As a young child, I was taught the golden rule. Treat others as you’d like to be treated.
I’d like to think that most people have, at some point in their lifetime, attempted to practice, or at least thought about put- ting forth the effort to be the person they wanted others to be to them.
Which brings me to my truth.
Because I know that at any given moment, I can be reduced, by my actions or actions, to the lowest common denominator; I have strived to be a better person, never putting myself above others but lifting as I climbed.
Also, knowing that I couldn’t possibly look down on a person because I guarantee you, someone in my family or someone who I care about walking that same journey or riding in the same boat.
So whether you were serving me at a hotel or restaurant, shining my shoes, unstopping my toilet, signing my paycheck or waiting for me to pay you; respect was warranted.
Granted there was a time that telemarketers and bill collectors tap danced on my last nerves making it almost impossible to show any grace; but there’s always a time for growth and redemption as long as you have a breath in your body.
Having grace has brought so many wonderful people into my life, like Elandus Lyndell Smith, who we affectionately called “Smitty.”
I don’t know what his official title was, but I do know he was the ideal “maintenance man” be- cause he took care of everything in our building.
No matter how many times he joked about me making changes to my office, only to come by every time I called and made my additional changes; he came with a smile.
Last week Smitty suffered a massive heart attack.
The last time I saw him, he was being wheeled into an ambulance. I just knew he would be okay and I would see him again and have one of our many chats about life, children, or crazy things going on in the world.
I’m glad he felt comfortable enough around me to stop in and have chats and sometimes even order lunch from Catfish Smith’s (he noted that we were sure to get true catfish and not “Swai”) like so many other catfish places have started perpetrating that lie!
Had I been someone who looked down on others because of their perceived “status.”
Smitty had an impeccable work ethic. He was also smart, funny, loyal, caring, honest, resourceful, skilled and a joy to be around. He treated people right, regardless of how they treated him!
We will celebrate Smitty’s life this Friday at Eternal Rest Fu- neral Home, 1400 N. Hampton Road, DeSoto at 11a.m.
I could have missed out on some wonderful people, like Smitty; or Mrs. Ernestine Branch because she was much older; Norma Parish because she was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; or, Nicole Barrett be- cause she was much younger.
Living a golden life is the way to live because you won’t be judged by how people treated you, but how you treated people.
The world lost some great people recently and I know because I had an opportunity to spend time with each of them.
I saw in them what I hope people see in me, and that’s the truth.