Sunday, August 21, 2016

This I Believe

I had written another blog and had it prepared, until something out the ordinary happened last Thursday. I felt compelled to change my blog. I found that, to a certain degree, all I thought I knew about my family changed in a moment.

I have always known I hold a special place in my family. I am my parents first born, a son they had already named and prayed about. I have always been treated fairly, and asked my opinions, likes and dislikes when discussing important issues, whether they actually included me or not. My parents do believe in working. My brother, Joseph, and I have certain chores we are expected to do daily, such as taking out the trash, and making our beds. I’ve also been taught to
take my turn preparing meals for the family, and I do laundry also sometimes.

My family is far from wealthy. We try to choose our purchases wisely. There are many times we are forced to make sacrifices, often in favor of each other, so that we may all four get to enjoy things equally. All this to bring us to the point of my story of Thursday.

Thursday was my sixteenth birthday. I had to be out of school that day, not because I was skipping, but because I had two different doctors’ appointments in two different cities: one in Newnan, and one in Atlanta later in the afternoon. I have had plenty of birthday parties through the years when I was younger, but when I turned thirteen, all the guys in my family (including uncles, and cousins) took me on a “You’re a man, now” kayak down the river, cooking steaks on the fire, camping by the water trip that I fully expected to be my last birthday surprise. Boy, was I wrong! I expect to go out to eat for my birthday, so imagine my surprise when my mother turned toward the clubhouse. I quickly realized all my grandparents were there, and told my mother, “Y’all so sweet!” However, that was just the beginning.

Since I was turning sixteen, (a real milestone in any teenagers life), I had told anyone who had asked that I would like to have gift cards for gas money. I knew I would be lucky if I could borrow mom’s car or daddy’s truck, but I would need to be able to pay for any gas I used. They told me I should be asking for new walking shoes if I was planning to go anywhere. I was hoping for a little gas money, though. I was rewarded, because I ended up with over $200, worth of cards that could be used when needed. The last package I opened was long and slim. Several people continued to say it would be a rifle, and I guess I thought it would be, also. It was pretty light and was wrapped in golden foil. It was shining when I turned it to get a good grip. Yes, it was a Remington rifle box, but, wait! When I opened it, it was filled with small heavy boxes inside. First, I saw a note my mom had written, saying, “Gotcha!”. My dad had made the note look like a credit card, with the word “VISA” actually on the lower right hand corner.

One box had a weird metal piece in it, I didn’t understand what it was tho. While I was contemplating what that meant all my friends and family were yelling, “WHAT IS IT?! WHAT IS IT?!” Then my cousin asked, “What’s in that box?” and handed me one I didn’t see in the corner. It was all taped up with layers of duct tape. My dad’s touch! He makes me work, even for my fun. It took me quite some time to open the last box. It held MAGIC!

I found nothing but folded up cardboard. I didn’t understand what was going on. I proceeded to unfold the cardboard and then I heard metal clink on the table and looked down. I found keys and a key fob on the other end of the second piece that went to the piece of metal I opened only moments before. Could it be they really got me a car? I hugged my mom and dad. I couldn’t stop smiling! I asked, “Really? Truly? Where is it??”. My dad continued to say, “You don’t know if you got anything or not!”, as if it wasn’t a car. Imagine 20-25 kids and adults crowding outside the doors with me in anticipation. I clicked the key several times and then I saw it. The best looking car (to me anyway) in the parking lot came to life. Lights blinking, horn blowing, every time I clicked. Everything on the car seemed to shout at me, “I belong to you, Malachi, Happy Birthday!!!” Then kids were opening doors and all were pilling in.

This was an actual event, proving that although I thought I knew where my parents stood on not getting me a car at my age, I was wrong. I also thought I knew my family finances. I found out now that they bought my car a month ago, and it was hidden in plain view, but I was oblivious to what they were planning all this time. We are truly blessed that we have parents that do whatever they can for their children. This I believe.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


The definition of the word “know” is to “be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information.” A person may think he would react a certain way if he found himself in a dilemma. For instance, if he found a bag of money when he went into a cafĂ©. He would like to believe he would do the honest act of trying to find the true owner of the money. After all, someone owned the bag and has mistakenly left it behind. Someone has worked for it, or inherited it, or whatever. The one fact is that it does not belong to the person who accidentally found it.

Actually, a person thinking or even believing, he would make the correct choice, falls short of doing it. Only if a person follows through to the end of locating the owner and returning the bag, does a person know he will do the honest deed of handing over the bag to the rightful original owner. It is only the experience of the act that makes it a fact.

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If he finds himself rationalizing a pro or con side of an issue, he is making a stand. He has concluded that he is either for or against. Depending on his belief, he has made a logical decision based on evidence presented to him. This can be said for a juror in a criminal or civil case. These jurors have not witnessed or experienced the actual deed. Based on the testimony of other people, or videotape, or actual items, such as weapons, finger prints, foot prints or some other proof, jurors must come to a reasonable, calculated decision. Logically, there can only be one answer.

Another, but least dependable path to knowledge, is the created path. This is often a constructed way, perhaps even in the mind. It often depends on what the mind accepts, or perceives an issue to be. Seeing is believing. It is said, though, that several people can witness an incident, such as a car wreck, and no two people perceive it to be exactly as it appears. One person may think the light was already green when a car advances, while the second may believe it was still red. This is less dependable, because it becomes an emotional thought. Especially if a loved one is involved. It is natural to see things through a personal lenses. There is always room for human error in these cases.