Another Nature Boy?

Written by Ed Williams

Continued from page 1

Y’all know that Derek had to be atrepparttar very back ofrepparttar 148688 line with a last name like Winn. Imagine person after person after person walking across that stage and doingrepparttar 148689 exact same thing - walk across, smile, shake hands, receive diploma, exitrepparttar 148690 stage. Ifrepparttar 148691 truth be known, probably everyone in attendance was getting just a tad bored as this annual rite of passage took place. But then, it became time for Derek to walk that aisle. And folks, Derek showedrepparttar 148692 crowd just what he was made of at this point. As his name was called, Derek didn’t just stroll acrossrepparttar 148693 stage. Nope, what Derek did was step right torepparttar 148694 front ofrepparttar 148695 stage, unzip his robe, and reveal that he was wearing an exact replica ofrepparttar 148696 World Heavyweight Championship wrestling belt! An exact copy ofrepparttar 148697 belt thatrepparttar 148698 Nature Boy Ric Flair wore for years. As soon asrepparttar 148699 crowd realized this it went absolutely crazy! People stood up and cheered, laughter rang out, there was pure mayhem afoot! But folks, Derek wasn’t through - he then proceeded to dorepparttar 148700 Ric Flair strutrepparttar 148701 rest ofrepparttar 148702 way acrossrepparttar 148703 stage! The crowd literally was beside themselves at that point. Byrepparttar 148704 time Derek walked offrepparttar 148705 stage, evenrepparttar 148706 police guardingrepparttar 148707 building high-fived him as he strolled by, he had goosed ‘em all up that good.

Now folks, I’m not gonna say Derek didn’t get into any trouble on account of this episode. The school was none too happy about what he’d done, and that’s understandable, but I’ve been told that Derek has his diploma and is getting on with his life. So Derek, let me just say that my hat’s off to you. Something inside tells me that in some field, maybe sports, maybe entertainment, or maybe it’s something that I’m not even thinking of, that you’re going to make your mark. You’re going to excel, and you’re going to end up being something special. I have no doubt. The future is yours, Derek, now go out and make me right...

Ed’s latest book, “Rough As A Cob,“ can be ordered by calling River City Publishing toll-free at: 877-408-7078. He’s also a popular after dinner speaker, and his column runs in a number of Southeastern publications. You can contact him via email at:, or through his web site address at:


Written by C. V. Harris

Continued from page 1

Until I had to live in a shelter myself, I would look at those who lived in them and wonder what happened in their lives that put them there? That would never be me, I thought.

Usually when you hearrepparttar word SHELTER, at least for me, I envisioned and related those places torepparttar 148667 types of people that I thought lived there. People taking food from garbage cans, dirty, grimy people begging for money, bodies covered with paper bags while lying on park benches. Others sleeping in subways, walkingrepparttar 148668 streets pushing shopping carts filled with what seemed to me to be nothing more than garbage. Not realizing that torepparttar 148669 person pushingrepparttar 148670 cart,repparttar 148671 contents often held their entire life. How does that saying go? One man’s gold is another man’s garbage? No truer saying was ever penned.

I learned from this experience just because you live and maybe even sleep inrepparttar 148672 street does not necessarily mean that you are dirty or grimy for that matter. You just do not have a descent place to call home. The average person is just a paycheck from being homeless anyway aren’t they? At least that is what I was told most of my life.

Immediately, and I mean as soon as I put my hand onrepparttar 148673 doorknob to openrepparttar 148674 doors torepparttar 148675 “Place”, I began to see just how wrong my perception ofrepparttar 148676 homeless and shelters really were.

“How did I allow myself to get here?” I asked myself, as I led my children inside. I was neither dirty nor grimy. I did not beg others for money. My body was never covered with paper bags to shieldrepparttar 148677 evening wind from my person, nor did I push a cart filled with what appeared to be garbage. I was just homeless. I became one ofrepparttar 148678 very people that I grew up loathing. I was one of THEM now. I was a homeless person.

Life was always and continues to be for merepparttar 148679 BEST teacher with exams that are powerfully honest.

I am also reminded during my stay atrepparttar 148680 “Place”, during shower time, when my children would play and eagerly jump intorepparttar 148681 shower to wash their little bodies, I stood inrepparttar 148682 shadows as an overseer ensuring no harm came to my little life sources. Nonetheless, after they had gone to bed, I too stood inrepparttar 148683 shower. However, I was not bathing this time, I was crying. I knew that in order for my children to continue with their “positive perception” ofrepparttar 148684 “Place”, I had to put on my game face each and every morning and behave as though my stay there was as delightful as eating an ice cream cone on a Sunday morning.

Each night, while everyone was asleep, inrepparttar 148685 darkness, standing barefoot inrepparttar 148686 corner of a rusty shower stall, I cried. I stuffed my washcloth deep into my mouth to muffle my cries. I would repeat this late night ritual forrepparttar 148687 duration of my stay atrepparttar 148688 “place”.

My children never knew.

The real answer to how I stay motivated and encouraged is due to my perception of life. The way I perceive life is indicative torepparttar 148689 way that I respond to life’s challenges. During my stay atrepparttar 148690 “Place” life so affirmatively atoned me in an earth shattering way. Today, when faced with a situation, a task, or a problem that initially appears to be too much for me to handle, I am reminded of my stay atrepparttar 148691 “Place”.

Today, I ALWAYS ensure that I have a job, I ALWAYS ensure that I have my OWN apartment. I ALWAYS try to exude a “rock-of-Gibraltar” persona when dealing with life’s ups and downs. I have to. Otherwise,repparttar 148692 “place” will be my alternative.

I came torepparttar 148693 conclusion that if a person can live onrepparttar 148694 streets and survive off ofrepparttar 148695 remnants found inrepparttar 148696 pit of a garbage can. If they can, make gold from discarded junk and generate heat to warm their bodies from plastic and paper bags on a day-to-day basis, my life andrepparttar 148697 trials and tribulations that I must endure is like taking candy from a baby. My perception allows me to believe this.

How you view a situation dictatesrepparttar 148698 outcome. Perception is everything. Whether you want to believe it or not, and everything is perception.

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