Today, I am grateful that Britney Griner was released in a trade with a said dangerous criminal. I will say her release reminds me of a scene from the 1982 Star Trek Movie “The Wrath of Khan”. Where Commander Spock sacrifices himself to save all on board the Starship Enterprise. As Spock Captain Kirks’ Science Officer is dying—he states to Captain Kirk, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.” Then Spock dies. The ship’s crew is devastated, because their thinking is ‘everyone is relevant’. Don’t judge. Follow me.
This morning after chores and over two hours of training—I put the radio on as I drove to run an errand. That is when I heard of Britney Griner’s release. It made me feel good again about being an American. Only the hateful, the bigoted would not want me or anyone else to feel that way.
When I was in the Marines I was taught—to be tactful, diplomatic and to remain an individual who could not only take orders; yet be able to think outside the box. Thinking outside the box, not making any suppositions—the ability to think freely are the makings of a good leader. The Marines I was told wanted to mold us into leaders. Think about that idea. They encouraged thinking as an individual—when shared it provides for better teamwork.
A good leader steps way out of their comfort zone of what some may expect or desire from them. Too, we are not in everyone else’s meetings. Nor should we be. We truly do not know of all the undertakings that transpired before the trade agreement and release of Britney Griner today. And might not want to know. Or as we used kid around and say—when I worked in defense contracting and was asked for information, “If I tell you that, I’ll have to kill you.” Then we’d laugh.
Upon the news of the trade, the Monday morning Quarterbacks all came out with a fodder of opinions. Many have no clue. And quite a few have projected themselves as if they understood the options, perhaps military strategies or faux pau. Which would be quite obtuse, because only about three percent of our current living population is or has served in the military. Most have no clue how this trade truly transpired. Nor why it happened the way it did. Instead of being grateful for Griner’s release. Seeing it as a positive in dealing with an enemy like Russia. And let me make that clear, I see Russia as an enemy of the United States and its people. A threat to our democracy.
Even the politicians that were not involved gave their uneducated opinions. Many of which had not served in our military. For the hate-mongers and fear-mongers it’s all just something to complain about, because they didn’t get to make that decision. They weren’t invited to the party. And they didn’t care to be invited to it either. They led with their patriarchal egos—which have now been taken down a notch.
What Griner’s release shows us, is the value we place on anyone’s life who is a U.S. Citizen. That says a lot of great things about this country and its current leader. People have and will entangle quick their judgments and disinformation to satisfy their ego’s needs on this and other matters.
When I train kids in running or anything else—I state to them, “Clean that slate now. It’s a new day. Yesterday is gone. Today there’s room for better things. So, metaphorically wipe your dry erase boards clean. Do not judge you, because there are plenty that will. So, be nice to you.” We should now without misgivings allow Britney Griner to clean her slate, for she has tomorrow and it’s a new day.
I am by no means a Basketball enthusiast. Not even close. But I am a fan of people who miscalculate at the wrong time unwittingly and find themselves taken hostage by a rogue government. I am one of their cheerleaders.
What Americans should gather from this entire incident—is we are NOT safe to be who and what we are in another country. That has always been the truth—most of us just forgot this. This incident reminded Americans once again, how fortunate we are to live where we do.---Jody-Lynn Reicher