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Write By the Rails Blog Spot- Shay Seaborne’s Synergy Field!

Shay Seaborne ashore

Among many things, Shay Seaborne is a writer and a member of Write by the Rails. After you read her inspiring short story, head over to her blog: Shay Seaborne’s Synergy Field:

What’s wrong with Craig?

By Shay  Seaborne


A cop named Craig* works in my building. He is very strange. People often wonder what’s wrong with Craig. For the first six months of my job, Craig just stared at me, fish-faced, when I went to his station to collect the office mail each day. He didn’t talk, did not smile, and showed virtually no facial expression. There was little sense of his being human. I did not even know Craig’s name until I had been in the office about a year, and that was only because someone else told me. Still, I treated him like a human being, saying “hi,” smiling, making eye contact, and thanking him for handing me the mail. Sometimes, I would ask, with an exaggeratedly tired sigh, “Are there any checks or love notes, at last?” No response.

One day, Craig walked the mail over to my office and set it on my desk. Surprised, shocked, even, I looked up, brought my eyes to his, smiled warmly, and thanked him very sincerely for his thoughtfulness. In short time, Craig was bringing me the mail on occasion, then more regularly, and with increasing frequency.

Some of the other cops started to tease me, “Ohhhh, is Craig your BFF now? He brings you the mail aaaalll the time! I wish I had that kind of time!” I would laugh and say “I don’t know why he bothers,” but, silently, I acknowledged the secret: kindness grows, and comes back in unexpected ways.

Several times in the last few months, Craig and I have actually had a conversation. Nothing deep or long, but a conversation. He brings me the mail every day that he works, and, despite his very peculiar strangeness, each time, I acknowledge his humanity. I give him my smile, sincere thanks, and a look in the eye that says, like the Hindu chant, “The God in Me acknowledges the God in You.”

The other day when I greeted Craig upon his entry with the mail, he broke into a broad, genuinely warm smile. I had not imagined him capable of such expression. He was literally glowing! I beamed back at him just as brightly, and thanked him for his thoughtfulness and kindness.

Recently, I found out what’s really wrong with Officer Craig: some years ago, in the line of duty, he was shot. In the head.

There is no apparent evidence of Craig’s injury, no visible clue to the horrors he endured because that leaden missile splattered his blood, pierced flesh and bone to enter his brain, but, since then he has not been the same person.

We are all walking wounded, and one can never know another person’s challenges or pain, so there is good reason to be always kind to everyone. Kindness grows, and it comes back to you in unexpected ways.


*Name changed to protect privacy.

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One Comment

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