“Don’t Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth!”

Gift HorseHappy Hump Day, All!

I am sure by now most of us world-wide realize how important Nelson Mandela has been to all willing and able to pay attention to the lessons of his life. Now, of course, he was a giver, a “father”, as the name “Madiba” suggests. That can never be taken away by any human being. Things may not be perfect in South Africa but there has been progress made. The “Sending Off” Ceremony in the enormous soccer stadium was something that was a first! Not only were dignitaries from many nations as well as leaders of the same nations there, but there were common folks there as well. The population in the stadium seemed to cut across socio-economic differences as well as racial.

Needless to say, the spot light was on the POTUS, and, he was criticized for shaking the hand of now Cuban dictator Raul Castro. I mean, what was he supposed to do – walk past him at the “going away” party of a person who believed that everybody counts? Perhaps, as a local activist here in SoFlo stated, “It was like giving the olive branch in peace.” Yet another observer, a SoFlo college professor noted, “People are not paying attention to the words of his speech when he clearly addressed those leaders who herald Mandela but don’t allow the people in their own countries the freedoms he (Mandela) talked about!” Such is human kind – when something good is celebrated or happens, we often look for the negative to talk about rather than highlighting the positive contributions of an event or a person. Once folks jump in that seat of “judgment”, logic and compassion goes straight out the window.

Some of you may have heard the expression, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!” Others may need a paraphrased idea like, “Be grateful for what someone gifts you!” Sure, we can find something negative to say about that, too! We could spend hours talking about all the negative stuff until the positive has literally disappeared! This type of behavior is usually done by folks who start out meaning well, but ultimately do not have the balance required to make an objective observation. One must be careful NOT to be engulfed and led astray by negativity to the point that one can NOT notice the positive … of anything. I am convinced that some folks just like to talk … to hear themselves talk … and to stir up controversy.

In closing today, I just wanted to mention a call I received yesterday from Essie “Big Mama” Reed. The article I wrote on she and her Team of Life as well as the event held at the Fort Lauderdale Hilton last Thursday has not been set to print yet, but I suspect it will be in the MiamiTimesOnLine.com today or next week. Yet, she took the time out of her busy schedule to call me, and thank me for being there (I was one of a few chocolate chips in the cookie!) as well as interviewing her, her friends and taking pictures with she and her friends as well. She is looking to expand and needs more contributors from the Palm Beach County area as she noticed was lacking from her nearly five city tour this past weekend, from Hialeah, Florida City and points in West Palm Beach. Be grateful for what we have, give warmly and generously when one can, and “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!”

Peace on Earth,

John I. CookEmoji, Director

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