Southern Views

Sometimes, the best Food For Thought comes from a known but unknown source.  The Mother’s Day sermon this year was given by Reverend Will Bowen.  Reverend Bowen in July of 2006 handed out 250 purple bracelets inviting people to use them as a tool to eradicate complaining from their lives.  He was not the first to come up with the idea, but the first to use the purple bracelet to help work their way to a complaint-free life.  That is every day you complain while wearing the bracelet you change it to the other wrist. The goal is to go 21 days without complaining.  After 4 plus years I am still working on reaching 21 days.

Complaint FreeThe title of his sermon was to be “If it’s not one thing, it’s my Mother.”  However, life and one greater than us all, has a way of changing things.  Unfortunately Reverend Bowen’s mother died just before he was to give the sermon on Mother’s Day.  This event changed his presentation.  Because he was an ordained minister, his brothers decided to give him his mother’s bible.  In looking through it, he found news clipping along with other pieces of written material that his mother kept.  Eventually it was decided his brother would keep the clippings, other than what he had written to his mother.  The day he got the bible he found a clipping that he knew was not there the day before.  He is certain because his brother shook the bible every which was they could to get all of the clippings out of it.  He was sure there was nothing there because he went through the bible the night before with a “fine tooth comb.”  Then, all of a sudden a clipping appeared that was entitled “Maturity”.  This became the basis of his sermon.    I would like to share that clipping with you. Maturity is…..

Maturity is the ability to control anger and settle differences without violence or destruction. Maturity is patience, the willingness to pass up immediate pleasure in favor of long-term gain.

Maturity is perseverance, the ability to sweat out a project, or a situation in spite of opposition and discouraging setbacks.

Maturity is unselfishness – responding to the needs of others, often at the expense of one’s own desires of wishes.

Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration, discomfort and defeat, without complaint or collapse.

Maturity is humility.  It is being big enough to say, “I am wrong.”  And , when right, the mature person need not say, “I told you so.”

Maturity is the ability to make a decision and stand by it.  The immature spend their lives exploring endless possibilities, then do nothing.

Maturity means dependability, keeping one’s word, coming through in a crisis.  The immature are masters of the alibi – confused and disorganized.  Their lives are broken promises former friends, unfinished business and good intentions which never materialize.

Maturity is the art of living in peace with that which we cannot change.”

Nothing more needs to be said, except try the purple bracelet and see how long you can go without complaining.

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Lovell Jones, Ph.D.

Lovell Jones, Ph.D.

Lovell Allan Jones was born in Baton Rouge, La and was among the first African Americans to integrate school. He was also among the first undergraduates to integrate Louisiana State University, In 1968 he moved to California to continue his education, getting his Ph.D. with an emphasis in Tumor Biology & Endocrinology in 1977. He is now Research Professor at Texas A & M University Corpus Christi. In being bestow Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas Graduate School for Biomedical Science, became the first African American dual emeritus professor in the UT System, and probably one of the few, if not only in the United States. He was the director of the Congressionally Mandated Center for Research on Minority Health at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas and co-founder of the Intercultural Cancer Council, the nation’s largest multicultural health policy organization. While maintaining as active scientific program to change the nation’s approach to research dealing with underserved populations, Dr. Jones started writing essays on societal issues and the lack of progress in closing the health and health care gap almost two decades ago. His essays, on LOVELL'S FOOD FOR THOUGHT, have appeared in a number of publications, first appearing on his personal email list serve to over 2000 of his “friends.” Here is what WEB Dubois' Great Grandson said after reading this FOOD FOR THOUGHT: When my great-grandfather said in 1903 that "The problem of the 20th Century is the problem of the color-line." he was clearly stating the exact point that Dr. Jones makes. It was so clear to him that the prejudices rampant in America during that time were so deeply ingrained that they represented a barrier worthy of being considered in terms that would require, at minimum, a century to resolve. When I'm asked about Grandpa's quote today I tell people that the number has changed to the 21st, but the problem seems to be equally as intractable now, as intractable now, as then. He went on to write many things about the "color-line" and "The Veil" over his 95 years. One that I find most succinct and touching is attached. It comes from his 1920 book "Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil". I think it lends insight and historical perspective to Dr. Jones' statement" ...that slavery is and continues to be a source of evil. An evil that we truly have never addressed. For it prevails in our biases, those subconscious innocent biases that play out on a daily basis."