LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Plant seeds for the future

To the editor:

My father was a career U.S. Air Force officer and active in the Republican Party. When I went away to college I became a liberal and I ridiculed my father for his political stance. But I never forgot the things he said to me. Later when I started having doubts about the official story, my memories made me more open to questioning. I’m sure Dad assumed I was a lost soul and would be shocked to hear me now.

For the first 14 years of my professional life I worked in a university counseling center. In the early years I was dubious about psychotherapy.  While most counselors were enthusiastic about it, I was not sure it worked but I resolved to at least do no harm.  After a while the students I had counseled started coming back in to say “hello.” The first was a sweet Black girl who was so proud of being the first in her family to earn a college degree. She brought me a gift and told me what a big difference I had made in her life. I was shocked and humbled. And right there, she made a big difference in mine. After that, pastors, lawyers, school teachers, and yes, psychologists dropped by to say things like they would have never made it without my help. I reckoned at that point that I was doing no harm.

Those experiences taught me that we never know what ripples we make in the stream of life by our actions. We cast our bread on the waters often by faith alone, knowing that we may never see the fruits of our labors. But at least we can ascend to the peak of our consciousness as Moses, MLK and many others have done and perhaps glimpse a vision of the Promised Land. 

So today though we are ridiculed and shamed, we can speak to our friends and children what we believe without being argumentative and challenging, perhaps planting a seed which they remember when they are older and wiser. We can give this gift to future generations, that we did not remain silent.

Rick Bayless


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