LIFE RELIGION FAMILY

a place to come and discuss in peace, things of religion, life, and families

SLIPPERY SLOPES, NO, NOT SKI SLOPES

Posted by tawodi on June 30, 2007


Well,  to start this post,  I should tell you,  I’m the father of four and the grand dad to four more, not especially remarkable in any way.

EXCEPT,  that I was and am,a pain,  in , the, butt,  for my grown up kids and my twelve  year old about one thing. As the older ones were being raised I had one thing,  this one thing,  there there was no negotiation on, no discussion allowed, and no repreive from.  It was the hardest lesson for them to learn,  especially in this age of moral relativism. I got told more than you would believe that everybody does it,  it was acceptable to do so,  and down right foolhardy to maintain my position as no one,  not even me,  could live up to it!!!

My father was, shall  we say,  not much in the performance department as fathers go, but he had a gazillion cliche’s that he used to throw around as pearls of wisdom for us kids.  My grandfather was from Germany and had an almost oriental way of seeing things and was also prone to doing the same thing.

Of all the sayings that stuck in my mind and there are quite a few this one is the one that has had the most effect on me in my life.  To ride,  shoot straight  and tell the truth.  It has also brought me more heartache and pain than anything I have lived in my life. At the same time it has been the one thing that has brought me the most comfort,  on a personal level, down deep,  where you never let anyone else go,  much less see.

It has been said that you never have to ask yourself “What did Bruce mean when he said that?”  What ever “that” was.  I have always and I mean always spoken the truth. Through out my life I,  and if you’re honest,you too, have watched almost everyone  we  know create a legend about themselves that they then try to live and woe to you if you cast doubt on it,( the legend)  Now I’m not talking about a little harmless embellishment of a family story or the old tale about uncle Joe, Bill or Fred, you know,  the family drunk at thanksgiving, falling asleep in the punch bowl or whatever,  we all have them ,  but  the  guy or gal at work who ALWAYS has a story that is just a little bit better than yours,  a little bit wilder, or a little bit more ribald , or a little bit bigger show of bravery, humor,   daring,  or  bravado,  you know the ones I’m talking about,  we all know them.  One of the things I have noticed is that when I tell a story of someone I knew or know who has done something really silly or stupid or brave and daring and I tell the story with the person’s name in the right places instead of mine,  some people look at me a little funny and then accept it as true,  because it is not an example of one upmanship that we so commonly see.  It took me a lot of years to recognise just what was going on, because I would notice the funny look and almost wouldn’t finish the story,but then got a warmer reception when it was told. Weird,  people like the truth,  but so seldom  speak it,  when it seemingly doesn’t matter.

IT ALWAYS MATTERS!!  It is in those times when you think nobodies paying attention that you try and slip one by, and guess what, you have given up a little credibility,  just a little niggling some thing,  that will always make people from then on ask themselves,  “is  this true?”  Now be truthfull,  am I right??  Of course I am  and you know it. It may not be the first story or the second but sooner or later the question will be asked and then for ever you will be held in doubt about whatever you speak of. Do you know why???  It’s because if you lie about the stuff that doesn’t mean a damned thing, what else will you lie about when the chips are down and it’s time to put it on the line for the whole magillah!!

This has been the hardest lesson to teach my kids. You have nothing that means anything but your  WORD. there is nothing you can give anyone, that sombody else can’t give them.  Go ahead try and think of  something .      Money ?  hell, almost everybody has more money than me.  Jewels, cars, houses, travel, clothes,  parties,  noteriety,  fame, stature,  anything????  No matter who you are, or what you may have accomplished,  there is nothing but your word,  which is the true,  YOU,  that you can give to anyone,   NOTHING, that someone else can’t give them.

Yesterday I came home from taking my wife to work in the morning and was informed by my twelve year old that she had just set up a page on one of the internet sites that she had tried the day before to do but they have a rule,   nobody below the age of 14 is allowed to open an account with them.  HHmmmmmmm,  How did you do that I asked, knowing full well what the answer was. “Well,  I gave them 1992 as my birth year,”was her answer.  Now I would explain that lying has always been a” glow in the dark butt” offense in my home, no right of appeal, no excuses, you get a” glow in the dark butt”.  As many of you may also know,  12 is a little old for spankings………Now  what???  As I popped a couple of waffles in the toaster I asked her,”how does it feel to lose your  integrity, over something that is absolutely meaningless, for all time?? ”  Her look of shock was priceless,  and it was damned hard not to fall on the floor on my knees in thanks to the BIG GUY for  that look.  It was exactly what I had hoped to see.  You must understand the older kids had mysteriously, all at the age of about eight and a half,  lied for the last time, about the very same thing. It was uncanny and kind of funny as I have thought about it over the years.  I,  or their mother,  had given them  some money to go to the store to get bread or whatever and  in a day or so remembered the change, and with out exception they all asked “What change ??”  You know the change that you’ve been buying candy with for the last two or three days??   OH!!  THAT  CHANGE!!    whacka,  whacka ,whacka,   last lie from any of the three, as I said funny,  in retrospect.

Now of course the twelve year old has heard that story many times in her young life and being smart,  has never lied after the age of three and a half ( the infamous cookie incident)  is how we refer to it around here. After about a half hour of earnest talking we agreed that what she did was stupid as she didn’t even recognise it as a lie,  per se’ and I understood that from the git go. But there was still the issue of what to do about it,  as she really wanted that page because my grand daughters and my older kids all had pages on that platform. Sooooo, we called her older sister and found that there are all kinds of blocks that can be put on the page to severely limit the entries to only those with prior approval to post or even read what’s there. Which is what we did,  and we,  I expect will live happily ever after………till next time.

NOW,  why did I put this story here for you all to read?  Well look around you, to ride  shoot straight and tell the truth,  is the title of a book by Jeff Cooper a sportsman,  former border patrol agent and officianado of the shooting sports,  of great renown.  Long before I bought his book I,  as I said,  had been hearing that phrase, and understood exactly what it meant.

In the Middle ages the royal families of the near and far east used to send their sons away  to learn these three vastly important skills,  when they returned home to learn to rule, it was thought and proved to be true,  that by knowing these things in their bones at the age of eighteen,  the rest could be taught and was,  in about six months to a year.

Coming from a broken home and with all the things in my and my siblings childhood that we endured,  this single thing personal integrity,  is the only thing that has never failed me, or my children. Would they make mistakes?  You betcha, as they say in yooper country. But as I taught them. If you get in trouble and lie,  I can’t help you and you can’t help yourself, as you,  or I,  won’t know where to start,  or even if help is necessary. An  incredibly important lesson in life. Lying is incredibly insulting to people as well,  the feeling is “did you think I was so dismally stupid as to believe that or, even worse that they did and now feel that stupid,  what an insult to your friends.

Don’t give me the example of the wife coming to you with some rediculous looking article of clothing that she obviously likes but makes her look like a doofus, the thing to do is,  think,  and reccomend a flattering blouse, belt or alternate color, that would be more flattering to her figure,  or coloring,  than letting her see herself in a mirror after the new has worn off and asking you,  why didn’t you tell her she looked rediculous!!!   And if you don’t believe a single thing I’ve said,  believe that, it WILL happen!!

The other BIG thing to consider in truthfulness,  is fidelity,  and it goes right back to where we started,  what do you have to give your wife or husband that no one…..NOBODY…on this Gods green earth can give them???    YOU !!   Are you finally getting it,  just how important truth is???

This isn’t quite scriptural ,  but it’s close,  those things that take us away from the truth,  will cause the love of many to grow cold.

Be well all,  and have a happy and safe,  fourth of July…………….Rev.      Bruce……………………………………….Tawodi

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