Random Acts

“Random” has turned into a slang buzzword. On the street it means just about nothing like what it really means.

So, if you have tweens and teens loitering someplace in your world, or little bros and sisses of such people, be aware you may become random-ized next time you do something shockingly parental or grown-up. Even bosses of young employees can fall victim to this corruption by doing something boss-like.

In the great, wild outdoors – meaning on the street, with other kids at school, or on-line – random as street slang now means:

Totally not cool, abnormal, really weird and out there. Unfortunately, typical of street slang, it also means the opposite: a random person is totally predictable and boring, also moronic and a real sad case.

Sorry, Webster, or Oxford, or any other dictionary people, you’ve been had, undone, beaten. You’re just random. Get over it.

But fortunately, if you are still reading and have not given up all hope yet, here’s the real meaning of random:

Something without detectable order, done or chosen without any method or conscious decision, containing no order on which to make exact predictions.

Random is how dice land on green felt at the casino or how poker cards get disorganized when a good dealer shuffles them right. Unfortunately, for any gamblers reading this, there are no lucky charms, words or hand-wavings than can undo randomization of cards, or dice, or anything else, no matter how hard you hope. The real universe won’t do that for you. Sorry. The house wins because they understand random.

So, is there anything else good about random, if you don’t own a casino, for instance?

Just ask Mallery. Go to page 1 of this edition of your Jamestown Gazette and get involved with a wonderful new movement crossing the nation.

Random placement of random rocks emblazoned with random words of kindness. People are placing them in unexpected places where and when nobody could predict finding kind words, gentle thoughts and messages of peace and encouragement.

It is all about another kind of contagion, after all, and you can be a carrier… of a rock. Place a bit of kindness into the world with one. It is a contagion that is now spreading both rapidly and randomly.

Next time you walk down a street or stroll through a park, notice a tree trunk or a rose bush, a doorstep or even a parking meter that could use a bit of thoughtfulness or a happy thought. Paint it on a rock and leave it there.

Some random day some random person may find it and you may change a random thought to something finer. That is, happily, a predictable thing.

Then pass it on. If you pick up a kind rock, have one of your own to take its place and once the one you found does its good work for you, leave it in some other random place for somebody else to find.

So, will it matter? Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world.”

And that’s one of the best things about finding your Jamestown Gazette wherever you found it. We know each copy is read by, on the average, 2.5 people – and we don’t mind that half person is you – because The Peoples Paper gets passed around too, just like a kind rock.

Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut