Think Before You Move

May 9, 2018
“Think Before You Move”
by David Noah

Life the Griot was the emcee, and his positive energy lit up the Foundry!

We all act without thinking sometimes, and the consequences can change our lives. The Rabbit Box storytellers told what happened in their own lives when they did or didn’t think first. The stories were dramatic, vividly told reports, taking the audience through drug-fueled violent misadventures, scary encounters with police (or maybe they weren’t police), a kid felled by a stroke in a elementary school lunchroom, and what happens when someone’s love for a dog is in conflict with honeymoon plans. Every teller’s tale showed how even small thoughtless acts can shape our lives for decades.

Wendell Byrd vowed he’d never be like his mother. Then one day he had to face a painful truth about himself — all the more important because he had a son to raise.

Christy Lin Moore ran away from home at 17 and fell in with a group of teenage gangsters. One harrowing evening she attended a drug-fueled party interrupted by a gunshot. Escaping with other partiers from the mayhem, she didn’t think at all before she got into a car with two men very high on cocaine.

Malachi Gallagher is a young man who has figured out he needs to the think before moving. In a series of funny anecdotes he detailed some of his youthful misadventures and demonstrated a maturity (and stage presence) beyond his years.

Angela Romito told a powerful story about the difficulty of making tough decisions when needs collide. Her beloved dog’s life was on the line. As a professional decision analyst, she knew methods for making hard choices, but could her mindfulness help her through the ordeal — one happening at the worst possible time?

The night’s Crackerjack Surprise storyteller was Neal Priest, who shared a short story about being a medical student in New Orleans on a day when events might have taken a second bad turn if he hadn’t kept his head. With a gun at his temple, Neal found himself wishing he hadn’t stopped by a friend’s house for a drink.

High school student Michael Morris entertained the audience with cautionary tales from his young life. Pretending guilt (don’t ask about what!) just for the attention, pranking a teacher in a way that could have been disastrous, starting a fire—all these and more made him realize the value of thinking first. Today he is one of the stars of the Chess and Community group.

On the way back to Athens from Atlanta, where she was working with police and other first responders, Jasmine Jenkins was pulled over by a patrolman. She hadn’t realized she was speeding; her mind was on a presentation for her doctoral program, and she was running late. The officer was insulting and increasingly belligerent as the episode unfolded. As a black woman, she felt especially vulnerable on a stretch of highway with no one around to witness the fraught encounter.

Can a choice to give your life to others redeem the mistakes of your past? Shane Sims knows that it can. Now a chaplain with the same police department that arrested him at age 18, he recounted the story of his fall and redemption. Released after twenty years in prison, he mentors troubled youth and has a powerful story about learning to think before you act.