Soul Work

Soul Work

It's Not Our Job to Change the World—or is It?

By Kenneth V. Hardy

September/October 2001

As I maneuvered my nearly-new Yamaha 440 through the oil-slicked, potholed city streets, I had only one thing on my mind: watching the Lakers hammer the Sixers. On that early November evening in 1982, I was on my way to my parents' home to watch the game, and I was--still am--the kind of basketball fan who has to be there for tip-off. In my haste, I glided my motorcycle to an incomplete stop at a corner, revved up again, then noticed, with a sinking heart, an ominous flash of red in my rearview mirror.

"License!" barked the ruddy-faced policeman who had motioned me over. I produced it quickly; I knew I had rushed through that stop. Just give me a ticket, I thought impatiently, so I can make tip-off. As the cop studied my license, I covertly looked him over. He was a stockily built, sandy-haired guy in his late thirties, with a kind of alert, coiled quality about him. "Says here you're supposed to be wearing glasses," he stated in an accusatory fashion, cocking his head as though to get a better look at me. "I don't see 'em."

 "I'm wearing contacts, sir," I replied. "Yeah?" he countered disbelievingly, shining his flashlight within a few inches of my eye. "You're going to have to pop one out and show me." I took a deep breath. "That would be difficult, sir," I said, "because my hands are filthy right now. If I were to take it out now, I…

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