There are things, events, and occurrences in our lives that have major impacts on us. Such impacts have the ability to change us, scar us, or flat out devastate us. This thought hit me while on lunch today and I began to think back to certain things that occurred in my childhood that impacted me.
As a kid, it used to baffle me that anyone would want to hurt or cause harm to another. I remember the Crime Stoppers reenactments that would play on Channel 5 (WKRG) in Mobile, AL. There was one in particular where an individual was attacked and stabbed. It hurt my heart to see this white man in a red shirt and blue jeans go down, and it angered me to see the bad guys run off and get away with it. It really bothered me that ANYONE would go to such extremes as to killing a person. My heart was heavily impacted.
Another impacting occurrence was my witnessing domestic violence for the first time. We were stopped at a red light on Moffett Road, westbound, right at I-65. It was apparent that the couple in front of us were in a heated argument, when suddenly the man lunges over and start beating his woman. Shocked, I was. I was expecting someone to save the day, but when the light changed, everyone moved on as though nothing happened. Imagine what that does to the heart of a child, in my position. Now, imagine what it does to a child who witnesses such behavior, regularly, in their own homes, places where they should feel safest. I respect NO MAN who puts his hands on his woman in such a way. There is absolutely NOTHING manly about it!
Finally, one of the most impacting moments of my life was experiencing racism for the first time, first hand. My father used to "hoop" at Highpoint Park on Sunday afternoons with other cats in the neighborhood. My brothers and I would accompany him and spend our time at the playground. I was very young at this point. I befriended a little white boy at the playground. We were about the same age. His parents and their friends were cooking out. We went over to where they were. Rednecks, is what we cal them nowadays. The father called me over to where he was by the grill. He says something like, "Hey man, I dropped that. Can you pick it up for me?" It looked like a rock to me, so I grabbed it and burned my hand. It was actually one of the coals from the grill that he had intentionally knocked to the ground. They all laughed and got a kick out of it. Again, I was baffled at how ANYONE would find joy in hurting another, let alone a kid. My Dad took us home and treated my hand with "Am Medic." If you know Amway, you know Am Medic! LOL!
There is NEVER any joy to be found in hurting others. There are tons of other things that have impacted me over my short span of life, but these three always stand out to me. As children, witnessing such or falling victim to such, we have to make a choice. We either choose to accept that the world is lost and the best thing we can do is be about self, looking out for self, and protecting self; or we choose to have hope that things can be better and take part in any activity or action aimed at bettering the lives of others.
Bryan Hollomon Williams