Wednesday, February 15, 2017 || By Rev. Dr. Regi Ratliff || OPINION || @maywoodnews
here is a story about a snake who was having trouble crossing a bridge. He notices a man walking past and says, “Sir, I am having trouble crossing to the other side of the bridge. If you would be so kind to pick me up and walk me across this bridge, I would greatly appreciate it.”
Nervous at this request, the man looked down at the snake and responded, “I cannot pick you up, because you might bite me.”
The snake responded, “Sir, I am only trying to get to the other side of the bridge and nothing more.”
Although still skeptical, the man carefully picked up the snake and walked it across the bridge. Just as he was setting the snake down onto the ground, that dirty rascal bit him on the hand.
“Ouch!!” Squealed the man, “You bit me. You broke your promise,” to which the snake responded, “I am a snake, and biting is what we do!”
The moral of this story is quite simple. Never trust anything (or anyone) with a reputation for biting people.
There are times when we have trusted people and it has cost us dearly. We shouldn’t trust people who need us to co-sign so they can purchase a car, when they have a history of repossessions on their credit report.
We should be cautious about trusting a person who says, “I love you,” but has a history of abuse. Love doesn’t hurt. Likewise, we shouldn’t trust a person who says he will call you right back, but never does. As a matter of fact, we shouldn’t trust a person who gossips to us about another person, because he is likely gossiping to someone about us.
There is a lack of trust toward black businesses in the black community. Why? Because of poor customer service, poor food quality or they overcharge?
Interesting, because I have the same experiences when I frequent stores that are owned by other ethnicities as well. Poor food quality, poor customer service and prices that are higher than black-owned businesses.
As a matter of fact, some of these other ethnic stores restrict you to a minimum $5 credit/debit card payment. That is a store rule and not a law. I don’t see many black-owned stores restricting patrons to this frivolous rule. If you can’t afford the transaction costs, go with a cheaper vendor. I trust black-owned businesses and will continue to support them.
Finally, we shouldn’t trust public officials who make promises they can’t keep, because they think you are dumb enough to believe their broken promises, play on words and “alternative facts.”
Have you ever noticed during an event when a politician reaches for that adorable little baby so he can kiss him in front of the camera? What is a child’s typical reaction? They are crying and screaming, because they don’t know that person and they are naturally afraid of them. The screaming and crying is their defense mechanism kicking in with a big message that they don’t trust you!
In my hometown of Maywood, that beautiful Village of Eternal Light, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard candidates from various political parties proclaim they will improve the economic conditions in the Village of Maywood.
I guess when you consider this community no longer has a grocery store, combined with the closing of this state’s largest black-owned bank, our economy can’t go anywhere but up!
I really want to trust the park district candidates who are running for seats. There are promises to improve the Maywood Park District. However, I struggle believing these promises when the recreation building on the corner of 9th and Madison Avenue has been under construction for over 20 years. I simply cannot stand, nor do I trust, the rhetoric because there has been zero substance.
Until real efforts are made to build the economic structure in Maywood, I will continue to lack trust in the political leadership.
When steps are actually made to attract new businesses with real incentives; partner with financial institutions such as Citibank, who has a tremendous first-time homebuyers program called, the “Home Run” program; support the quality of life (education, recreation, arts and culture); and improve our infrastructure, then not only will my trust in my hometown not be restored, but the trust of so many others who are disappointed in these pretend promises we hear every four years will not be restored.
As a consultant and educator who has been blessed to contribute to the village by creating and leading Eternal Light Community Services since 1997, I believe that trust starts from within.
For me, that means you must be able to talk to talk the talk and walk the walk. If you aren’t contributing in any capacity that will improve our community, you shouldn’t be talking.
The capacity for trusting means that your total life experiences have developed your current capacity and willingness to risk trusting others.
The perception of intentions is your perception that the actions, words, direction, mission, or decisions are motivated by mutually serving rather than self-serving motives.
If Maywood is going to really move in the right direction, we must first trust that God will bring the right leaders to us, place them in the right positions for us and trust them to move our community in the right direction for the right reasons. VFP
Reverend Dr. Regi Ratliff is the founder and executive director of Eternal Light Community Services. Eternal Light provides the following programs: public speaking, financial literacy, health and wellness, and entrepreneurship classes to youth, ages 5-18. Contact him at 708-940-2160.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Village Free Press.