A Matter of Principle

I had breakfast with my Dad and sister Tuesday morning. My Dad has a lot of stories that he loves to share with us. I’ve always loved listening to his stories of his life experiences.

This story was about his time as a boxer in the Air Force. He told us about traveling to Mississippi for a boxing match with some of the other boxers. They went to eat dinner at a restaurant and the African American men were immediately ushered out due to their color. There wasn’t anything else around that was open at that time. My Dad asked if he could get them something to eat. All refused. It was a matter of principle.

My Dad has seen many things in his time on this earth. Bigotry is just one. I sat listening to my Dad talk and had several thoughts going through my head. The first was about the story and the climate. We’ve come a long way but to say bigotry has been conquered would be a lie. I cannot imagine living in such times. I can’t imagine not being able to walk into a restaurant because of my color.

My second thought-how I can’t stand the thought of this world without my Dad in it. How much I enjoy listening to him tell his stories. None of us get out of here alive. I think it’s important to relish every second you get with those you love.

My third thought-not wanting to forget all of his stories. To write them down. Gems to pass down to future generations.

So many people get it wrong. They value things. What we should value are moments with loved ones. The stories they have inside of them. We owe it to them and the world to pass on their stories. Their wisdom. These stories are not just about a time in their lives. This particular story is about an experience several men witnessed from different vantage points. These stories must be passed on to future generations, as it is a matter of principle.

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