By Cheryl Smith
NEWSFLASH! For anyone reading this, the world did not begin with you! Huge surprise for many, I bet. Unfortunately, in many relationships, disputes arise because someone believes that no one else could possibly have had the same experience. You’ve heard the arguments from children before. Parents couldn’t possibly know anything, The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff articulated the premise in their hit record, “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” Does anyone really understand? Another hit song explains it all to me. Jerry Butler and Brenda Lee Eager sang, “Ain’t Understanding Mellow?”
Which brings me to my truth!
First and foremost, I must say, history is important. Years ago, I was charged with working with my students at Paul Quinn College to start a newspaper. Now I could have done like so many who don’t do their research and published our newspaper immediately. Nope. Couldn’t do it. I directed my students to research OUR school and see if there had ever been a newspaper. Guess what? There was. So, as much as we had wonderful names on the drawing board, I went with history and we published The Quinn Quill. It was then and still today a decision I am proud of. A small but important act for what was the right thing to do. So, as we move forward, in this righteous fight, it is imperative that we realize that we are able to do what we do today because of what others did in the past.
To negate their efforts and contributions is insulting, disrespectful, and most of all, counterproductive. The focus must be on the real enemy and just like children must realize that most parents are acting in their best interest; in this fight we can learn much about what we need to do today by studying our past, asking questions and being open to the realization that you do NOT have all the answers.