I know as a child I was taught many things by example. It was not by words but by deed. My father was a leader. He would see if there was a need for something in a community we lived in and if it was not there? He did not sit around the dinner table speaking about what was missing in our community. Often he was missing at our dinner table because he was at a meeting or busy! You see if the Boy Scouts, the church, American Rose Society, The Optimist Club, whatever it happened to be he felt passionate about or interested in he put it together. He did not do this alone. He United people. He was always bringing people together. I have a very clear memory of an amazing Thanksgiving dinner with two of the elders from the Mormon church that happened to be doing missionary work in this small town my Dad was a pharmacist in and I suppose my Dad inquired about their plans for Thanksgiving. We had the most entertaining Thanksgiving dinner ever. Because one of these two young men told stories. One of the stories he told was an animated version of Noah’s ark! It was so awesome!
See we attended church in this town at the Baptist church. We moved quite a lot while I was growing up so my Dad’s choice of worship was The Christian Church, but not every town had a Christian Church. So, my mom was raised Baptist and therefore, we attended the Baptist Church. What you need to understand is that Dad’s choice that Thanksgiving was not universally celebrated … & so if you are asking you why? I will tell you at the heart of it is division. As a child, I had no clue, as an adult? I now do and even writing this know everyone will not agree with me. But it is the gift my Dad, in deed gave me. It is healthy to agree to disagree. It is healthy to surround yourself with others who are not like minded. He did not win his high school debate team competition for no reason! He loved people! He loved to serve! He did not talk about it, he did it! Everyone was treated the same! When he was teaching at University of Columbia,SC pharmacy school and the president of the University was in his room? Or the janitor? It was all the same! He brought people together. His grandson is doing exactly the same thing and he never met his grandfather. You see, I believe this hateful disease played a part in my father’s sudden death at 37 yrs old. I was his shadow and what he taught me in deed & action is: with unity you can accomplish anything! He did it! I watched the unity of my parents & our family, the communities we lived in, the organizations that were formed with persistence, roses he hyberdized and developed because he knew it was possible. I know we can unify as a community because it is possible. I know we can #CureGP2016 because it is possible! Division always takes away, whereas multiplication always gives you more.