Honesty, Faith and Courtesy.
If these "raised right" values are instilled from the start they will usually last you through out your life. My writings I hope will be accepted with the understanding that I share them just to put a smile on your face or get you to reach back into your own past and remember the good times. Because if you don't step back and remember, you can lose a very important part of you life.
My Father-In-Law Julian and I took a few of my walking staffs to the Veteran's Home in Jennings today. We sat and talked with a Retired Navy Captain who had been on Guam in WW II as Julian had. Not sure of the month but he remembered it was in 1945.
I then met this Boatswains Mate who had sailed out of the East Coast on a Destroyer Escort.
As we sat and talked he said 'I bet I could stand up and use this stick of yours which he proceeded to do much to the amazement of the lady who was the recreation coordinator.
Afterwards, she then shared that he was a good Painter even though he was blind....
It was then that I had to sit down, and only then realized why he was listening to a recording of a old story about a famous pirate of long ago when we had been introduced.
We talked and shared a few sea story's until it was obvious he needed to be alone to listen to his story.
Before I left, He asked if I was going to come back sometime. And I of course, said That's a promise I plan to keep.
He thanked me for the stick and said 'If nothing else I can use on these mean old Nurses who won't leave me alone'.
But he said it with a smile......
Looks like I need to make a few more sticks so I can go back and make some new 'Old Friends'
I walk around our society of today and I hate to say, I shake my head.
I am afraid that we have become a society that chooses to use the laws of our land to proclaim rights that allow us to put ourselves first regardless to what it does to others around us.
Yes, we, each and everyone of us have rights, some of them are:
To respect others who in turn respect me. Offering to them courtesies and admiration that they have shown commendable.
To not respect no one but ourselves. To shirk, ridicule, be-little and dis-regard the feelings of others for the betterment of ourselves and our own self-esteem.
To speak the truth and expect the same from others.
To lie, or twist what you know is true so that no matter what it does to others it will enable you to feel better about yourself or attain something you want.
To give freely, offering to others who are truly in need without hesitation.
To be selfish. Using everything given, attained, or offered to better your own wants and cravings.
To care. Thinking of those around and what your actions do to them.
To not care. To rush through life grabbing everything you can for yourself, forgetting the rights and feelings of others.
These are our rights. NO, THEY ARE NOT OUR RIGHTS, they are our choices. They are not written in stone nor on paper. They are what we have accepted as just. Which ones we pick to follow, can only be made by each of us...
Because down the road, our actions of today will affect our rewards later on in life.
.The songs ranged from Elvis, to Cash, a couple of his own and even Ms. Tammy's D.I.V.O.R.C.E..... which he did looking down at the ground,,, maybe a little closer to home.... but he didn't say... We talked about what living in the south is like and how the people still use the qualities that they had been taught as children. Yes Sir, Good Morning, Opening the door for a woman, and treating each other the way you would want to be treated.... He got real quiet for a minute and just strummed his guitar. Then he said without looking up. "Ya know.. but things are changing. We're losing those things... What use to be important, doesn't seem to be that way anymore." I had to agree, that I had seen it too. "But that's OK... I know that I'm still doing what I'm suppose to do.. so I'm pretty sure I'm going to a better place." he said.... and he went back to another song.. The fingers moved over the strings and it was obvious they had been there before. I asked about the names on the guitar? "Awww most of them just my friends.."
I gave him my card... and said I hoped maybe we have a cup of coffee sometime and share more stories....and I bought him breakfast.... then I headed on down the road... I looked back through my mirror and watched as he started another song which it was obvious who it was meant for because his head was bent back and looking up... Thank Ya Lord... for sharing him with me..
I stood and watched the young man work his way towards me as I stood on the levee at the end of the flooded rice field. He was so into his work that he hadn't noticed me standing there. I watched as he reached for each "mud bug" pot, pulling it out of the water, shaking the leaves loose then dumping it's bounty into a large bucket that lay beside him in the small boat...
What I thought was a radio turned out to be actually him, singing a Cajun Zydeco song at the top of his lungs. The little outboard engine behind him gave him a rhythm to follow and his voice worked with it's beat.
It wasn't until he looked up to prepare for the turn at the end of the row did he see me there. Without missing a chord he smiled and waved to me and while still holding the last pot in that row in the other hand he steered the little boat with his foot pedals to line up for the next row of traps.
The chugging of the motor and his motions never changed as he slipped the empty pot beside the first pot in the new row and scooped up the new one in a single motion. There was a pause in his voice and a new song was started but with just as much gusto and love of singing as the last.
He never looked back at me, just continued on his way... Just as I'm certain his father, grandfather had done over the years probably on this same field. I realized then that there some things that will never change in these peoples way of living. The love of the land, the love of music, and the love of being part of all of it.
Traditions.... That's what makes a Culture, a Lifestyle, a way of enjoying living.
So... I walked away from there saying "So... that's how that's done."
And I learned something new that day or maybe more then one.
You need to learn something new each day... It doesn't have to be Monumental nor World Changing. Sometimes it's something good about our fellow man. Sometimes it's something bad... Just try and take what you've learned and apply it towards trying to make yourself a better man.