Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Matter of Character

Who is the oldest person you have ever known? What insight into life to pick up from him or her? (Serendipity Bible 10th anniversary edition, page 1052).

Several people come to mind. There was my grandmother Ollie Peake, a neighbor Rev. Aldridge, and another neighbor Mrs. Woods. Each taught me something different about life. 

My grandmother loved me. I have no doubt about that. But she could not hide the fact that she liked my brother better than me. I had some difficulty dealing with this knowing that she was doing her best not to play favorites. This situation taught me that people cannot help their inclinations and we must respect them and forgive them for what they cannot help anyway. Our feeling of being a second choice must not dampen our vitality nor prevent our loving others.

Next comes Rev. Aldridge—a man with aggressive spunk if I've ever met one. He challenged me to "come out of my shell". He taught me that it is profoundly attractive when we find in others a sturdy sense of self-worth and the willingness to self-express without fear or intimidation.

Mrs. Woods lived in my neighborhood in Ellenton when I was coming out of childhood and growing into early teens. I would go visit her and we would sit by the fireplace and she would tell me stories of times past. I loved the fact that the past dwelt within the present and exercised deep influence there. That is, character to a large extent is the product of our past experiences.

Now my turn to be old is fast approaching. I wonder how youngsters I meet and greet will be remembering me many years hence. I would be greatly satisfied if they found me someone who embodied trust and somehow communicated the importance and priceless value of it. I once had a motto for this: He put the “T” back in Trust.

Print Page