The Brother’s Keeper #30
“One trouble with trouble is that it usually starts out like fun.”
I trust that you are doing well. I hope that you have decided not to make any of the life-altering mistakes that I have made and thus avoid the troubles that I have experienced.
I am sure I surprised and nearly broke my mother’s heart many times as a teenager, but there were two instances in particular, when I am sure I broke her heart. I have already told you about one situation and that was when a young woman and I made the awful mistake of aborting our baby. What I didn’t tell you was that, for some strange reason, my mother went into my little gray safe that I kept under my bed in my bedroom, and she found the receipt from the doctor’s office. She was livid. She was speechless. She was so hurt she could not even bring herself to punish me for what I had done. I knew then that I had hurt her deeply.
Another time that I really hurt my mother (and this relates to the point of running with the wrong crowd and not thinking for myself), was when my boys and I took my mother’s car to go steal some beer, run some women, and party. Well, everything would have been fine if I had not run the car into the front of the store building in an attempt to get away from the store manager and the police. I guess I was so nervous I put the car into drive instead of reverse when we were trying to make our get-away. I crashed into one of the pillars in the front of the building nearly bringing down one side of the canopy. Although we escaped and went on with our partying, in the back of my mind, I was figuring out how I was going to explain to my mother the huge dent in her new Granada. (Back then, the Granada was the black man’s Mercedes.)
Well, the gang and I came up with a plan: we would get a rubber hammer and beat the dent out while she was at work at the telephone company in New Bern, N.C. The fellows and I got together, decided to skip school that day, and we went to my mother’s job with the rubber hammer, where we started beating the dent out of the Granada. It was around 10:00 a.m., and it just so happened to be my mother’s break-time. She was passing by the only window in the building when she saw us beating on her new Granada. I believe my mother was more hurt than angry. But she was enough of both to kill me if she could have gotten away with murder. My mother actually came to my bedroom that night and told me if I didn’t straighten up I was going to a reformatory school. Her tone of voice left no doubt in my mind that she was very serious. I didn’t know what a reformatory school was, but I knew I didn’t want to go there.
This was just another instance when I should have avoided trying to be cool and running with the gang, but instead should have followed my own mind.
The lesson for you, young black man, is this:
1. Think for yourself and lead others in the right way. Never be a follower, and never condone or be an accomplice to wrongdoing. Matthew 7:13 says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.”
2. Don’t think that running with the wrong crowd is cool. Remember Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seemeth right to a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
3. Honour your parents so much so that you won’t do negative things that would cause them shame, embarrassment, heartache, and loss. Proverbs 1:8 says, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.”
While you are young, understand that it is cool to stay in school and learn; it is cool to run with positive people who are learning and growing; and it is cool to think for yourself.
Yours for Avoiding Further Trouble,
P.T.: (Power Thoughts)
Someone once said, “Don’t think you’re on the right road just because it’s a well-beaten path.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Winston Churchill said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”