“I’ll be honest with you; I used to do a lot of wrong things, especially when I came back from Vietnam. I had friends killed in Vietnam and was in some bad situations. I was wounded by shrapnel over my eye and was in the military hospital for seven months. I didn’t give a damn if the sun didn’t shine. One morning, I sat down to eat breakfast, and God showed me what I had been doing. He let me know my life may go a bad way if I didn’t make some changes. I listened and started changing. It hasn’t been easy, but anything worthwhile never is.
I retired and moved to Florida, but my son was murdered. The hardest thing I have ever done was to forgive the guy who murdered my son. I did bad things to people in Vietnam and I would think about what I would like to do to the murderer. God took that hatred from me.
Even when I was doing all of my dirt, I believed in helping people. God put folks in my life who blessed me along the way, so I must pass it on. I moved to Memphis six months ago to help my niece with my sister-in-law who became disabled. I am a security guard in downtown Memphis, and this block is my place to encourage or help anybody and everybody walking by. It doesn’t matter if they are wearing a $50,000 suit or if they are homeless, I am going to treat them the same way.
Each morning, I wake up at 4 a.m. and pray that God will help me empathize and sympathize with other people’s plights. On the way to work each morning, I buy coffee and an extra pack of cigarettes. Sometimes homeless people ask for a cigarette, and I always have one to share. I also keep a few extra dollars in my pocket to help someone who is hungry. God blesses me, so I bless others. Most importantly, I listen; there is a big difference between hearing and listening. If people know that you are listening, they know that you care.
God created us, and we all sprang from the same source. My brother and sisters have passed on, but I’ve got millions of brothers and sisters of all different colors, makes, and models.
Life should be based on an attitude of gratitude. Don’t try to get, get, get. Share it. If your hand is open to share a blessing, then your hand is also open to receive more blessings.”