2016-10-12 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

It's just according to your own choice -
by Terry Toole

The circumstances make all the difference.

If everything happened just the way you wanted it, there would be no reason to change, unless things weren’t like the other fellow wanted it.

Let's see now -- I am 80+ ,and it has never been just like I wanted it to be. Seems like the further I get away from 1935, things change. Some good, some great, some bad, some terrible.

What would I change in the past 80 years if I could? What would I keep the same? After all these years, how would I use up the time I have used? I really can't remember all the bad times, the times that I wish would never change, the times I wish would happen just the way they did.

The things I remember were the "good times."

Some of my early remembrances would be just a few hundred feet from where I am sitting, the place I was born. In the mid-1930s. A time of segregation. The black folks and the white folks did not do things together, unless, of course, they were friends.

I had this black friend that should not have been my friend. His name was Walter. He caused me to get more whippings than any of my white friends. If one of us told on the other, my dad whipped both of us. It didn't take us too long to try and get along with each other. We soon found getting along -- black and white, or white and white -- was easier than getting whipped. I never claimed to be all that smart, but I am not stupid.

When my parents taught me something, I found that very few things had to do with the color of the skin. It had to do with age and respect. Back when I was being taught, things were quite different. The black women who worked at our house would whip me as quickly as either of my parents or grandma, just not as hard. They could get me to do right by just threatening to tell one of my parents of my wrong doings.

How we were reared was how our parents wanted us to act. We were taught to treat others like we wanted to be treated. Looking back, we were taught what the Bible teaches. We have gotten away from that. You can get jailed for doing the right thing today. I have been shot at and beat when I was just trying to do what I was taught. Those occurrences have not been that long ago, actually.

There are certain areas of life that some of those things are still being taught.

Just this past week, I saw that teaching right from wrong is still around, and saying "Do unto others" won't get you fired from your job, if you have one, and you are still able to believe in God, and the things that He teaches us, most of all that the ability to do what Jesus taught us in just three years.

Think about what would happen if we just treated others like we would like to be treated.

First, let me tell you that there are things that I have been taught that I did not do. I am so far from doing like I was taught, I have to ask forgiveness every time I remember it. To forgive may be one of the hardest things in life. I am taught that God forgives us of our shortcomings. It is much harder for us to accept the forgiveness of others, and even harder to forgive ourselves.

Some of these who want our vote know we do not deserve it, but it is up to us to choose the best, not the perfect, cause there isn’t one now.

If you ever find someone who thinks they might be perfect, they, like you and me, are not.

We are given the ability to choose right from wrong. No one will leave this world with more than they came here with. It is our choices that we live with, and what we leave with will get us into Heaven or Hell. It's our choice, and ours alone.

I've had some good men and women try to teach us to choose right. I know a few that I would like to ride on the same bus when it's time to leave this world.

I will never understand why good folks die too soon and sorry folks seem to live forever. We are not supposed to know. Just do what you would like to answer Him when He asks you “Why?”

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