Many children today need a Paul Grist

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 3, 2002

Some men go through much of their adult lives being called Mister. Some are called Mr. Smith, Mr. Jones, or even Mr. Grist because they have a presence about them that causes us to respect them.

How does one get that kind of respect? We think it comes with experience. It comes from being someone who often does the right thing.

You are called Mister when you are fair and do what is in the best interest of all.

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Doing the right thing has never been easy and never will be. But it was a concept understood by the late Paul Grist.

Paul Grist would have been 104 years old today. During his time on Earth he left a big imprint on a small town called Selma. Grist did so through his diligent work with the YMCA. He started work there in 1919 and retired in 1972.

The effects of Paul Grist are still being felt. The boys he once led are now men and men who are graying. His effect on their lives was so profound that some of them will meet today at the Selma Dallas-County Public Library to remember Grist.

Many of us living today could only hope that we are still remembered the way Grist is in this community. Some of us may earn enough respect to be called Mr., Miss or Mrs., but few of us will still be referred to that way long after our death.

And, there are many children in Selma today that need a Paul Grist.

We hope that those working with youth in our area – and their are many – note what Grist accomplished. His success in leading young people should be a playbook on how to mold and shape young leaders.

It has been said that when the last person who remembers us dies, then we are forever forgotten. That old adage may even apply to someone like Paul Grist.

But as long as there are people around who remember Grist he will never be forgotten.