Every act displayed in public has a back story; we can’t take what we see at its face value.
This I have to remind myself because I forget, or I mistakenly focus on what I see, based on GMRC (Good Manners and Right Conduct), which my generation takes seriously.
Often, if not always, we react to what our eyes witness because we are not privy to the back story.
This happened at one university graduation I attended. Faces on occasions such as this are usually bright—it is, after all, a happy occasion.
But . . .
A limping father with a cane went up the stage two paces behind his son (who was to receive a medal for academic excellence). Because of his cane and the condition of his foot, the father was taking a mighty long time getting the medal out of the little box.
His son, irritation and impatience written all over his face, grabbed the medal from his dad’s hand and quickly put the medal around his neck himself. Then he stormed down the stage.
Right there on stage, before the audience, the father—his face unreadable—threw the medal box before he limped down the stairs following his son.
I was stupefied, to say the least. A son shamed his father before a crowd of peers, professors, and guests! This was the same reaction of the mothers to my left and right in the faculty row.
The quick-witted emcee said something lighthearted to save the embarrassing episode. Everything went well after that, but the father-son debacle never left my mind.
When I shared the story with my family later, I got varied responses:
“He must be a battered child, and that was his way of revenge.”
“That couldn’t have been his father; more like his stepdad.”
“They had a fight before that and the son carried it on.”
“A son takes after his father’s temperament. Testiness is inherited.”
I will never find out what was behind the son’s bad behavior, but my thoughts go back to what I was taught in childhood, “Respect your elders.” I grew up at a time when elders had all the say in a household and in Sunday School I learned, “Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord.” Colossians 3:20 (NLT)
Yet, after listening to other points of view, I go back to this verse, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
In a perfect world, fathers are role models to their sons and they are best of buddies.
A son gives due respect to his father, in private or in public, and vice versa.
But this is a spaced-out world which, without trust in God’s grace, can go the way of the unfortunate father-son stunt at that one graduation day.
Always Be Humble and Kind
My twin brother and I were raised by our grandparents. They have taught us so many things about life, but the one thing that has always stuck with me is to always be humble and kind no matter what you do in life. My grandpa always told us no matter where life leads you, always remember your values and where you came from. He was a colonel in the Air Force for 20 years, and then became a lawyer and owned his own law firm for another 20 years. Today, at age 83, he is a cashier at Walmart and you would never know what all he has done because he is that humble. People go to his register to see him because he always puts a smile on their face. He has taught us that it doesn’t matter what you do or have done, it’s about who you are and your character. He really does teach by example.
My Support System
Ever since I was young, my parents and older brother have always cheered me on – whether it was at a dance competition, piano recital, or an academic accomplishment. They were there even when I attempted 1 of 10 sports, only to later realize I just wasn’t that athletic. Point is – they never stopped to tell me I couldn’t do something or to quit. They encouraged me every step of the way, and went the extra mile to be the parent that was the volunteer soccer coach or would rearrange their hectic schedules for my passions and growth.
My family became a main value through these childhood moments, and are also integral to every other value I hold important – whether it’s learning persistence or respect for others. They have instilled in me these values from a young age, and continue to help me abide by them. At every major turning point in my life whether its choosing a college or a full time job, I rely on them for their advice, and consider how to maintain this value while being away. In 5 years, I know family will be of equal importance to me and will always strive to make it known to them that they are my greatest value.
Submitted by Ayeesha
Poem of Peace
Our nation’s innocence is lost,
Stolen by acts of hate.
Helpless people paid the cost,
For them it is too late.
Daughters, sons, husbands, wives,
Sisters, friends and brothers.
All of them have lost their lives,
To senseless acts of others.
New York’s city has been defaced.
Bodies lay in rubble.
They can never be replaced.
But war won’t end our trouble.
Angers only escalate,
As we point out the guilt.
Violence will perpetuate.
While we dig through the silt.
Cries of anger, cries for war,
Echo in the air.
As if our bombs and missiles soar,
It will make it fair.
People claim “eye for an eye”
Our nation wants to fight.
If their innocent people die,
Then will that make US right?
Punishment surely must take place.
These murderers must pay.
But they are groups and not a race.
Keep liberty in mind, each day.
We are people of goodwill,
Of truth and love and light.
Please give thought before you kill,
Take heed before you fight.
We ask, what do we tell our children?
How do we give them ease?
Reactions set examples for them,
Should we not teach them peace?
Optimism – The Difference between Optimsts and Pessimists
In order to better understand people’s views of the world, a researcher once placed two children, one a pessimist and the other an optimist, alone in separate rooms.
The pessimist was placed in a colorful room full of all kinds of imaginative toys…the optimist was put in a room filled with horse manure.
The first child played in the room for a little while, but soon came to the door asking to leave because the toys were boring and because they broke too easily.
Likewise, the young optimist soon came to the door…but rather than asking to leave, she asked for a shovel.
Of course, the researcher asked the child why she wanted a shovel.
She replied, “With all this manure around, I know that there must be a pony in here somewhere.”
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