Two years ago today, a group of people were stirred from their beds and homes by teams of armed men clad in Kevlar with badges identifying them to be with the Dept. of Homeland Security. This group of people weren't close, as they were scattered all around the country, from Washington State to Florida. And, while their names all shared the same piece paper in common, a federal seizure warrant, none of them actually knew each other.....and not a single one of them knew me.
Two years ago today, one of the members of this group of people approached me and asked for my help. The word "no" never even crossed my mind. And, not only would I come to help this member of the group, but in the weeks and months ahead, I would come to help them all. Approximately, seven months following this date, I would make the decision to leave my job in state government and designate helping this group of people as my full-time priority. 10-months following today's date, I would see this group of peoples' rights vindicated before a federal magistrate judge, in Wilmington, NC. And, 11-months following this date, I would oversee the return of those precious things which had been wrongfully stripped away from them.
Why did I do all of this for a group of people that, on this date 2-years ago, I did not know? Was it because I was crazy? Answer: Maybe! The jury is still out on that question...... Was it because I was seeking fame or fortune? Answer: No, I never expected to receive any attention in exchange for my help and I didn't charge anyone a dime for my time. So, why did I do it? Answer: Once a Land Rover owner, always a Land Rover owner, and Land Rover owners don't leave fellow owners behind.
During my years of Land Rover ownership, I learned many invaluable lessons....life lessons. I too have been the recipient of other Land Rover owner's generosity in times of need. And, it doesn't matter whether you are here in the US or in the middle of Africa, because the tenets of Land Rover ownership are universally recognized regardless of gender, race, religion, language, creed, or even political belief. While it's true that these vehicles may try one's patience at times, they also have the extraordinary ability of being able to bring people together, an attribute that is becoming increasingly rare in this day and age.
So, should you decide to do something in honor of this day, July 15th, allow me to suggest simply donating your time to help someone else in need. Little did I know I know 2-years ago that one selfless act would lead me to where I am today. But, by the same token, if I had never owned a Land Rover, I likely wouldn't be able to look back and appreciate the significance of this moment in time..... Always remember to look at the big picture and never forget how one act on your own part can effect the lives of so many others around you, including the lives of those who you may never have meet before.
Two years ago today, an event took place. We can choose to remember it for the events of that day or we can choose to remember it for the result of working together to overcome adversities in the face of overwhelming odds. I, for one, choose to do the latter......