History teaches us what to change

Published 6:37pm Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I had the urge to honor the 21st Century Community Learning Center’s Black History Program on Feb. 25; when I got there I was very impressed by the program. I observed some children who already looked ready to grace the upper echelons of the world’s leadership.

It is an after school program with efficient coordinators and teachers; little wonder its productive effects are measurable. Each time the coordinator, Tracy Plummer, comes before the board for approval, I always ask — how can we have this program in more than two schools so more children will benefit?

The fact that I observed children of all colors dancing together, singing together and reciting inspirational quotes together told me a whole lot about the program. I know the coordinator and some of the teachers and I’m not flabbergasted they are building this institute of love.

I don’t think I saw the Times-Journal because the program would have made favorable news for Selma. Former mayor James Perkins spoke on history and reconciliation and said Selma was chosen as the center for reconciliation. No wonder the city keeps attracting top officials.

History lectures, particularly in history months, are inevitable; but what listeners do with the information is more important. I believe the essence of history is not to make anybody feel bad but to give us an effective plan for a better world. Effective planners learn about history, make distinctions between past weaknesses and strengths; good and bad; gains and losses; and subsequently, select the needed which are appropriated quality time and money for the purpose of improvement. Good sports teams always watch their past games to pinpoint areas for improvement.

Some people have abandoned good friendship or engagement because of what they discovered about their friends’ forefathers; that’s incongruous.

Peter and Udochi were members of a soccer club and always helped each other in their weaknesses. One night Peter’s father saw a name on the caller ID that rang a bell. He asked his son, and Peter told his father where his new friend lives. Immediately, Peter’s father scolded accordingly, “Her father was the principal that made my life miserable and made me lose my job days away from gaining tenure. I want this friendship to end immediately.”

Peter replied, “That’s the same person I told you that gave me some of her soccer jerseys, loaned me money to register for a soccer program, prays and always respects me. On my part, I have helped her improve in math, gave her a watch, encourage and respect her.”

Peter refused his fathers admonition and preferred to follow the biblical type of justice which holds each person accountable for their actions.

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