Some call them ‘suitcases’, some call them ‘totes’.  Some carry ‘baggage’.  Some are given superlatives: biggest, fullest, lightest, heaviest.  Others not so much.  But what you choose to pack inside, dictates the size, and often what condition you will be in when you ‘get to where you are going.’   Almost always you can tell from the face of the ‘carrier’ what is in their backpack.

America has recently endured some horrific incidents of murder.  Psychiatrists and those who have dealt with mental health issues try to explain away the reasons behind the anger . . . but nobody ever really knows.   Families – wives, children, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers have been left asking ‘why?’.   The pain is something they will carry the rest of their lives.

Chief of Police, David Brown has led his officers through the recent Dallas ordeal with dignity and honor.  We don’t know what kind of ‘backpack’ he carries; but we do know he comes with some painful baggage.  In 1991, his younger brother Kevin was shot by drug dealers.  On Father’s Day 2010, in a PCP-induced state, his 27-year old son and namesake, shot and killed two men.  He was killed in an ensuing police shootout, a dreadful message to take to his father,  who had been Police Chief only seven weeks.

And yet during this slaughter of Policemen in Dallas, Texas, David Brown didn’t open his backpack to spread messages of anger and hatred for the murder; nor did he insight more riots and inflate the issue into one of race. He said:  “We are heartbroken.  All I know is this (divisiveness) must stop.”

Check your backpack:  more than the size or the appearance, check what’s inside.  Like us, millions of others suffer from unexplained circumstances and loss.  But if you find anger or hatred in your backpack, it’s time to look up the word: “jettison”.

Fill your backpack with hope and encouragement for those who will follow behind you.  And share this message with those you love.


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