Martin Luther King, Jr wrote that longevity has it’s place. It does. I am turning 65 years old in a few days. As I look back over where I came from and where I’ve been; I have no regrets. But then I ask myself, what do we tell the children? We tell them the truth, let them know who they are. We had grandma and grandpa to tell us about their lives. Mama and daddy talked about their communities. We lived in communities that communed. We all got together and visited with each other. We shared stories, food, homes. Everyone knew each other. We had a sense of belonging and a responsibility to keep things together. We had a sense of closeness. We had simple lives, did simple things. We stressed learning because we knew it was the way out. Having a set of encyclopedias was status quo. I don’t know if those people that had them ever used them, but they had them. Let’s tell them about the places we went when we were young, there were no gangs. The fights we had were settled with a blow or two; then back to the business of living. We had time to read real books. Everyone didn’t have radios or TV. We learned the benefits of being outside all day playing ball or just running in the woods. Tell them about the berries growing wild on the vines and the fruit growing in abundance on the trees. We couldn’t take for granted that there would always be food on the table but we knew we wouldn’t go hungry. There was always someone looking out for us. Tell them there were few homeless people, few abandoned babies , few lonely senior citizens. That drugs consisted of the bootleggers alcohol. The big cities had the drugs. Grownup business was just that, grownup. Tell them that they can talk to us about their problems. We will listen and try to help. That our charge was to take care of the less fortunate. We need to tell them that failure isn’t the end but the beginning. Sometimes it’s a detour to a better way. Tell them that success isn’t about how much money you’ve got; but who you helped when you made the money. Did you make things better or turn in another direction. What do we tell them when life isn’t what they thought it would be, when rejection comes from every attempt. We can say that’s life and hope they understand it. But also help them to understand that perseverance and motivation wins every time. Tell them to be proud of where they came from and learn all the can about their ancestors. It wasn’t all heart breaks and heart aches. It wasn’t all struggles. It was accomplishments and good times, there was joy along with the sorrow. Tell them there was love when families got together on a warm Sunday evening as the sun was going down. Knowing that Monday morning was another work week starting but thanking God they had a job. Tell them a little was better than nothing.


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