We’re living in difficult days. My mind is racing with many thoughts about what we have endured so far this year. My thoughts involve Mama, my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, an Atlanta film director, finding joy, and how proud I am of Rome. I hope to encourage and inspire you by sharing these thoughts with you.
Joy can be found in many things
My columns are nostalgic. I enjoy reminding readers of people and places of Rome. I encourage readers to look for joy because joy can be found in many things. An outdoor concert and picnic dinner with friends from high school ... hiking in the fall up Clock Tower Hill to see the red maples and glorious yellow ginkgo leaves ... a costume party with the grandchildren ... getting a DQ Blizzard and riding around Rome looking at Christmas lights, and the live Nativity at Trinity United Methodist ... and riding my bike are all things which give me joy. A life well lived, filled with joy, certainly is wonderful.
Our nation is losing its joy
We are living in difficult days. It only stands to reason that our nation is losing its joy. How can our nation find joy during a time when there is so much violence? You’ve heard the stories and there are way too many of them. An innocent man is shot and, instead of intervening, somebody made a video of the murder. Moments later, a racial slur is hurled at the victim. Will Smith was recently interviewed. When asked what he thinks about racism in America, he said, “Racism is not getting worse, it’s getting filmed.” Indeed. We see more of it. We know about it more often.
What would Mama say?
Mama always had an encouraging word for everybody. During a difficult time, Mama would often say, “This too shall pass.” At other times she’d say, “Look up! Things will get better.” However, if Mama had lived to see these difficult days we’re in, I am sure she’d be very saddened by it all. Mama would be praying for the African-American community, those who are hurting, and for those who have lost loved ones to violence — and she would have a kind word for everybody.
I am very proud of Rome
Kind, thoughtful people orchestrated a peaceful integration of Rome City Schools. The recent protests in Rome were peaceful. I understand the police, of course, were there, but they were in the background. Everybody at the protest handled themselves in a calm, reasonable manner. There will be a rally Saturday, June 20, from 7 to 8 p.m. on the Town Green, in front of the Forum. A prayer rally. This is a call to Rome to pray for our nation. What a great idea that is. I remain very proud of Rome.
Parents who lead by example
My daughter and son-in-law are parents who lead by example. Last week, as a family, they participated in a solidarity march in Clarkston. It was a well organized, peaceful event. My grandchildren, ages 5 and 3, observed people carrying signs and peacefully protesting. We can never go wrong teaching our children, by example, what it means to speak up for others — who oftentimes do not have a voice.
An Atlanta filmmaker gets it righ
Kimberly L. Jones is an author and film director from Atlanta. Go to Facebook, do a search for “David Jones Media” and look at the list of videos. The video from which I am going to quote is “How Can We Win?” In that video, Jones makes several excellent points.
Monopoly. Turn it all over
Jones says to imagine playing 400 rounds of Monopoly with somebody who does not allow you to have any money or anything on the board. In another example, you play 50 rounds of Monopoly and everything you gained while playing was taken from you. You have to play on behalf of the person you play with, earn wealth for them, and turn it all over to them.
Jones says this has been the African-American experience in America for over 100 years and is precisely what gives rise to their rage. This is why they burn everything down. She says they burn it all down because they do not own anything.
I hope I have given you some things to think about. The perspective of an Atlanta film director. The good example my daughter and son-in-law set for my grandchildren. Mama’s encouraging words. Those are all things on which I can continue to reflect and write about.
A life well lived, filled with joy is marvelous and I am optimistic our nation can find its joy. We can build relationships, ask the tough questions, listen when people answer and follow Mama’s example of always having an encouraging word for everybody. You can never go wrong with that.