining he was angry at the overwhelming support for the Christian-based company.
AN ORCHID to the same Rachel who wants to meet privately with Smith. “I’m a Christian and God tells us to love thy neighbor. I would really like to know if he could separate the issue from me and the company.”
AN ONION to China, which leads the Olympics in gold medals by snatching adolescents away from their families and placing them in state-run sports camps. Case in point: when weightlifter Lin Qingfeng won a gold medal and was shown on TV, it was the first time his parents had seen him in over six years. His father didn’t recognize the 23-year-old at first and his mother said, “It has been a long time since he had a meal at home.”
AN ORCHID to Steve Scaffidi, the mayor of Oak Creek, Wis., who vows he will not let the death of six people killed at a Sikh (pronounced “seek) Temple define his town. “You could say this is a one-time thing and it happens all over. We don’t accept that. We are challenging this notion.” The mayor said he will hold “as many meetings as it takes” to make everyone who lives in his Milwaukee suburb “feel welcome and safe.”
AN ONION to the unknown vermin who, in the wake of the Wisconsin shootings, sent hateful emails to Charlottesville (Va.) mayor Satyendra Huja. Mayor Huja, one of only a few Sikhs to hold public office, came to the U.S. at age 19, became a citizen in 1987, and has a strong record of public service. One of the nice things about our country is we respect independence in our religion.
AN ORCHID to the Muslim worshippers in Murfreesboro who hope to hold prayers in a new mosque as early as Friday. If everything goes as scheduled, the first prayers would be particularly meaningful because they would be during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends Aug. 18.
AN ONION to the fact one of the world’s greatest composers, Marvin Hamlisch, was swept away too early, dying at age 68 on Monday, It was said he heard music that others could not and the fact he won a Pulitzer,, a Tony, three Oscars, four Emmys and four Grammys says it all. I bet I have 200 of his songs on my iPod.
AN ORCHID to Tiger Woods, who was in Kiawah Island, S.C. this week for the PGA Championship, when he told a covey of reporters that the weather may be a factor. Just as he spoke the sentence, there was a loud clap of thunder and a deluge of rain began. Tiger immediately held up a hand to cup his ear and laughed, “What? What was that!”
AN ONION to linebacker Uchenna Nwabuike, a college football player at SMU, who recently told Dallas police he thinks the person who stole his $3,000 laptop might have been a prostitute he didn’t pay when he left her alone in the house. (Don’t worry, the university is now investigating.)
AN ORCHID to billionaire Charles Feeney, now 81, who is trying as hard as he can to give away over $7.5 billion before he dies. He’s already given heavily to direct health care, immigration reform, education, criminal justice advocacy and peace-building efforts but still has $1.5 billion to go. “I want the last check I write to bounce,” he told the New York Times.