A couple of weeks ago my youngest son wrote an article in The Journal entitled, "Thinking Through Our Crises." (June 17, 2010) In the article he talked about a crises in our nation and how it continues to affect each of us. He said that more than ever it's time to focus on the present as well as the next decade of decisions that will measure and determine the outcome of a new generation.
As his example of this profound observation, he said that when he was 10 years old "my father continued to make strides that would affect our family's economic security and basic stability for the ensuing decades. The decisions that he and my mother made then still benefit us (our three sons) to date."
The article, which obviously touched me, went on to talk about his brothers, their children, and his own children as they continue to go through school, preparing for the future. While I was reading his column, I was thinking of what I called this summer, "Summertime Blues" (June 24, 2010), because of the lack of programs for the children in the community. I admit that my children and my grandchildren need not worry because those sacrifices my wife and I made have paid off.
The pay off for the sacrifices my wife and I made include a successful legal career for the last twenty eight years. Note: I never went to college before we got married 48 years ago, this month. After working hard to get us both through the struggle of finishing college. She got her Bachelors and also attended Law school for a couple of years before she made the decision to stop and go to work in my law office.
We sacrificed by doing without the lavish lifestyle (the big house on the hill and the newest, latest model cars) and taking seventeen years to get from the decision to go to law school and taking the Bar examination for a number of years. We didn't travel or own new car until finishing the law school journey.
The money for that palace that my wife would still love to have which we can now afford is wrapped up in a few pieces of income property. Today we can either sell those properties or pass them down to make sure that the grandchildren can afford college, or whatever. We choose to continue to make sacrifices for the next generations.
Having said all of that, I remain astonished that the actions of the decision makers of many institutions and churches is so shortsighted that it keeps the poor, poor and criminal lawyers and judges making money off the misery of the less fortunate.
I am proud that the message of sacrifice for the future has gotten to our three sons, and I am assured that the future of my family is secure because of the lessons learned by my children. How sad that this message has not gotten to the larger community. Consequently, "underprivileged" will continue to be the word that stereotypically describes the Black community because the privileged who call themselves leaders apparently live by the selfish motto of "I GOT MINE."