Skemaholics Anonymous

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TO SHINE YOUR UNIQUE LIGHT IS THE PURPOSE OF OUR IRREPLACEABLE EXISTENCE. IT IS THE LIGHT THAT YOU AND ONLY YOU WERE BORN TO SHINE IN THIS WORLD.”

STORY

ONE DAY IN IN THE LATE 19TH CENTURY A TRAIN WAS COMING DOWN FROM NY, WANTING TO CROSS THE BRIDGE.

IN THOSE DAYS THERE WOULD BE A LANTERN SWINGER WHO STOOD AT THE BRIDGE TO LET THE TRAIN KNOW IF IT COULD PASS. WHEN HE HEARD THE CALL OF THE TRAIN’S WHISTLE, HE WOULD SWING HIS LANTERN IF THE BRIDGE WAS UP.

IF THE CONDUCTOR DID NOT SEE THE LANTERN SWINGING, HE WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT THE BRIDGE WAS DOWN AND SAFE FOR PASSAGE.

THAT FRIDAY MORNING AT ABOUT 3 A.M., A TRAIN CRASHED INTO THE WATER. IT WAS A SERIOUS ACCIDENT, A GREAT TRAGEDY, PEOPLE DIED, OTHERS WERE INJURED, AND THE ROUTE WAS CLOSED FOR 18 MONTHS AFTER THE CRASH. OF COURSE, EVERYONE WANTED TO KNOW WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE.

SUSPICION NATURALLY FELL ON THE LANTERN SWINGER. AFTER ALL, HE WAS THE ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR SWINGING HIS LANTERN IF THE BRIDGE WAS UP AND COULD NOT BE CROSSED.

HE, HOWEVER, PROTESTED HIS INNOCENCE WITH SUCH VIGOR THAT THE CASE, WHICH HAD BEEN BROUGHT TO COURT, COULD NOT BE DECIDED.

AFTER 6 MONTHS OF HUNG JURIES, HIS LAWYER DECIDED TO MAKE A DRAMATIC BREAK FROM COURTROOM PRACTICE AT THAT TIME AND CALL THE LANTERN SWINGER TO THE STAND.

“WHAT IS YOUR OCCUPATION?” THE BAILIFF ASKED.
“I AM THE LANTERN SWINGER,” HE RESPONDED.
“WHERE WERE YOU EARLY ON THE FRIDAY MORNING IN QUESTION?”
“AT MY POST,” HE RESPONDED CALMLY.
“DID YOU SEE THE ONCOMING TRAIN?”
“YES, I DID.”
“WERE YOU DRUNK?”
“NO, SIR, I NEVER DRINK.”

“THEN TELL THE COURT WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU SAW THE ONCOMING TRAIN. DID YOU OR DID YOU NOT SWING YOUR LANTERN?”

A HUSH FELL OVER THE COURTROOM. ONLY THE SOUND OF REPORTER’S PENCILS COULD BE HEARD.

STRANGELY, THE LANTERN SWINGER, WHO UP TO THIS POINT HAD REMAINED COMPLETELY POISED, BEGAN TO STUTTER. “Y-Y-YES. I D-D-DID SWING THE LANTERN,” HE FINALLY BLURTED OUT.

THE JURY DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO MAKE OF HIS STUTTER, WAS IT A SIGN HE WAS LYING? THEY ARGUED FOR A LONG TIME, BUT FINALLY THEY DECIDED TO BELIEVE HIM AND HE WAS ACQUITTED.

AS THE LAST PERSON FILED OUT OF THE COURTROOM AND THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY WAS LEFT ALONE WITH HIS CLIENT, HE EXPLODED. “I’VE BEEN DEFENDING YOU FOR 6 MONTHS!” HE SHOUTED. “I’VE WORKED DAY AND NIGHT! I’VE BARELY SEEN MY WIFE AND CHILDREN, AND YOU TOLD ME YOU WERE INNOCENT.

THEN WHY THE STUTTER OF A GUILTY MAN? WE NEARLY LOST OUR CASE! WERE YOU LYING TO ME ALL THESE MONTHS?” THE LANTERN SWINGER LOOKED SADLY AT HIS ATTORNEY.

“I’VE NEVER LIED TO YOU. . .YOU JUST ALWAYS ASKED ME THE WRONG QUESTION,” HE SAID. “YOU ASKED IF I SWUNG MY LANTERN. YOU FORGOT TO ASK IF THE LANTERN WAS LIT.”

WE ARE EXPERTS AT SWINGING THE LANTERN. WE KNOW JUST WHAT ANGLE TO SWING IT, WE KNOW HOW TO HOLD IT AND WHAT KIND OF MATERIAL IT SHOULD BE MADE FROM.

WE FORGET, HOWEVER, THAT FOR THE LANTERN TO ILLUMINATE OUR WAY AT ALL, THE LANTERN MUST BE LIT. ONLY THE FIRE OF YOUR UNIQUE BEACON CAN LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE AND TRANSFORM OUR EXISTENCE FROM THE ROUTINE FULFILLMENT OF OBLIGATION TO THE PASSIONATE UNFOLDING OF YOUR UNIQUE STORY IN THE WORLD.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE FAMOUS OR GLAMOROUS OR IN THE PUBLIC EYE TO BE BEACON, YOU JUST HAVE TO BE YOU.

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE SO THAT YOU CAN SEE WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN, WHERE YOU ARE NOW, AND THE PATH AHEAD.

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Comment by MARGARIDA MARIA MADRUGA on January 23, 2016 at 8:54am

I did not expect the outcome of the flashlight. I enjoyed the lesson.

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