Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Sentiment

Disclaimer before we go ANY FURTHER....This is not a political post.

As some of my readers know, Jesse Helms is a distant relative of mine on my daddy's side. Jesse is from the little town of Monroe, where many of my daddy's people are from. It is right before you get to the town where my daughter goes to school. In fact, Jesse considers Wingate College (now University) as his alma mater and Wingate is where the Jesse Helms Center is located that houses all of his congressional papers.

People either loved Jesse, or they didn't. If you knew more about him and where he came from, you may change your mind about him as a person, maybe not a politician, but a person.

At a yard sale the other week, I picked up 4 books with one of them being "Here's Where I Stand: A Memoir" by Jesse Helms. So far, it is a very fascinating book and I am enjoying learning so much more about the man that I gladly call family.

The reason I am posting this on Sunday is a passage I read recently in the memoir. I think I would say that Jesse's dad was his "hero" based on what I have read. He learned so much from talks from his dad before he passed away. The story starts with the fact that (this is during the Depression and Monroe was a very poor town) Independence Day was a huge event in Monroe. The town merchants got together and purchased an automobile to be given away at noon on Independence Day. His father gave each of the children 3 ticket stubs each that he had acquired making purchases. "Keep them," he said, "but don't count on getting an automobile or nothing." Jesse goes on to tell us that this is one of the few times that he doubted his "papa's" advice. When he didn't win the car (he was only 8), he says he got something move valuable ...a heart to heart with "an understanding father who realized my deep disappointment. In that talk he taught me that the way to achieve, the way to acquire something I really wanted, was to work for it."

Now you are probably sitting here, reading my blog, and wondering where I am going with this. This is where I am going and it is so prevalent in the world we live in today and it is definitely what we need to be instilling in ourselves, and in our children.

A couple pages later, after other things that have nothing to do with the car. Jesse states, "Looking back on it, I am glad I didn't win that automobile or have wealthy parents. If I had, I might never have had that important heart-to-heart talk with my father."

"That moment was the beginning of a little boy's understanding of the free-enterprise system."

"My father wanted me to learn that...
 America never promises anybody happiness - only the freedom to pursue happiness.
The genius of America is not in winning something or in being given it,
it is in the opportunity to strive and work and earn the things we really want."

Thank you cousin Jesse for given me something to thing about, to not take the things I have for granted, and to be happy, I have to pursue happiness on my is not promised to me. Thank you for writing your memoir to show everyone who you truly were and not what the media presented you to be, and so that I may learn many more lessons in your words and experiences.

Republic/Democrat...forget your party. Remember you are a human being and check out this book, it is pretty good and very eye opening. And I hope I gave some people something to think about.

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