When people throw stones

Matthew Carroll's view

Each summer when I was younger, I would go with a group of kids from my church to a camp on Kelley’s Island called Camp Patmos. I have nothing but fond memories of my camp experience — with one exception.

It was a Thursday afternoon. I was walking back to my cabin with my friend Jeremy when I was hit in the face by a rock thrown by a little boy. I thought I was fine until my observant friend informed me that I was gushing blood from a sizable hole in my upper lip, at which point I cried like a pre-pubescent girl all the way to the nurse’s office.

The real fun began when I was informed by the nurse that since we were on an island miles from the nearest hospital, I would have to wait until I went home on Saturday to get stitches. I spent the next two days icing my face and hoping that the small piece of surgical tape would be enough to keep the wound sealed.

Why did I tell you this particular story? I haven’t the slightest clue, but now you know that I have, on occasion, cried like a pre-pubescent girl.

In all seriousness, I believe at some point we have all felt like we were one slip of the tongue away from re-opening wounds — both physical and emotional — we would rather just forget about. This past presidential election in particular was very emotional for a lot of people.

I am not here to re-open painful wounds that are better left alone. I do, however, believe that it is important to put things into perspective. We must learn to grow through our adversity and become a better, more enlightened people.

Did it hurt to have that hole in my lip? Heck yes it did! Especially after I was nearly drowned by a fat kid’s yellow raft at Geauga Lake just days after getting my stitches. Through my experience, I learned to steer clear of people throwing rocks, and as elementary as that may sound, I have never had to get stitches on my face since.

My goal for this semester will be to strive for growth in myself, as well as in you, the audience. The only way this growth can take place is if we first realize that we are not always right. We are only human, and as a result we mess up sometimes. If we can admit this up front, we will be better off for it in the long run.

I have no angle here. I am not a conspiracy theorist or an angry white guy. I can’t give you tips for smarter living, and you definitely don’t want me to give you advice about your sex life. I will do my part to keep an open mind and I ask you to do the same whether the topic of my column is politics, religion or just how amazing the movie “Midnight Skater” is, I promise I will bring you the facts first and my opinion second — and perhaps help you dodge the occasional airborne rock.

Matthew Carroll is a sophomore magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].