FROM MY FRONT PORCH
Sam Houston is the publisher of the Hood County News. He is also an actor, author, playwright, performer and entertainment producer/promoter.
There is a huge learning curve in life. There are a lot of things we simply learn from bad experiences, like grabbing hold of an electric fence while standing in a puddle of water! Shocking to say the least!
Some issues we learn through the socialization process during school, churchd and family life. My Mother taught me to make sure everything was zipped before I left the house and it became apparent sometime in pre-school or kindergarten, that it was not cool to place one’s finger up your nose!
Those entities taught me to respect my elders, to close the bathroom door when in used and knock before entering a closed room. We make mistakes along the way and we learn from those mistakes. I imagine for all of us, when we look back on our life experiences, we sometimes regret things we said or did when we were young and did not understand or know any better.
My best friend growing up was named Rob. We played in our first Little League baseball game together and attended high school together. We double dated on our first dates and attended the same college while joining the same fraternity where we were roommates. We have been more like brothers than just friends. On more than one occasion we have shared the last dollar, loaned our last “clean” dirty shirt to the other, or listened to the other’s problems.
Rob was Jewish by birth, and I and all our friends called him “Jew Boy.” To now hear that terminology makes me shake my head in disbelief and causes me genuine shame and embarrassment. In today’s world such a moniker is clearly offensive. In the world of my youth, it was a nickname that simply identified Rob from the other kids.
Since my name was Sam Houston, “Tex” identified me. My friend LaMont, who was black, was called “Magic” as in “black magic.” The intent behind the names was not malicious or evil, it was simply a street name and once given, stuck like glue.
Looking back through the prism of today it saddens me I ever participated in such a thing. I hope I never hurt Rob’s feelings. When we were young if anyone had ever said anything that I had viewed as an insult of Rob, I would have pounded them to pudding. I never perceived I might have been the one most guilty of an offense.
This past week, there may have been a mistake made in our community by someone of high profile. The mistake was publicized far and wide, reaching the Dallas TV stations, the internet, and was the topic of a great deal of social media.
I say there “may have been a mistake” because the person has not yet gone to trial and he deserves the presumption of innocence under the Constitution, like we are all entitled. If he is in fact guilty of the offense, I do not condone his actions nor defend them. What concerns me so much is the vitriol and outright delight so many people seemed to express at another person’s trouble.
I am confident justice will prevail, but I hope the people which have cast stones, acted on little or no information, or somehow found glee in the problems of another, learn a lesson. Take joy in your own life. Celebrate the good things in our community and the many positives that occur every day. I am not asking anyone to ignore wrongdoing, but I would like to think compassion and understanding are more reflective of our community than kicking someone when they are down. Karma can be a real tough lesson. I hope nobody has to learn it.
Thought for the day: Kindness is spreading sunshine in other peoples lives regardless of the weather.
Until next time…