Did YOU KNOW we are a product of our environment?

Yesterday, I had a conversation with one of my sons. He’s has some life altering decisions to make. Don’t we all? I’m told that’s part of our daily striving.  It is our responsibility to make GOOD decisions. But, what do you do if YOU don’t know how, or there is no one to teach you? Or better yet to whom are YOU accountable?

I remember for years being instructed by my grandfather, Walter J. Oliver. As a young child, I felt his love and he had this habit of kissing me on my forehead and my two cheeks. I MISS that signature kiss. I digressed for a moment, lol. However, as I grew through adolescence and into young womanhood, there were days he would totally irritate me. The man was constantly on my case about something. One day I stood outside of church sporting this HAWT haircut, short in the back with two points coming down the side. My grandfather cocked his head and just looked at me with a displeased look on his face. I CAN STILL SEE THAT LOOK! LOL! I guess I should mention my hair color WAS tinted purple. OK, I admit I was a handful—sigh, let me correct myself—I was outright rebellious.

I would constantly test the limits of what I could get away with in regards to my parents and the leadership around me. I was the young woman that would wear that funky haircuts, two different color boots (same style), neon colors and anything else that would draw attention. I remember one distinct conversation between my grandfather and I that occurred one day in the church on Columbus Avenue. I believe I had returned from a convention and walked into the assembly. He was sitting on the side entrance in a chair as he was known to do. I wasn’t allowed to wear jewelry, but that particular day I was rocking a couple of bracelets. He grabbed my arm and said, “A good leader is a good follower”.  Grrrrrrr!!! LOL!!! But seriously, I NEVER forget that conversation.

Yet during the process of becoming a woman I began to realize that often, I didn’t fit into certain circles and had different thought processes than my peers. Somewhere along the line I learned I morphed into a female version of my grandfather—WHOA!

Let me explain, I believe my grandfather was a fair man. He had to be as a pastor. Ooops…guess I forget to mention that…lol. Yeah I’m a PK like two-three times over. Seriously, Walter J. was loving, kind and considerate. At the same time, if you were wrong, he would deal with the issue at hand. However, he was NOT perfect; none of us fit that category. But I learned his correction was to help you GROW.  Apparently he saw something in me and his mannerisms toward me began to bring to the surface components that would sustain me as I continued to develop and mature.

I appreciate my grandfather. He taught me to be fair and just and oh yeah not to kiss up to anybody.  On another note I refuse to do drama. We live in a world where drama exudes from our pores. One of my pet peeves: folk who refuse to take ownership and responsibility of their actions that frequently have a cause and effect on those around them, i.e. their environment. Apparently these folk weren’t taught right from wrong, OR they are making a conscious choice not to accept responsibility.  Possibly they are experiencing dissonance which is when you believe one thing but your actions speak contrary to your beliefs. I’m thinking back to my childhood because dissonance would have required an exacting hand by my parents, yep – that would have required a belt, lol!

Stay tuned for more environmental issues….



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