Life is full of ups and downs, yet “life” is the most valuable thing there is in this world.
No matter what our physical or mental condition, if we’re able to read this column, we are blessed, because we are among the living.
Growing up in a family with our parents, six boys and three girls, there were many life lessons to be learned. Within the walls of our home, having a strong love for God and respecting everyone, no matter their nationality, were given as “rules for life” from my parents.
Love for God stayed as strong as ever, but the respecting others factor in life became more challenging as we became teenagers and adults. It doesn’t matter what nationality we are or what atmosphere we grow up in, what we hear, talk about or see taking place in our family circle has a tremendous impact on how we might live our lives as leaders of our future families.
If we are prepared for life in a dysfunctional family or one that teaches disrespect and hate, unless those chains are broken by ambitious family members, those characteristics will be handed down from one generation to another. In our African-American family, with six boys and three girls, growing up during the time hate and discrimination consistently raised their ugly heads; there were many uncomfortable conversations that took place.
As Black males, we not only learned lessons from our personal experiences, but heard hurtful stories from the other male siblings. Instead of one thought that registered in our minds, there were six different views. Our female siblings also had unpleasant experiences, but theirs were much less when compared to ours. Maybe it was because “fine” Black girls and young ladies weren’t the targets as much of the scowls and looks of disdain that many of the Black males received.
We grew up going to mixed schools, so we were able to see and learn many things about different nationalities. However, seeing the hurt on my siblings face when he told of how a Caucasian student he considered one of his best friends in high school showed little friendliness when he saw him in a store three years after graduation. It was not only puzzling, but showed true, honest friendships are not easy to find. It also shows that a person’s true character will show itself sooner or later.
My parents taught us that there are good and bad people in all nationalities; and as adults we found that their wisdom was right as usual. In our family, as in many families we know, there is now a mixture of various nationalities, mostly because of marriage.
We’ve learned in our family that true love has no color, even though dealing with the masses its clear to see that many people still don’t get it; and don’t have the decency to even acknowledge it.
Well, if we don’t understand that hate is bad for our health, and that we’re fooling ourselves if we think we’ll enter those Heavenly gates without loving our fellow man, we’ve still got serious lessons to learn!
Thomas Vincent Murphy is co-founder (family) of TVM Radio 1 streaming live worldwide, and is syndicated on a network of stations worldwide on Life Talk Radio Network. He is a writer, arranger and producer of music, and the author of the book “Wake up Crazy World.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.