Of Common Sense – Volume VII

The Words and Wisdom of Keith Lionel Brown

In the early morning of our lives, our school is our home, the students in the classroom are our siblings, and our teachers are our parents and grandparents. In the afternoon of our lives, our school is a building outside the home, the students in the classroom become our friends and confidants, and our teachers are those who have themselves studied and prepared to impart knowledge to us that we will use as we continue on our journey through life. In the evening of our lives, we continue learning in the school of life with the world being our classroom, and life itself being our teacher.

Each new day of life is an opportunity for us to learn some new and interesting things. The wise man gleans as much as he can from his life experiences and with his new found knowledge and wisdom is able to chart and navigate his course in life. With all of his learning, he also learns that some obstacles in life can be overcome by using a little common sense.

What you are about to read are some of the gleanings from my personal life experiences and the lessons that those experiences have taught me to help me chart and navigate my course. I believe that many of these thoughts are merely common sense.

In my humble estimation, and not in the least means to offend my brothers and sisters, but I believe that it is time that we who proclaim to be Christians – followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, need to start taking a more firm stand as to what we believe. We cannot continue sleeping with the enemy – shaking hands with the devil – compromising our beliefs, morals, and standards at every turn. For far too long, there have been too many “Christians” who have found comfort and solace in straddling the fence about where they stand on certain issues. We NEED, We MUST, take a stand for TRUTH and RIGHT, and after we have done all that we can possibly do, we need to continue to STAND. We are either for Christ, our Savior, or we are against Him. We either believe the things that we say, teach, and preach, or WE DO NOT!! THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND. Compromise is not a practical option. We are either on the Lord’s side, or we are on the side of the adversary. We need to make the choice TODAY, for tomorrow may well be too late. We either echo the sentiments of Pilate in that very moment in history when he exclaimed “I find no fault in Him!” or else we find ourselves numbered among the jeering crowd that exclaimed “Crucify Him!!” Who is on the Lord’s side? Who?

Isn’t it simply amazing that often the ones who claim that they have nothing to say concerning a matter are usually the ones that seem to have the most to say even if what they say has absolutely nothing to do with what has already been said?

At 54 years young I will never comprehend the need for placing labels upon a race of people. In my short lifetime I have been referred to as the infamous “N” word, Colored, Negro, Black, African American, and a person of color. Along with that I have been referred to by some off color, hurtful, and shameful names that don’t bear repeating. Why is it that people feel a need to label any man in such a manner? Why can’t I just be referred to as an American, or even more importantly, as a child of Almighty God? After all, it is not the labels that adequately describe a man, it is the character of a man that is the true test of who he really is.

I will forever be grateful that my parents did not raise me in a black and white world, but a world full of color and diversity. I am glad that they taught me from an early age that no one person is better than another, but we are all different in our own way, and that is what makes each of us uniquely wonderful and special. I will always be thankful that they taught me to never let cultural differences cause a great chasm, but to use those differences as a reason to bond together and to learn from one another to help build bridges of love, hope, peace, and understanding. I am grateful that they taught me that I should never judge any man by what I see with my physical eyes, but by the content of his character. They taught me that I should try walking a mile in another man’s shoes, and seeing the world through his eyes, and then I might better understand him. I am especially grateful that they taught me that we are all God’s children and that He is no respecter of persons. He loves all of us equally and unconditionally.

Should a man openly display his emotions?

I personally believe that one of the most foolish and damaging things that a father can tell his son is that men are not supposed to openly show their emotions under any circumstances. They say that as if doing so makes a man somewhat less of a man. And so, I believe that there are a lot of boys and men who walk around with a lot of pent up frustration and hurt inside simply to protect their ego or macho image in an effort to live up to what their fathers told them. For some who do show their emotions openly, there always seems to be some sort of embarrassment and shame associated with it, and they always feel that they need to apologize for their behavior.

My personal feelings on the matter is that even though a person may be a boy or a man, they are still a human being with feelings and emotions. I will boldly tell any boy or man to never be ashamed to show how you feel, and never apologize to anyone for openly showing those feelings. For a man to openly show his emotions does not in any way detract from him being a real man, but actually, in my humble opinion, shows how much of a real man he truly is. If anyone needs to apologize for anything, it should be those who are so unloving and so uncaring to expect the boy or man to hold all of their feelings and emotions on the inside.

Personally, if I am happy, I smile and laugh. But, if I am sad, upset, or hurt, I cry. I will not today, tomorrow, or at any other time be made to feel ashamed, or made to feel that I am any less of a man for doing so. Furthermore, I do not feel that I owe anyone an apology for openly showing my emotions, nor will I ever offer such an apology.

As a single man, and the son of a father, I would like to be so bold as to send out a message to “fathers” everywhere. I would like to go on record as being one to set the record straight that just because a male is biologically able to play a part in the creation of a new life, that does not constitute him being a “father.” Being a true father is more than having the title of “father.” The title of “father” is not a God given right, it is a title that is earned. Being a father means more than seeing a new life come into the world, and then going happily on your way to do what you want to do, when you want to do it. The major part of being a father is BEING THERE. A true father needs to be there to do his part part in taking care of and raising his child, and helping to guide that child’s footsteps on the path that he should go. A true father sets the proper example to help his child to mature into a well behaved, respectable and responsible adult that will be a viable contribution, versus a menace, to the society in which they live. A true father knows what he believes, and stands firm in those beliefs. A true father is a man of courage, a man of discipline, a man of principle, a man of moral fortitude.

When it comes to the matter of tithing, it seems that much of the Christian world view tithing as a monetary issue. Yes, the Lord does require us to give back a portion of that which we take in, namely ten percent of our gross income, but what about those who are not able to give dollars and cents as their offfering? Are they to be denied the blessings of Heaven? I say nay. The Lord has blessed each of us with 24 hours in a day, and so we can tithe a percentage of our time to be of service to others. The Lord has blessed each of us with a certain measure of talent and abilities. Certainly we ought to be willing to use those talents and abilities to bring glory to His name. There are many things that we can do to bless the lives of others. The Christian life is not all about us rceiving the blessings, but rather being a blessing to others. The Lord is not so much interested in the quanity of our tithing whether it be monetary or via other means, but rather He is interested in the quality of our tithing. If what we give is not given from the heart than it is really all for naught, for the Lord judges the intents of the heart. Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive, and it is when we are willing to tithe of our income, time, talents and abilities, and do so from our hearts, that the windows of Heaven are opened and blessings are bestowed upon us.

The Power of Our Words

There is a lot of power in th words that we use in our everyday communications. Words are likened to a double-edged sword in that they can be complimentary in one sense, and demeaning and degrading in another. Therefore, a person must exercise caution in the formulation of his thoughts which eventually become the words that he vocalizes.

For example, if you use the right words, and use the right tone and inflection in the articulation of your elocution, you can communicate to a man that he is nonsensical, and because of his lack of comprehension of what has just been suggested to him, he may just compliment you on the eloquence of your diction.

On the other hand, with the use of the right words a person can become a virtual Picasso as his words become his paintbrush, filling his canvas with vibrant colors, thus allowing him to transpose something that is bleak and dismal into something that is beautiful and auspicious.

Words can be used to fortify and to edify, or they can be used to weaken and to cofuse which can ultimately cause a debacle.

The Value of Our Time

Time is a precious commodity. Whether we are married, single, widowed, divorced, or single parents, there are things in all of our lives that can put great demands on our time. No single station in life dictates that one person is any more busier than another. By the same token, just because a person’s station in life is not comparable to that of another, it does not suggest that that person just sits idle with nothing to do; neither does it offer up his time for others to take for granted and consume because they assume that he has nothing else to do.

Each of us has a life to live, and in the course of that life there are things that continuously vie for our time. Regardless of our station in life, our life circumstances often dictate how our time gets divided in any given day. It is not for any of us to make the decision that what a person is doing or has to do is of any less importance than anything that we are doing or have to do. In fact, it is selfish on our part to want to take up a large portion of a person’s time without taking into consideration that that person may already be involved in something else or has something that he needs to get done.

As with all things in life, having respect for others is an amiable quality to possess. Each of us are given 24 hours in a day to accomplish the tasks at hand. There are some days when the load that we carry will be light, and there are other days when we feel pressed and heavy burdened to get everything done that needs to be done. And so, regardless of our station in life, each of us finds that our time is valuable. Therefore, if we want people to respect our time, we need to reciprocate by having respect for their time.

The Blessedness of Womanhood

I would just like to say a few words about my deep abiding respect for womanhood. In particular, I would like to say a few words on behalf of all the mothers in the world. I have often said, and I will say it again, if you want to know the true heartbeat of a home, take time to get to know the mother or the matriarchal figure of that home. As a man, I boldly testify that it is the mother, not the father, that is the true heartbeat of any home. It is the mother that sets the tone, if you will, for the home. I know of a surety, that after my dear mother passed in 1997, the entire atmosphere of our home changed. Things definitely were not the same as they once were. In fact, things seemed a bit out of sorts. That same welcoming, loving spirit in the home that once resided there, seemed to had disappeared. There was just something special about my dear mother, that her very presence in the home, made it seem like a little bit of heaven on earth. I am quite sure that there are many who feel the same way about their mother. Thank God for mothers!

To the young people of the world may I offer this wise counsel, LOVE YOUR MOTHER! Young people of the world, LOVE YOUR MOTHER!! Honor her, Respect her, Obey her. She is a mortal just as you, and she is prone to make mistakes, just like you, but still, she is deserving of your love, your honor, and your respect. She is never to be used as the subject of jokes or derogatory comments. In my almost 54 years of life, I have never found one dear mother who was deserving of being the subject of anyone’s, especially her own children’s, cruel, demeaning, and degrading jokes and comments. What I have found is that they are all deserving of LOVE, HONOR, and RESPECT. Young people, if you have friends that come to your home that refuse to respect your mother, then perhaps it is time for you to grow up, and wise up, and choose better friends. Friends come, and friends go, but a dear, loving mother, will stick by her child to the bitter end, even to go so far, when she knows without a doubt that her child is guilty of a serious wrong against society and is deserving of due justice, to stand beside the child that she loves pleading and begging for mercy for that child. Young people of the world, LOVE YOUR MOTHER! And in that same vein, I say to all the husbands and fathers, LOVE YOUR WIFE!! The greatest example of love that you can show your children is to show them that you love their mother.

Thank God for all the women of the world. It is often the women who have to keep the men in line and on track. More times than not, in an hour of need, it is the women who are the first on the scene to arrest the situation. In some respects, whether the macho men of the world want to admit it or not, if it were not for the women of the world, this world might well be in worse shape than it is in at this hour. Men are often “thinkers” and procrastinators, women see that there is something to be done and get it done. Oftentimes, while men are planning their next strategy, women have already found a resolution to the issue. I say again, thank God for mothers! Thank God for the women of the world!

When we take another for granted, we are in essence saying to that person that they don’t matter – they are of little or no significance – they mean absolutely nothing to us. The message that we convey to that person is that he or she is merely someone that we use as our proverbial door mat to wipe our feet on or step stool to get to the heights that we desire to reach. Those whom we take for granted are reduced to becoming things that we use, and not people that we should love. More times than not, as long as the person that we take for granted continuously fulfills our wants and our desires, they are found within our good graces. However, the moment that he or she decides that they are no longer going to allow others to use them, the tables turn 360 degrees, and often fault is found with, and blame is placed upon that person, when in reality the fault and the blame was ours all along.

On Behalf of the Single Adults of the World

I arose this morning with the strong impression to speak for just a few moments on behalf of single adults, of which I am one. Some of which I will say may aggravate or even irritate some people, and so at the offset, I humbly apologize if I offend anyone’s sensitivities. However, I strongly feel that someone needs to take a stand and speak up and dispel some of the myths that some people seem to believe concerning single adults.

I will begin by speaking about the family. Just because there are those of us who are single, it does not follow that we do not have a family. In fact, each of us is the product of a family – we are the sons and daughters of mothers and fathers, and unless we are the only child in the family, we are also the brothers and/or sisters of a sibling and/or siblings. Just like those who are married, there are many of us who are single, who have great demands placed on our time by our families. Just as those who are married, there are times when we as singles are called upon to put aside other things and give our families our full, undivided attention. And we should not be looked down upon or frowned upon, or treated as being selfish and indifferent for making our families our top priority, simply because someone else thinks that there are more important things that we should give our attention to. May I go on record as stating emphatically; that our families are just as important to us as singles, as everyone else feels their family is to them.

With that being said, I would like to dispel the myth that those who are married and perhaps have families of their own, are far more busy that any single adult could ever imagine. First of all, I believe that before a person makes such a rash statement, he really needs to walk a mile in the moccasins of many single adults. May I also say, that oftentimes statements such as that are often made because there are some people who have long since forgotten what it was like to live the life of a single adult.

To set the record straight if I may, we as single adults are just as busy, and in some cases, even busier than some who are married and have families of their own. May I also point out the often forgotten and overlooked fact, that there are many single adults who are single moms and single fathers who are doing the best they can to take care of their families. Furthermore, there are many singles who work two (and I personally know some who are working three) jobs in order to make ends meet. Therefore, as singles we are putting just as many hours into the day as anyone else. Our schedules are also full and demanding with all of the things that we need to accomplish in a day’s time. I would like to dispel the myth that as singles we somehow magically have an overabundance of free time. I can almost guarantee you that a majority of singles can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. We do not have as much free time as some people seem to think that we have.

Whereas those who are married are often blessed to have the help in their home from father, mother, and children to get things done, we as single adults carry the burden of completing daily tasks – more times than not, all alone. We have to clean our houses, do the grocery shopping, pay the bills, run the errands, and work at our jobs, the same as everyone else. Some singles as I have mentioned also have the added responsibility of raising and nurturing children. At the end of our day we are just as tired and exhausted as anyone else. Therefore, please forgive our trespasses if we should want to sometime have a little “me” time to do some of the things that we enjoy doing, or to lay on our couches with our feet propped up and enjoy a movie or a sports game on television, or even, dare I say, close our eyes and get a little rest. Please forgive us for being so selfish to even think that we are deserving of such “luxury” in life.

May I also set the record straight that just because we are single, we are not everyone’s pack mules or beasts of burden. Just because we are single does not constitute that we should always be the ones to have to burden the “lion share” of the load. Our wagons should not always be the ones that are weighed down because others feel that they can lighten their load by making our load heavier. We as single adults also need someone to help lighten the load that we carry at times.

With that being said, may I conclude and emphatically state that we, as single adults, are first of all, human beings. If we cut ourselves, we bleed. If we are upset, we cry. We are prone to get irritated, frustrated, aggravated, and angry at times. We have the same feelings, the same emotions as everyone else. Life in general, at times, is no fairer to us as single adults than it is to anyone else. We face trials and temptations. We sometimes carry heavy burdens. We face the same fears and challenges that many others face in life, with the big difference being, that as single adults we oftentimes face all of our fears and challenges – alone.

Defender of Truth

Be it known unequivocally that I am a defender of truth – that is who I am, that is who I hope to be when this life’s journey has come to an end. I dare not sit comfortably in my easy chair with my legs crossed, or lay sound asleep on my flowery bed of ease as wrong continues to prevail in the world around me. With all my heart and soul, that is not what I believe my Father in Heaven has called me to do, but rather He has called me to be a clarion voice of warning to all that I come in contact with, be they friend, family, and yes, even my foes. For that I will never make any apologies, at any time, to any person, for any reason.

The bottom line is simply this: Truth is truth and will prevail regardless of who believes it, who accepts it, or even who rejects it. Truth stands on its own merits. It does not necessarily depend on the auspicious support of any one person or any particular group of people to be declared as truth.We all have choices to make in life – whether we will choose right or wrong – whether we will be defenders of truth, or avid supporters of malicious falsities, malice, discontent, and disharmony in the world. As for me, I pray that God will grant me continual wisdom and discernment as I endeavor to endure to the end, and even to my dying breath, to always be one voice, even if perhaps at times one lone voice, which will always be found proclaiming truth to those who will listen, and especially to those who reject its message.

Tear Down These Walls

It saddens me that in the year 2012 there are still people who live in a world that in their mind will forever be partisan – that is, there is a proverbial wall that has been erected. On one side of that wall lives their own race whom they believe in all their finite wisdom is the superior race and should always be in control. On the other side of that wall lives all of those whom they deem to be inferior and subservient. Sadly, and yes, there are some even in my own family line, who detest the very thought of people of various races living in harmony with one another and having any type of relationship. It does not matter if that relationship is a casual friendship, a business partnership, or, dare I be so bold to even mention, a marital relationship.

Yes, there was a time in our history when that way of thinking was prevalent and often dictated a person’s “place” in society. However, over time, there have been many people of all different races and nationalities who have fought to diispel partisanism by working side by side to construct bridges of hope and unity for the human race. These visionary builders realized that one particular race of people is not superior to another, and in their mind’s eye they could see the day when all mankind would come to the knowledge and understanding that no one person or group of persons is better than, or superior to another, regardless of ethnicity, social status, or station in life.

No, we are not better than or superior to one another, but we are uniquely different, for that is the way that the Master designed us. We should not allow those differences to incessantly drive a wedge between us, but rather, those differences should become the adhesive that binds us as brothers and sisters who are able to stand together, and reason together on common ground, and to sit down together at the welcome table of brotherhood in the bonds of love and understanding. It is those differences that should cause us to want to tear down the wall, and not continually want to add more bricks and mortar to fortify it, for we must come to the realization that we are all in this together, and we need one another. As the old adage states, “Together we stand. Divided we fall!”

When it comes to matters of religion, we should not allow the behavior of some to dictate the validity of the religion as a whole. A few bad apples should be deemed the minority, and not the voice for the majority. Thus, we must look beyond the behaviors and misdeeds of the few, and join our hearts with the many who strive to live what they teach and preach – those who strive to walk their talk.

On the matter of beliefs, if a person claims to be religious or a member of a particular religious sect, then he ought to live by the tenets of his religion, and set the proper example before others. Either what his religion teaches is true or it is not. Either he believes in the practices of his religion or he does not. There can be no riding of the fence – there is no middle ground. Believing or acting religious or pous only when in agreement with something, or when things are favorable, can be viewed as both hypocritical and sacrilegious.

The TRUE Master of My Destiny

I am not in this world to live up to the full expectations of others, therefore I refuse to allow anyone to dictate to me what I should or should not be doing with the life that I have been given. Anyone is free to make suggestions and offer constructive and thoughtful criticism, but no one is the master of my destiny. I serve only one TRUE Master, and it is He who wrote the beginning chapters of my life, and it is He who knows what the final chapters will say.

I have found in my young 54 years of life that oftentimes others raise the bar higher and impose stricter standards for others than for themselves, and when people do not measure up to their predetermined expectations, they are found quick to ridicule and judge those people, and in some instances label them as failures or as being a nobody.

I am not a nobody, nor am I a failure, nor will I ever accept being labeled as a nobody or failure by someone else. In my Heavenly Father’s eyes I am somebody. I am one of His children. And if I become a failure on this pilgrim journey, it will not be because others have deemed it so, but rather because I have failed myself.

I am not here to strive to win the praises and accolades of men for that is not my objective. My objective is to live my life as pleasing unto the Father, and if I do as He commands and endure to the end, I will have truly succeeded in this life, regardless of what the world thinks or believes. My ultimate objective is to hear Him one day say, “Well done good and faithful servant!” There are no earthly rewards that man could ever bestow upon me that will ever compare to the eternal rewards that will be mine when I return home and meet the Master face to face.

Being a true Christian, a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, goes far beyond the passivity in our lives. Being a true Christian is centered around our activity and involvement in helping to build up the Kingdom of God on earth. Simply putting a proverbial check mark in the box each week because one shows up for Church on Sunday is not sufficient. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a Gospel of action. The Lord expects His children to be busy about their Father in Heaven’s business. The Gospel is not all about you, or all about me, it is, however, all about serving others. The Savior’s entire ministry was not self-centered, but rather it was people-centered. He came to be a servant, not to sit and wait to be served. Let us not be so overly concerned about what we think other “Christians” are doing or not doing, but let us get busy and go to work in the vineyard and do those things that WE should be doing. At the end of the day the question that will be asked of each of us by the Master is not what did someone else do to help build up my Kingdom, but rather the question will be, “What did YOU do to help build up my Kingdom?”

When will we as a “race” of people – the human race, come to the realization that it is high time that we stop accentuating the differences that tend to build up walls that separate us, and start focusing on our commonalities that can help build bridges of love, peace, and understanding? The truth of the matter is that we are all children of the same Heavenly Father, and in my humble estimation, that makes us all members of the same family – we are all brothers and sisters. Therefore, we are all in this together – all wrapped in the same garment of destiny, so why don’t we come together, and reason together, and live in harmony as one instead of incessantly trying to be islands unto ourselves?

If people did not spend so much time hating, they would be able to see the true beauty in the world, and come to a fuller understanding that there are perhaps more commonalities among us then there are differences between us. Some are so wrapped up in their own little world of “Me, Myself, and I” that they are unable to see that they are not the lone tree in the forest, but rather they are surrounded by many other trees of different types, shapes, sizes, and colors. Each is different and unique in its own way, but each makes the forest a whole. A man who is drowning may be fortunate enough to save himself, but often times he needs a life preserver that only someone else can offer him. There are some things that we may be able to do on our own, but there is so much more that can be done if we would only learn to work together. None of us are better than another. We are uniquely different, and that is what makes each of us special in our own way. So, let’s stop all the hating, and start accepting one another for who we are.

Semper Fidelis

I was both blessed and honored to honorably serve this great nation of ours as a member of the United States Armed Forces for 30 years – 20 years active United States Naval service, and 10 years United States Naval Fleet Reserve service. During my time of active duty service I had many accolades bestowed upon me to include: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (3 Stars), Navy Good Conduct Medal (Silver Star), Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2 Stars), Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon,
Navy E Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (2 Stars), Navy and Marine Overseas Service Ribbon (3 Stars). I was also recognized as a Distinguished Instructor. I was honorably retired from the United States Armed Forces on 1 September 2010, and my name was officially added to the United States Navy Retirement List.

Although the awards and medals that I received appear to be impressive, I did not serve this nation merely for the recognition. First of all, I realize that I would not have survived such a lengthy term of service, nor would I have received such honors had it not been for a Loving Heavenly Father who watched over me every step of the way. Second, I served for so many years because I love and honor my homeland, and I am always willing to do my part to make sure that her shores are always protected, and that we will always be “the land of the free, and the home of the brave.” I respect the flag which represents this nation, for it is not just a piece of cloth, but it is a representation of all of the men and women who have valiantly given their lives in defense of the country that they also loved. I also humbly salute all the men and women who are currently serving in our Armed Forces. They truly know and understand that freedom is not free – it carries with it a hefty price tag, that price often being paid with the spilled blood of fallen comrades in arms, those who give their last full measure of devotion. May God bless, guide, and protect each of them, and may God’s blessings always be upon the United States of America. Semper Fidelis!

~ Keith Lionel Brown, USN Retired, 16 April 2013, Annapolis, Maryland

Some people may say that Christ owns the cattle on a thousand hills. May I extend that to say that not only does He own the cattle on a thousand hills, but indeed He owns the very hills upon which those cattle graze.

Some people may say that Christ is the ultimate physician. May I extend that to say that not only is He the ultimate physician, but indeed He is the Master Physician. He is the Balm of Gilead. He cures all sickness, both physical and spiritual.

Some people attempt to put Christ on a time schedule as if His timing is the same as hours. However, His “clock” is not measured nor calibrated in minutes and seconds as ours. One day for Him is as a thousand years. We may think that He does not come right when we need Him, but indeed, He is ALWAYS right on time.

Some may feel that there is no hope for them and that their life is consumed with utter darkness, with the sun never to shine again. However, He is the Hope of Israel. He is the Light and the Light of the World. There is no darkness that He, the Son of the eternal Father can not penetrate. In fact, in Him, there is no darkness, only glorious light and truth.

Some may feel that Christ does not care about them, and that He has abandoned them long ago. However, He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. We are never alone on this journey. His watchful eye is even upon the tiny little sparrow, and so if He cares for the sparrow, would it not follow that He does care for you and for me? He is the Master Shepherd and we are the sheep of His fold. He knows each of us by name, and had we been an audience of one, He would have still bled, suffered, and died – just for you, just for me.

Why do we overly concern ourselves with the “dust” in the corners of the houses of others when our own houses are in dire need of cleaning from top to bottom? Let us clean our own houses first and then we will be better suited to help others clean theirs.

There are times when ears that know how to listen are more appreciated than a voice that knows how to speak. We should not always want to be the one who dominates a conversation, but rather, we should learn to listen carefully and intently at what others have to say, and then, when we do vocalize our thoughts and opinions, we will be able to do so more objectively, and above all, more intelligently.

We can no more determine the contents of a book based on its title alone, than we can determine the character of a person based on the color of their skin. Sometimes the title of a book can lead a person to think that the book is about one subject matter, but upon perusal of its pages, the reader discovers that the content discusses something entirely different. In the same way, we cannot judge a person based solely on comments that may have been made about his race, nationality, or culture – comments or remarks that can sometimes be unfair, unjust, and unwarranted – but rather we must take the time to “read” the person – to get to know the content of his character. Just as the actual contents of a book tell what the book is about, so does the character of a man tell what type of a person he truly is.


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