A Legacy

23 Jun

Legacy.  Something handed down from an ancestor to another.  It could be property.  It could be knowledge.  It could be the very thing I write about tonight.

Something happened to me today.  I want to write about it, NOT to toot my own horn, but to give thanks for my mother and father.  Because what happened today was a direct result of their LEGACY to me.  A legacy I have attempted to pass on to my children and hope they will pass on to theirs.

Don’t get your hopes up:  This is probably an insignificant event.  Barely worth reading.  You might want to Facebook and see what people are writing about the Confederate Flag or whatever the hot topic is now.

This afternoon I went to a grocery store after my workout.  There I stood in line with a handful of items.  There were many folks in front of me at the self-checkouts, so I stood.  And waited.  Knowing that I am much quicker than most of them at logging in, scanning my stuff, paying, and exchanging a pleasantry with the attending employee as I take my bags and venture back out into the intense heat.  There was an older lady in front of me and she was hurrying as best she could.  She lifted her debit card to swipe for payment and she dropped it.  And it found its way FAR, FAR to the back of the equipment on the floor.  She looked like she could’ve cried.

I knew what to do.  Why?  Because I was taught to be a gentleman.  A Southern gentleman.  Taught by both my mother and father, from a young age.  When someone needs help, you go out of your way to help.  PERIOD.  She looked at the card and looked back at me with a bewildered look.  I was already putting my stuff on the floor.  She started to bend down and I said “No, ma’am.”  I had to get on all fours and crawl up under the machine.  I grabbed the card with my left hand (you know, the one that will not straighten out yet God has seen fit to help me recover and be able to use it to do all sorts of good stuff).  I handed it to her and she thanked me. Her smile was all the payment I needed.

I really thought nothing of that entire incident until about five hours later.  Then I hit me:  I am that Southern gentleman because I had a mother and father who cared enough about who I would become to teach me to do things like that.  To hold a door for a stranger.  To help someone who needed it without having to be asked.  To do the right thing.  Regardless of race, social status, or any other factor that our world would say separates us.  I am a product of two parents from the South who made sure I obeyed the Golden Rule:  To do unto others as I would like for them to do unto me.  To treat others better than I treat myself.  To love with God’s kind of love.  With the kind of love Jesus showed us when He stretched out His arms and allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross.

So, as you can see, I am not bragging on myself.  I merely did the right thing.  The very thing I was taught to do by Don and Janet Wike.  If I am bragging on anyone, it is them.  And they wouldn’t like it one bit!

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