The government shutdown here in America has been going on for over a month now, and a lot of hardworking, good people are hurting financially and struggling to feed their families.
I’m blessed with readers and fans from around the world, and several of them (from overseas) have messaged me recently, expressing how they’re so puzzled that such a developed, prosperous nation as America could allow workers to work without pay while they simultaneously struggle to put food on the table for their kids.
This government shutdown and the emails I’ve received over the past week have triggered my memory bank to the early 70’s when I was a young boy growing up in rural Spotsylvania County, Virginia. For a lot of African-American families in the Southern states there were some good times and, without a doubt, there were certainly plenty of hard times during these years. When times were good, maybe our father would treat the family with a KFC bucket or maybe burgers from Hardees. But, on the other hand, when times were tough, sometimes I went to bed hungry.
One of my fondest childhood memories and one of my greatest life lessons came one evening, in the early 70’s, when our gracious neighbor, Mrs. Peggy Tyler, gave our family a dozen eggs when we didn’t have any food at home. Needless to say, that scrambled egg-dinner our mother had cooked was one of the best dinners I’d ever had, and it’s forever etched in my memory.
From that one simple act of Peggy’s kindness, I’d learned a very valuable lesson that day. I don’t think that you necessarily have to grow up poor to understand what it’s like to be in need, but when you can empathize with those in need, you become a better person and a better human being in general. Who knows, maybe some better decisions could come out of Washington, DC if those in power could empathize more.
As this government shutdown lingers on, I think that I’ll put my own childhood lessons to good use today by going through my kitchen cabinets to see what non-perishable can goods I can donate to the nearest soup kitchen in my area.
Yes indeed, I’m a work-in-progress, still trying to become a better person, and I’ll always be forever grateful for all of my childhood life lessons and, of course, for Peggy Tyler’s humbled blessing of those 12 eggs. – Randolph Randy Camp
Learn more at https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphcamp