An old elementary school friend and I were talking recently and during the conversation, he commented about how different my family life was when we were children than his. To put it simply, he said, "You forget, my family was very poor." I laughed when he told me this, because my family was poor too. We still are poor, if we are counting dollars and cents, I guess and according to the national average, I am not sure I know anyone who isn't poor. After talking with him, I had time to reflect on what he had said, and thought back to my own childhood and how sometimes I felt like I was somehow a sub-human being at times compared to other kids at school or what I felt others had that I didn't. What I remember mostly about being young and insecure was the fact that there were plenty people around to encourage you to feel insignificant. As a matter of fact, some of them were teachers and authority figures who had the ability to change a child's life in the palm of their hands, but instead chose to jump into a clique themselves. I remember going to school one time and lying about what I got for Christmas when the teacher went around the room and asked everyone because it wasn't much and I wanted to be like everyone else. There were a few good folks in my life that, thank goodness, gave me a foundation to later build on when my own confidence was built as well. I think these thoughts we have as children somehow follow us our whole lives and we wind up spending more time trying to get over our past than we do enjoying the present or looking forward to the future.
When I look at myself, I realize I have only found my own self-worth in the last five or so years of my life, so I began to wonder if we all feel this way. I know I don't feel this in my thoughts of other's own worth and self-esteem. I think everyone is doing great until they tell me otherwise. But more and more, I run into people who share their own insecurities (maybe I seem like someone they can talk to) and I am stunned when I hear what they think of themselves. It seems we all get ready everyday, look in the mirror and say, "I am ready to face the world," yet spend the rest of the day with some thought in the back of our heads that maybe we aren't as good as the next guy. Well, we are as good as the next guy. I am and so are you.
You can be fat (let's be graphic and honest) bony, short, tall, have one funny ear, or rough skin, or wrinkles, a limp, a missing limb, too many limbs, a wandering eye or any of these things. You could be dirt poor or well-to-do or struggling or not. You might have been a terrible person when you were 10 or you might have a stutter or you may have done something in your past you aren't proud of. We all have these things, big or small. What do these material and physical attributes say about what kind of person we are now? Nothing.
Who you are is what is in your heart and how you treat your fellow man whether he or she is the biggest drug addict in town or the pastor at church. There are varying degrees of involvement in someone else's life, but they are still human even if for some reason you can't invite them over for dinner. Everyone is someone and a part of what makes up our world. And the same goes for the next person, so remember that the next time you are quick to judge someone. Maybe you don't know what they are feeling about themselves and what if you were the one person to say something positive at the right time that might change their lives, or at least validate who they are already since most of us are just "Folks" anyway and there is nothing wrong with us, and I mean any of us. I challenge everyone this week to sympathize with your fellow Petersburgerian or wherever you are. Have a chat with someone and find out how they really feel. Choose someone you wouldn't normally talk to or someone you have been at odds with for one reason or another. Be your own hero and make the first move. You might learn something about yourself in the process.
Blane Tankersley recently had a fishing trip on the gulf coast and I will share his experience with you and the state of the environment from his first hand accounts next week.
Be careful when hiring workers to repair your home. According to reports from three Petersburg residents, a scam artist is in the works here locally and has taken our neighbors for over $6,000.
Get well soon this week to Susie Riner who is home from the hospital but still doing poorly. Best wishes to Fred Hastings who is in the hospital as well. Get well soon to Edith Wells who fell recently, although the good news is she is only banged up and bruised some. Shirley Metcalf is on dialysis three times a week, so let's keep her in our thoughts and maybe give her a call. Get well soon to June Douglas. I hear she is recuperating well after knee surgery.
Our thoughts are with the Blackwell family after the loss of their loved one. Eddie Wayne is one of Petersburg's neighbors out near Possum Trot and the Blackwell's have always had strong ties to our neck of the woods. Sympathies to the entire family.
Homecoming at Caldwell United Methodist Church in Petersburg will be on June 27th at 2 p.m. Pastor Hurbert Johnson of the Greater First Baptist Church in Lewisburg will be guest speaker. Everyone is welcome. Don't forget Old Glory Day this Saturday the 12th at 6 p.m. and remember it's all free. Any musicians and vendors are welcome.
Happy Birthday this week to Eric Berlin, Tara Polk, William Beard, Jeannie Burt and June Douglas. Call me with news big or small 659-9060 or firstname.lastname@example.org