The Scriptures tell us in the New Testament to "turn the other cheek," that we should forgive others when they offend us and the prayer commonly called "The Lord's Prayer" reiterates such: "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
I do believe that is the basis of a civil society, even though I understand how difficult that is for humans because human nature demands revenge. We letter writers often forget those admonitions. We may be influenced by the system of our laws that suggest the ancient code: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."
It does not take a person with university degrees to understand human nature. Such understanding comes from wisdom gained through living. My maternal grandmother who raised me, along with her own nine siblings after my mom's death at my birth, is a good example. Mama had an eighth-grade Arkansas education, the ultimate in 1910. But that did not limit her wisdom. I often look back in my 82 years and consider just how smart she was to raise all 10 of her children to be working adults.
As I grew, I thought about teaching as a career. By junior high years, that was my dream. By mowing lawns, working in a feed store on weekends and one summer, and selling veggies from our garden, I was able to graduate from Ouachita Baptist University. Eventually, I earned my master's and doctorate, something I had never considered in childhood. I was the only one of mama's kids to go to college.
I do value education, for I know it can bring one out of poverty and it can open one's mind to allow the other point of view, even though disagreement still exists. I wish more of our letter writers would be more civil when we respond to controversial subjects. I consider myself an evangelical Christian and believe that accepting other points of view, even though disagreeing with them, is the civil thing. I try to present facts with my opinions, knowing that such facts may offend without intent.
I pray for those in leadership even when I oppose their actions. I am grateful to this paper for allowing diversity in expression and I hope the best for all our letter writers. May we all continue to respect each other with civility.
John W. "Doc" Crawford
Hot SpringsEditorial on 10/07/2018
Print Headline: Turning the other cheek