By Bob Houghtaling
The recent turmoil in Minnesota regarding a racial incident has, again, ignited passions throughout the land. Unfortunately, this scene has been repeated too many times. If we are to change, a serious look, and discussion, has to take place about how we treat those considered different. This is long overdue.
Over time many myths and misconceptions have been created regarding folks considered as “others.” To substantiate these beliefs, politics, religion, and fear get mixed in. Jesus and Jefferson spoke to our highest callings. While often falling short, continuing to try is a must.
Many of our major concerns today center on race, religion and wealth. The world is changing and finding ways to better understand each other will be vital for our future.
We have become an alienated and fearful society during a time of incredible mass communications. While we wait for leaders to lead it is imperative that each of us do a little soul searching of our own. Perhaps we should remember what we were told.
I Was Told
by Bob Houghtaling
As a child I was told,
Love your neighbor, young and old.
“Red, brown, yellow, black or white
they are precious in his sight.”
As a child I once read
“Do unto others,” Jesus said.
Help the poor, turn your cheek,
the earth will be inherited by the meek.
As a child I heard sing
beautiful hymns while bells doth ring.
“Little ones to him belong,
they are weak but he is strong.”
I’ve grown old, with furrowed brow.
That was then, this is now.
Over time it’s become clear –
we are told there are those to fear.
Fear the neighbor. Watch your back.
Be on guard for another attack.
They are different from our race.
Keep an eye on that face.
Passing years we have spurned,
valuable lessons, each have learned.
Perhaps it’s time for all to start
taking love back to heart.
Blessed is choosing the peaceful way
many practice every day.
Despite the road being hard
doing so leads to God.
Blame and finger pointing do little in terms of problem solving. Loving your fellow man might be a nice beginning. See you soon.
Bob Houghtaling is the director of the East Greenwich Drug Program and a mental health counselor.