Where were you on August 1, 2012? If you were like millions of Americans, you were standing in line at one of the thousand plus Chick-fil-A locations.
My daughter and I went to the location in a Westside shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, and stood in line for two hours in order to buy four chicken sandwiches to take back to the employees at our office. We were prepared for a long line, but we were not prepared for a line that stretched around the food court and extended to the main entrance.
The biggest surprise we encountered, however, was the behavior of those participating in Appreciation Day. The line contained a surprising variety of people. There were mothers with children, businessmen, soldiers, two police officers, teens who were unaccompanied by parents, retired couples, and everything in between. The racial diversity was remarkable—African American, Asian, East Indian, Hispanic, and White.
I had expected to see lots of people I knew, but I recognized only a few faces. I soon realized that other people in line did not recognize many faces either. Yet, everyone was talking to whoever happened to be next to them. The atmosphere was quiet, orderly, and friendly. Everyone was happy to be there, and no one complained about the long wait—not even the children.
As I moved from the line where we placed our orders to the line where we waited to pick up our orders, I heard bits and pieces of conversations, and I soon began to realize that many of the children, teens, and twenty somethings were homeschoolers. As I have been on so many occasions, I was amazed to see how exceptional these young homeschoolers are. The children stood quietly by their parents and the teens talked to their friends in an orderly manner and did not engage in the shoving and loud laughter that one usually observes in young people of this age group.
No one talked about why they were there; no one mentioned the controversy. We were just average Americans taking a stand for our First Amendment rights. In the process, we were teaching our children and grandchildren that standing up for one’s principles does not always require us to carry a picket sign or make a fiery speech. Sometimes taking a stand for freedom requires only that we spend a long time waiting in line for a chicken sandwich.
Joyce Swann is a nationally-known author and speaker. Her own story of teaching her ten children from the first grade through master’s degrees before their seventeenth birthdays is retold in her book, Looking Backward: My Twenty-Five Years as a Homeschooling Mother Her newest novel, The Warrior, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net/ or like her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/frontier2000mediagroup