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That OVEN had to be clean or it might collapse. We worked in crews of two-man teams. For safety, we strapped wooden platforms beneath our shoes. As we worked we kept an eye on our platforms, and if they started to smoke, we jumped off OVEN before our shoes caught fire. The top of OVEN was hottest, because heat rises. I resented when Mark was transferred to ICE HOUSE. He was going to work in coolest place in Arizona during that infernal summer. Why not me? He now had one of nicest jobs you could get in that fiery Hell called a copper mine. Why not me?
Things change. The miners went on strike. Mark came to me in great distress. It was first time I'd ever seen him upset. “Don,” he said, “I've got to work. I'm going to have to be a scab. I have a family to feed. My wife Becky is 8 months pregnant.” Tough decision. The toughest.
In Ajo, an innocent child of a scab was once shot to death. Countless are brutal stories I can recall of how scabs were severely beaten, crippled or killed for their decision to cross picket line. Mark had nowhere to turn. Copper mining was only industry in that town 100 miles from civilization. He had no money to move, no money to travel. Sadly, I supported him in his decision. What else could I do?
The next day was ugly. Hundreds of angry miners lined up to taunt, jeer and protest few scabs who showed up to work. Mark hung his head in shame as he drove through picket line in a company truck with armed escorts. The decision to work was fatal. But not because of miners' hatred of scabs. Mark was assigned my job to clean top of OVEN. The same I'd worked on only days before. That day, witnesses saw OVEN collapse, and my friend Mark was instantly incinerated.
Mark's death had a major impact on me. It could have been my life that was taken by that OVEN. I was a kid, and I hurt. Worst of all, I felt guilty for resenting his time in Ice House. I felt guilty for not always welcoming his positive outlook. But, now he was gone. His family was fatherless. Because his last work was that of a scab, he was counted as a temporary worker, and family lost all his benefits. It was a tragedy I couldn't handle. The fire of that oven burned inside my gut. I had to turn my anger, my guilt, and my sadness and pain into something positive. I reflected on Mark's upbeat philosophy and decided that I could best honor him by being like him, and focusing on good in my life.
Mark's untimely death taught me a valuable lesson. Life is short. There is no telling when we will be called to take Great Adventure. Each day of our lives is precious. Mark was 100% right. Each day is a choice. You and you alone decide what kind of day you will have. You can choose to be happy or sad, loving or hateful. Enlightenment is all about choice. What choice are you going to make today? Remember my friend Mark this week and make choice to be happy.
Donald Schnell is author of The Initiation. He has assisted thousands of individuals to awaken to their inner power. Free: Enlightenment 101 newsletter http://www.enlightenment101.com
Donald Schnell is the author of The Initiation. He has helped thousands of individuals discover their personal power. Free Newsletter: www.enlightenment101.com Donald@enlightenment101.com