Daryl Davis is a black blues musician who, when approached by a Klansman in 1983, befriended him based on their common love of music. It set him on a long and strange path. He started conducting interviews with Klan leaders – infiltrating their culture. It was more than just research for the book he was writing. Davis was determined to understand why anyone would devote an entire organization to racism and hate, especially since the more he talked to these people, the more he found that a lot of Kluxers were simply misguided souls – decent human beings at heart.
30 years later, Daryl Davis has over 20 KKK robes in his closet. He keeps them as trophies, because every last one of them was given to him by a Klansman who’d abandoned the organization and reformed their own racist views, simply because they’d had the opportunity to get to know Davis as a human being.
In fact, through simple acts of friendship, this one man caused the entire Maryland chapter of the Ku Klux Klan to collapse.
Think about that! He did what most people would consider impossible. Reformed people thought to be unreformable!
What is magic, but the act of performing a task that baffles expectations – one thought to be impossible by any other means?
It all started because Mr. Davis approached them with a listening ear. He met them not to confront, but to learn.
Now My Little Pony may be a show for kids, but its celebration of the power of friendship is not a fantasy. Friendship really is magic. Not just in Equestria. Not just with horses. Not just in your imagination, as you sit and dream about the way things ought to be.
The real world is full of people like Daryl Davis – people who make the world a better place just by having a positive effect on the lives they touch. People who practice FRIENDOMANCY, (even if they don’t actually call it that)!
We may not all be able to hang trophies in our closets celebrating the accomplishments of our hearts, (or if we do, they might simply be photographs and ticket stubs and tokens of memories).
But regardless of whether you’re taking care of a loved-one when they’re sick, lending a listening ear to a stranger in need, driving out in the middle of the night to come to the aid of a stranded friend, or dismantling the Ku-Klux-Bucking-Klan, friendship has incredible power. It can be a source of inestimable good in the world.
This article about Daryl Davis’ accomplishments is hard evidence of that plain and simple truth. That Friendship is Magic! Seriously, it’s a truly insightful read.
Yes, I am aware that the suffix “-mancy”, strictly speaking, means divination, (not necessarily the wielding of elemental magic the way my use of it implies). I’m using it in a much broader sense, though, (and darn it, it sounds cool).