Norman Milton Lear, the American television writer and producer who produced such 1970’s sitcoms as: Sanford and Son, The Jefferson’s and Good Times; once made reference to a very true thought.
“It seems to me that any full grown, mature adult would have a desire to be responsible, to help where he can in a world that needs so very much, that threatens us so very much.”
Me and my wife agree with this concept wholeheartedly. That is how the both of us have been and most likely will remain. However, over the years after helping and supporting so many individuals, politicians, organizations, businesses and companies in various causes and goals; we have found that they are “seldom seen” once they feel that they have arrived. This is not a good mentality to have or exemplify because it generates the idea that one is an ingrate. For, Webster defines an ingrate as one who is an, “ungrateful person or someone who shows or feels no gratitude.”
While I am not directing this editorial at no one person in particular, I am just sick and tired of people using people and especially me at an attempt to get what they want. Yet the bad part about the whole situation is as long as they need you, you cannot get rid of them. But once their objective is met they forget about the very people who assisted with enabling them to get to where they are. Thus, demonstrating the “seldom seen” attitude as the old folks in my day used to say. It’s like they will express their gratitude as long as you are helping them, but when that help is no longer needed, neither are you. The sad part about it is that they often forget that if you need a person’s help once, you may end up needing them again later on down the road. I guess that’s why elders, when I was coming up, would preach to us to never burn bridges.
We MUST Understand that, being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful. To that effect, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once spoke on the effort of helping others and related it to the biblical story of the ‘Good Samaritan’. His thought was as follows, The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”
In times past I have never given a thought as to who or when I should help someone. Nevertheless, in my more mature years I have learned to monitor those who I extend my services, resources, support and help to. Because I have found out that not every seed you plant will grow. Me and my wife have always found much joy in helping others. But the biggest form or token of appreciation that we can receive from people that we have helped is at least a, ‘thank you’ or even the satisfaction of knowing that the person is helping other people just as we have helped them!
Furthermore, I would just like to encourage the faithful and loyal readers of African-American News&Issues, to be mindful of those who help and support you. When people go out of their way to do what they can, to help you remember them! Don’t just solicit help from people and when you get what you need, throw them away and forget about them. I will conclude this editorial with an old infamous saying that I have found to be true over and over again.
“Be careful how you treat people on your way up, because you will see those same people on your way back down!”