By Marsha M. Brown
If there is one thing I have learned in life it is this…you do not have to be a mastermind to figure things out provided you are given an opportunity to acquire adequate legitimate information to decipher your own interpretation for yourself.
I am the first to admit I am not “all that and a bag of chips” as they say, when it comes to brain power, but I am no dummy either. I have learned over the years that no one…regardless of their last name, financial status, title or position in life is better than me nor am I better than anyone else; I was inspired early by my parents to stay clear of liars, thieves and backstabbers however…that being said, I also learned that once you know somebody who is one and they have wronged you and they apologize, you forgive them.
Like every child growing up who wanted special toys be it a fancy doll house, a shiny new bicycle or a horse, I learned to do without…not because my parents didn’t want me to have them but due to economics. Just the same…never did I resent the kids who had them…it was honestly okay because I also did not have a beautiful singing voice, or as I got older a figure that would “knock your socks off”. I was raised to care about fairness, equality, opportunity, and love for my fellow man.
For those who come into big money through gift, inheritance, the lottery or through their own hard work and determination to multiply it, I have no problem with that. I often wonder what I would have done with a wad of money handed to me too. Then I think I probably would have given most of it to needy folks…when the wisest choice would have been to invest the money in real estate or in a business that I believed in, hire good people, reward them generously for their good work and give them incentives.
My point being…people with money create jobs and as a Realtor, I get it. Just one house sale equates to employment for Realtors, mortgage brokers, attorneys & staff, a surveyor, pest control, a home inspector, dwelling insurance and even after the closing, a potential rental contract which in turn generates income to rental companies, office staff, cleaners, maintenance people etc., etc., etc. and the beat goes on.
Having an opportunity to grow what you have or what you are given is not a sin. Truth be known, all or most of us would love a windfall to establish a business and grow more jobs for the public in the process. Who would most of our population go to for jobs if it were not for the wealthy who create them? Fair taxation is one thing, cursing and degrading wealthy people is silly when they acquired their money honestly.
When my Billy was alive, he was a news watcher…always having concerns for veterans…for our active duty military men and women…for their potential deployment to foreign lands because he knew first-hand they might not come home to America alive. He inspired me to pay attention, watch intently what I saw on T.V…especially if the information was first hand and visual and when the news reported offered both sides of the topic matter, not simply through unidentified whistle blowers or anonymous proclamations that cannot be verified. Shoot! I remember not all that long ago that newspapers and news media refused to even consider utilizing anonymous submissions. If a person did not have the courage to attest to the claim they made, it was not recognized as dependable nor relied upon.
We have either fallen under some sort of trance or we only want to hear what we want to hear regardless and that is sad. I look for the truth in everything, for example: we have been told for months now that our nation is racist, but I very respectfully disagree. At 70 years old, I have grown up befriending, respecting, appreciating, working with, worshiping beside, and loving countless black people as did my parents, my grandparents, my children and now my grandchildren. Maybe I was colorblind, literally, but neither my heart nor the heart of my family and friends have had hatred, mean spirited interactions or resentment toward the black race. Personally, I resent hearing it over and over, spewed out of the mouths of folks who stir it like in a cauldron boiling with rotten fish scraps.
We are Americans…our blood is red! Do those who stir that pot realize what hate speech is doing to our children? Sadly, there was slavery back in the day and I wish there never had been…I wish all of our black race were treated with the respect and dignity they deserved from the minute they were born as God Almighty’s precious creations but I cannot help but acknowledge little to zero has been said since this all began about the great accomplishments in sports, entertainment, the medical field, the scientific field, the political arena of black men and women fully and enthusiastically supported by the white population in America. When I consider the business relationships between all races, I celebrate that – folks with money who believed in and supported extremely talented individuals which resulted in fortune and fame for each…because they worked together.
History is just that…history…in the past and the mistakes we made are well noted, however, unfortunately it seems some wish to create new and intentional division in our country – it is reprehensible. I wonder if they consider the heartache this drive has caused young children especially during these months of social distancing when the T.V. is on much of the time?
When you are a writer who has a lot of opinions, thoughts and memories that take up considerable space in your head, you want to share them sometimes…to get it off your chest and communicate how you think we could “fix” the world, mend broken hearts and bring joy or comfort to others. In view of our most current events, I am doing just that.
In the last few weeks, we have watched our old Manteo High School being dismantled brick by brick making way for new construction, but life moves on…things change, people change. I loved Manteo High School and memories of those four years make me smile a lot. Between 1965 -1968, it was routine each morning, to hear a Pastor (from area churches) offer a brief morning devotion, then a prayer followed by our home room teacher asking us to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Shortly after the change of class buzzer blasted the airways and home room class doors burst open with energetic students scrambling to change classes bumping into each other…it was a healthy, normal life where we all lived side by side, black and white…together.
Nobody threw a fit or showed racial or religious intolerance, everybody just simply studied, played, and worked together. It was fine. It was tradition. Growing up was easy back then…we were all friends…we loved each other, and we did not recognize there was a difference between us, probably because there really wasn’t a difference…not in our eyes. We got along, helped each other whenever we could, cheered each other on in their victory and successes be it academic, sports or whatever and we lived our peaceful life.
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When we came to know in 2016 that my Billy was sick with Glioblastoma Multiform IV – inoperable brain cancer, the visits from black, white, old, young, church goers, non-church goers, former fellow law enforcement officers, staff from public works, our water plant and our transportation departments clearly showed that Billy was on their mind and heart. My point? Our communities have been blessed with good, solid, genuine, relationships…families there for each other, co-workers and friends for as long as I can remember; from grade school to date, I have embraced positive interactions from the south to the north end of the Outer Banks and everywhere in between – and overall love for others. In general, our folks who live here have the same ‘condition’…color, economic and religious blindness for which I am thankful.
My heart was broken for Mr. George Floyd and his family but for others too; for the deaths of innocent people who had nothing to do it; for the loss of businesses built through heritage, sacrifice and hard work destroyed, why? to prove a point? what point? for looting seemingly with no conscience?
There are prejudices in this world; some people just can’t stand fat folks…they think we’re stupid or lazy or that a ‘fluffy’ person eats like a hog if you carry extra weight…I wish everybody had perfect shapely or ripped bodies; lots of money in the bank and were as healthy as a horse but more than anything…I think about how none of us are perfect…none of us know everything…none of us have walked in each other’s shoes but all of us could be kinder, more accepting, less judgmental and truly sincere about making life better.
A person might have achieved countless educational accolades but in my book, that does not make a person smart…there is a difference in being ‘smart’ and being ‘wise’. After I thought of it that way, I Googled ‘smart’ and found, “The obvious difference is that being smart is a process of learning while being wise is a product of experience”. Good for anyone who graduates college and who receives impressive awards but if what folks learned (no matter their chosen field) doesn’t lean toward good…toward helping mankind, being tolerant, being a good sport, playing fair or having grace in view of disappointment…what good is it? People can disagree about anything…but being intolerant of anyone who disagrees with you…or who punishes you is ridiculous. If a person’s actions contribute to heartache, stress, anxiety, grief, destruction, fear, anger…or worse, they have lost my respect, no matter who they are…what they own…where they live…or what they do. Despite the naysayers, complainers, and negative folks buzzing in our ears like an annoying fly…there is still exceedingly better than bad…more hope than despair…more faith than empty, dark hearts and more love than hate.
Pray for healing, pray for courage, pray for a positive outlook, and pray for faith to handle difficult times. We are all different shapes and sizes, but most importantly, we are all Americans. Those with bitter or unforgiving hearts, I pray for a desire to love and be loved like never before…God’s love is perfect, and it heals the deepest of wounds.
GIG LINE is dedicated to veterans, it always has been, it always will be…but after praying that God would help me especially with my column this week; remembering the very special black friends whom I have loved, respected and been inspired by throughout my life; who loved my father, prayed over my sweet Billy; spoke at his celebration of life service; were honorary pall bearers for both my parents funerals and who have touched my life that I’ve been blessed to know…this column was the result.
Our nation can restore itself and recognize that we may be different in some ways…but down deep, we all need and can help each other; that we should remember that grasping the hand of another whether black, white, old or young, rich or poor…those hands through the years have made a difference in each of our lives in one way or another. For folks who dislike a person because of their weight, color, nationality, financial stability, imperfect bodies, or political affiliation…or who promote racism, discrimination, prejudice & intolerance – please, please get a grip! Seriously.
We have an election coming up in just a few weeks. Study the candidates carefully, consider only verifiable news and please pray for our nation. Be happy, be safe and be proud. Seek out and listen to stories, movies and books about brother and sisterhood. Love, respect, admiration, and appreciation begins within us…what we show others is too, for the benefit of the human race. If you would like to call: (252) 202-2058 or email: email@example.com If you know a vet who needs help, please call myself or Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County Veteran Service Officer (252) 475-5604 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org so she can help you file a claim and explain potential entitlements or benefits.
Until next time remember that I love you all and I pray for God’s blessings in your life. Stay tuned!