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James J Jackson blogspot
Do you sometimes feel as though God has taken a vacation, and common sense has died?
An inspirational book of short stories dealing with every day life issues from a moral perspective. Stories range from humorous to serious to thought-provoking. Each story looks at a different aspect of life, and offers concrete steps to deal with them. The author pokes fun at himself with stories about his plumbing disasters, looks a t life from perspective of the Empty Nest Syndrome; deals with suicide as a 'permanent solution to a temporary problem; and many other life situations. It is an enjoyable read!
A FATHER'S DAY LEGACY
By: James J. Jackson
The media is preoccupied with each presidents’ legacy. But, is a legacy created through one's concerted effort, or does it arise from who that person was and what he stood for in terms of such attributes as decency, integrity and honesty? A true legacy leads others to pattern their lives after you---the real you---not who you packaged yourself to be.
Each Father's Day, I reflect upon the fact that I was blessed with the legacy of not one, but two fathers, neither of whom tried to build a legacy, but both of whom had a very significant impact on my life. Although my birth father, Samuel Jackson, died when I was three years old, he left me the only true legacy he was able to leave---his reputation.
Sam Jackson, his four brothers, and one sister were born to Mississippi sharecroppers. They were reared to be respectful, hard-working, God-fearing, and patriotic. Slavery had ended fifty years before Samuel was born, but the last remnants of that era died hard. The family had to learn to be diplomatic and tactful in the cruel Jim Crow South, where a simple misunderstanding could result in a lynching.
This family was respected and well liked by virtually everyone they encountered. By adulthood,
Sam was known as 'Good Man.' His brother, David, was called 'Solid', both because of his six-foot five chiseled frame and his dependable, helpful, consistent nature. When Sam died from a brain tumor in 1952, many of his friends thought 'Good Man' was his real name, because it so accurately described his personality and love for others.
On his deathbed, Sam asked David to help our mother care for us. When she died just one year later, David, who only had one child of his own, took all ten of us into his home. David, or 'Uncle Solly', as we called him, demonstrated strong moral character and taught us to work hard, be honest, and respect others.
He always reminded us of who we are and from whom we came. He kept our parents alive by telling us of their personal integrity and their love for us. Everyone who had known my father gave the same description of him. We had no doubt that he was, indeed, a good man who loved others unconditionally.
My uncle's approach to life reflected my father's character. He taught us lessons like "respect is not something one demands, but something one earns;" we learned to look others in the eye and offer a firm handshake, because David believed that the eyes and handshake say a lot about a person.
He taught us that God loved us, and even though He had taken our parents from us, He still had a plan for each of our lives. He taught us that skin color mattered little in the final analysis, and that no one can take away from you the good things that you choose to make a part of your life. When many Blacks replaced their surnames with 'X', he taught me that my name is not a 'slave name'. It was the proud name of many of my forebears; therefore, it is more important that I never discredit or shame my name than to dwell on how I got that name.
He taught me that, whether signing a check or a document, making a promise, or taking an oath, my name is the representation of who I am. If I use my name to lie, cheat and or steal, then my name becomes, 'liar', 'cheater' or 'thief'.
I came to realize that if I live my life in a way that is pleasing to the Lord, I will be known as 'Good Man' here on earth, and "Good and Faithful Servant" by God one day. As he lay dying from a stroke David reminded me that I still have a father who will "never leave me or forsake me."
Because of my two fathers, the legacy I desire to leave to my children, grandchildren, family and friends is, "here was a good man". Next to that, everything else I may accomplish has little significance.