In such a diverse world, we sometimes fail to realize how similar we all really are at the core. We’re often transfixed on the things we see because it paints a broader picture of what our eyes ‘want’ to understand. But have you ever wondered how different your story would be if an alternative outcome happened in any of your situations? Deep down within, you’d know that you are the same person; but outwardly, someone could have all of your characteristics falsified because the picture has taken on a new form. So, I’m only left wondering what if…
- What if my mama never told me that hiccups were a sign that you are growing (I later figured out that she was lying, but I sure did think I was growing!)?
- What if I would have lost my first “real” fight in the 5th grade?
- What if I couldn’t outrun those dogs that used to keep hopping those fences in southwest?
- What if I didn’t have older brothers to blame when I broke windows in the house?
- What if I had gotten caught stealing that Snickers that one time when I was little (statute of limitations in full effect here!)
All of these scenarios may be lighthearted, but they are true! And they all played a part in my visible display today. Every single situation adds another stroke to this picture that people are observing. I’m sure there are others that have been in exact situations as these, but potentially had a different outcome. But on a more serious note, what if…
- What if that car didn’t stop when I ran across the street (without looking both ways) like mom and pop tried to teach me?
- What if I didn’t meet my brothers-from-another-mother when I started a new school in 6th grade?
- What if I didn’t find sports as an outlet to my anger and frustrations all throughout middle school and high school?
- What if I never had a coach by the name of Coach Jackson at Cloverdale Middle School?
- What if I told my cousin “no” when he asked me to get saved with him when I was fourteen (14)?
- What if I never had a man named Mr. Wiley step up and be a real grandfather to me?
- What if I didn’t grow up with two (2) parents?
- What if I didn’t graduate with honors in high school and earn academic scholarships to pay for college?
- What if I was shot by the police in Clinton, MS for being pulled over for a noise ordinance violation in 2009? Pretty interesting that within five minutes, four more police cars were on the scene…but I digress
- What if the car flipped when I spun-out going over 70 on the highway?
- What if those four bullets didn’t get lodged in the door in front of me or in the tires?
- What if I didn’t sneak out of that house when I felt like I was being set up by someone I had just met?
- What if I stayed with a person I knew wasn’t good for me?
- What if I never told God I was sorry for everything I’ve done wrong?
If you are reading this, there may be situations in this small list that we share. But I don’t believe the situations are the only things we share. I believe that we all share some basic commonalities: bad decisions, good decisions, frustrations, temptations, fear, luck, & blessings. So the next time you are evaluating a new portrait that doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing to you, remind yourself that the picture may be a replica of the one in the mirror. Maybe the colors are just different because the paints were mixed in a different way. We all have to start loving and respecting one another; and it all starts with how we view one another. Let’s not let our eyes deceive us any longer. Let’s start to be the change that we want to see. Peace and love yawl.