Fierce Protectors of the Injured
FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT How Positivity Affects Your Life Without Your Realizing It
Social media and texting can make people feel closer when they’re far apart yet farther apart when they’re right next to each other. Staying positive about yourself and the people around you is harder when you’re not as connected with others. I’ve had a lot of people in my life who have influenced me — God first and Regina, my wife, second. I grew up in a household of powerful single women who trained me to be a leader and fighter, and Regina is the toughest of all and my ongoing trainer who keeps me grounded. She proved doctors wrong when they told her she’d need lifelong medication for her lupus and even overcame death itself in an event that changed my life. (That story will need a newsletter of its own.) She proves to me that you don’t need anything except to care about other people. I’ll turn around while we’re in the grocery store to see she’s already started a conversation with a stranger and showing pictures of her grandsons and pets. It’s not intentional, either! She’s just the type to walk into a room and make everyone smile, even people she’s never met. That amazes me every single day, but she doesn’t think about it at all. Maybe that was the problem, which I managed to completely avoid up until that conversation with my law school dean. When you think about it, I had to be crazy to be a full-time law enforcement officer, teach karate, go to law school, be a security officer, and have a family at the same time. A lot of the time I’ve spent with my family might be considered unusual; both of my girls started learning martial arts at 5 years old, and we bonded through our work. I continued to practice law and be a law enforcement officer at the same time, even for five years after graduating law school while running two successful karate schools.
I used to have days where I had to show up to my law school classes in my police or SWAT uniform, depending. I was so busy I often didn’t have time to change! Of course, my peers harassed me, but I could handle it. However, it wasn’t until the dean called me into his office that I realized how busy I really was. It was right after a national story broke, and I was featured as one of the snipers in one of the stories. But that didn’t prepare me for what the dean of my law school said outright: “Sevenish, what’s wrong with you?”
As if knowing this, I said as much to him. “Sir, I don’t know any better. If I don’t know any better, then there’s no other course of action that makes sense to me,” I explained. But there was something else, too. I don’t think having hope or positivity is exclusive to characters in movies or “naturally” happy people; even they will tell you that. It’s in the breath of a warrior, the grace of a kind heart, and the force of nature that pushes people to accomplish what they do every single day. It’s not always something they think about, and when they do, sometimes it seems a little crazy. Over my past 35 years of practicing law, I’ve noticed that injury law cases are getting more and more complex, and even the state of our nation seems to be the same way. That’s why we started up a brand-new newsletter again, and I hope to give you a little bit of law and a lot of everything else. Do something a little crazy this month, friends. Smile at a stranger and give a little love to yourself for everything you do and for others.
“Sir, what do you mean?” I asked, worried.
“This is my understanding,” he started firmly. “You work full time at the sheriff’s department as a captain. In addition, you’re on call 24/7 for SWAT as its commander. And you’re in our evening law school program, yet you’re teaching karate part-time as well — and, in the complex where you live, you’re the live-in security officer.” We blinked at each other. He asked me, worried: “How do you do all this? Are you alright?” I wasn’t fresh out of high school like most of my fellow law students. I was already 31, with nearly 10 years of law enforcement experience at the time. I had a family made up of my wife and two young daughters. Man — the more I think about it, the busier I really was.
–Randall “Randy” Sevenish
These days, keeping your head up above water can be really tough for many people.
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