I have a fantastic attorney working out of my office. He drives from another city to provide legal services for our community.
He's an amazing guy, recently married, with a brand new baby boy that is the center of his life, along with his gorgeous wife.
He's a dear friend of mine and someone I would trust with my life.
The man is absolutely loopy about his little boy.
Last December, he booked a vacation for him and his family. They spent 2 weeks in the Dominican Republic at a gorgeous resort so his wife could take a break, laze by the pool and sleep in each morning, while he took care of his darling son.
This guy is deeply involved in his community, coaching lacrosse and working hard as a volunteer for several good community organizations.
Why am I telling you all of this stuff, about an attorney that you don't know, and aren't likely to meet? Here's why...
Yesterday, he and I were standing and chatting with my front office person, talking about travel. The conversation rolled around to the lengthening process of going through airport security these days. My attorney friend said that it's always a long, painful drawn-out process for him, if he is traveling alone, but it isn't that way when he travels with his lacrosse team.
I asked him why it would be different when he travels by himself.....then it dawned on me.
His parents are from Lebanon.
His ancestry is Lebanese.
I was stunned silent for a moment.
I expressed my shock and sadness that he is treated this way when he travels alone, and he shrugged, saying quietly, "That's the way it is." He looked at me for a second, smiled a small sad smile, then turned and walked into his office.
I'm left with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I understand the reasons behind the intensive security at airports.
I appreciate that same intense scrutiny, when I'm traveling by air.
I never thought about it from this perspective before.
This man is a loving father, a great husband and a dear friend of mine. He's being subjected to that scrutiny at security every time he travels alone.
The same security scrutiny that makes me feel safer when I travel makes him feel...I'm not sure what it makes him feel...
I only know that today, it makes me feel sad and chagrined, that a person who I know to be one of the best of the best gets lumped into the mix when these security issues arise in today's world. A few years ago, he was able to travel freely, with no extra attention paid to him.
In today's world, things are different.
I struggle writing this, because I don't know the words to express how I feel about this happening to my friend...it's a catch-22, I think. Part of me is delighted that security has been stepped up, and then another part of me is sickened because the very thing that I am happy about has made another person feel terrible.
I have no answers...