About ten years ago, in March of 1997, I ventured off to Greensboro, NC for the 45th annual Carolinas District Key Club convention. Dr. Bev Martin and Rob Hunter drove our Kiwanis paid for Dodge Intrepid up on a Thursday afternoon. It was I, the lone sophomore, and two juniors, Ian and Yamur. The Key Club event was my first foray into the world of high school clubs and conventions, it was not my last.
Sometimes in my adult life I think back to things I learned from my elected offices in high school and the leadership roles I took. There were times when I wanted to step up and fought hard for my positions, there were other times when I stepped up just because no one else would. Key Club was something I pursued, I enjoyed bettering the community. I learned so much about the world, the governing process, elections, and diversity.
I learned about my limits to toleration and willingness to learn from others very quickly. Yamur asked Rob if he could point the car is a certain direction (I don’t remember, I think it was the west) so he could get a point of reference. I had no idea what he was up to, but whatever the direction, he had to know. I realized at sunset that it was for his evening prayers. I was not offended, just curious at what he was doing. We chatted through most of the night about religion and belief sets. It was my first interaction with someone so different.
I went to college with Yamur, he and I were not close friends at all but I never stopped talking to him. I remember that he was a political science major and that he wants to serve in the U.N. We converse red a handful of times during the course of our education. I saw Yammer on September 11th, 2001 walking across campus.
He stammered across the mid section of campus by the Belk Tower, he looked up and we made eye contact. I flashed a smile in his direction and he changed his course to walk up to me. After a heavy greeting and some conversation that I really don’t remember, we began to discuss the future implications of the terrorist attacks.
All I remember is he saying, “My entire political career has been ruined by a group of people I have nothing in common with.” That sucks if that turns out to be true.