|Photo courtesy Shawn Misener|
Thursday, August 17, 2017
"Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight."
I grew up a preacher’s daughter in Jacksonville, Florida. It was a turbulent time in our country. I was in first grade when President Kennedy was assassinated.
In our school it was the routine during our lunchtime for one student each day to go to the classroom and help the custodian sweeping the floor by moving desks and such. It was my turn, and I was ready.
We already knew how to do this from cleaning the church. I ate my sack lunch quickly and eagerly reported to do my 'job'. You cannot imagine the panic and terror that hit me when I walked through the door and it was a big BLACK woman.
You see, the culture I grew up in had taught this little girl that I should be afraid of them. Somehow 'they' were a threat. I wasn't really sure why but I had received the message. Here I stood, face to face, scared to death.
I started working, but the panic took over. I wet my pants, right there in the classroom in front of this lady I was terrified of. Further panic washed over me as I was SURE of the wrath that was about to ensue. Instead this sweet, kind, loving grandma came over and hugged me. She called me sugar and fussed over me like I was her very own as she helped me get cleaned up. We then finished cleaning the room (including my mess) before anyone came back from lunch. No one ever knew what happened.
That moment was a pivotal moment in my life. I was shown that 'they' are just people. People just like me. I was shown that the fear and hate I was taught was unwarranted. It began the road I traveled that has resulted in the Miss Alice you know today. What we say and do is being observed by someone. You teach every day.
What lesson are you sharing? There is only one side. #Charlottesville
The author, Alice Campbell, 61, was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and currently resides with her husband, Randy, in Walnut Grove, Missouri. She retired from teaching Taekwondo, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and loves to bake. She is active in the community doing work with the homeless. She has two children, Melinda 'Mel' Gettle, who passed away in 2007, and B.J. Hursh of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a police officer. This piece reposted with permission.