My mother told me at a young age after one of my rants about not getting something that I thought that I was entitled to, “life isn’t fair and you’d better get used to it”. On page eleven of my book, I speak about how my daddy never let us use the race card as justification for poor performance. I never once heard him use the “N” word and he was born in 1916, he would be 100 if he were still living. Fast-forward about 90 years when I was in the Adult Rehabilitation Center, and I thought I was being treated unfairly at the center, the Chaplain simply said to me, “just prove them wrong”. Today as some Americans pull at each other like kids playing tug-of-war on a sandy playground, I reflect on these formidable and teaching moments in my life and realize that simple is succinct. There is little margin for error, like flicking on the lights, it’s either “up” or if your brother-in-law installed it “down” to illuminate the room. I think it’s time for many of us to “just prove them wrong” because guess what, “life isn’t fair”, and if you’re waiting on sympathy because of your color, religion, sex or fill in the blank; keep waiting!
Yesterday, I read a post on Facebook about an anchorwoman saying that she was tired of reporting the news because she was fed up of “N-word” killing themselves. A courageous follower, going against the flow like walking up an escalator backwards in banana skin covered shoes, had the gumption to reply that he was tired of it too! Hallelujah!  I concur with his sentiments. There were more instances, just yesterday, of how readers were aghast of what some people say or do. That’s nothing new under the sun. The only thing that seems to be new to me is that everyone is in on the act. These conversations, on both sides of the coin, are the topic of conversation for some in every major corporation, city hall, courthouse, and teachers’ lounge, every day in America. There is something wrong when there are more people attending memorial services for a sense-less killing with numerous witnesses that are too heartless to come forward to tell what they saw to take a coward who kills women and children off of our streets; to burn candles, wear T-shirts, and release balloons into the air, than it is at PTA meetings, church socials, or neighborhood watch meetings. It’s like we know the cage is loaded with bait, but we enter anyway to get the prize only to be caught up and then complain because you can’t get out. When I was “out there” the person to blame my ills on was with me 24/7/365. Pity parties always have the same miserable guests; they show up late, never bring anything, are the first to criticize, and always want to leave with something wrapped in foil. Even in a raging forest fire, if the fire doesn’t have fuel (wood) it can be contained and eventually put out. If we keep giving our naysayers fuel, the fire continues to burn and gets hotter and hotter. So, folks let’s not try to fix the cart just yet, it is the horse that we need to work on. If we have all of our ducks in a row, when the prejudiced posts, tainted tweets, or sharp shares, come along, they will fall off of us like water off of a duck’s back. If you stand around looking for excuses like a child who forgot his homework, life’s going to pass you by. Another one of my mom’s little gems.

Showing 6 comments


  • Carla Cotton

    Richard, I have not had the opportunity of purchasing your book as I anticipate an inspiring and uplifting read (from the title alone). I CONGRAULATE you! As we continue to mature on this journey, I’m reminded “It”s not how you start, but how you FINISH.” Thank you Mr. Preston!

  • Vonda Harmon

    Thanks for sharing real talk!

  • Patricia

    Thank you for speaking the truths that so many need to hear…….peace my friend

  • Bruce Markert

    Richard – Pam brought my attention to you. It’s been a while since the Bendix days but I remember you vividly. God bless you.

    • serenitygranted

      Thanks for visiting my website. It is only by God’s grace and mercy that I am able to tell my story. I am now 11 years sober and my ministry is to help others who are suffering and to try to put this deadly disease, to those who are affected by our insanity, in perspective.

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