Snyder, George L Snyder, Lenore Snyder, God, ethics, morals, religion

The Elephant Speaks
One Man’s Elephant book II



            My father made it a point to hire people from the State Home. The State Home was an institution that gave a home to orphans and people who were not capable of providing for themselves. Many of the people who used to be cared for there are now street people or if lucky have been placed in private care facilities. Having a job gave them purpose and self esteem. They were also good workers.


            Ervie was a mountain of a man. He stood head and shoulders over everyone else I knew. I am sure he weighed more than 250 pounds with not an ounce of fat. He did not work out. He just worked. He gave the impression that if you had a flat tire, and no jack, it would be no problem. He also had an IQ of about 80.


            The head baker, Roy, was making pies at the bench. Quite often Roy would unconsciously and quietly sing some old song he learned in World War I. The song he was singing this day was even older. It was about a runaway slave from Civil War days. This was in the 1950s. Usage of some words was much more common and used quite often without forethought.


            “Roy - - -,”


            Roy turned and looked at this mountain of a man standing there quivering with the strain of his emotions. This huge black mountain of a man.


            “I - - wish, - - you wouldn’t - - say that word.”




And, God speaks to me:


          “You are not alone. Everything you do, everything you do not do, has results that impact everyone. Even the things you are not aware of. Even those people you are not aware of. What you do or do not do makes you either better or worse.




            Did Roy have the right to use a word that Ervie found offensive?


            Did Ervie have the right to ask Roy to not use his right of free speech?


            Those who knew Roy knew that he was a gentle man who did not judge a man by his size, color, or intelligence. Ervie knew this too and like everyone else who knew Roy, had developed a respect and love for this good man that God had spared from death in war.


            Roy never sang that song again. Not because of fear, but this encounter made him aware that some things were hurtful.


            The one who dealt with this the best was Ervie. He kept his anger in check and faced the issue properly. Ervie was also a man of great honor. When Roy apologized for what he said, Ervie forgave him. Neither person ever brought this up again. It was settled in honor between these two good men.


            We do not have the right to say what we wish. We have the responsibility to monitor and control our speech to not offend. To not offend anyone. Even if they are not where they can hear what we say. It distances you from God. God has no favorites. That means that one person has the same value in God’s eyes as another. Prejudice is against God’s law.

            We are all subject to prejudice. No matter how tolerant you are, inspect your own actions and feelings closely. You too are prejudiced! No matter what your race, you too are prejudiced. Check out your own soul. Check out your own actions. Inspect yourself and do what you can to overcome your weaknesses. Look at the soul within. Look at the life as sacred. Your soul and the souls of those who have a different culture, religion, color; are all the same. They are all a small portion of the One Soul of God.




Now I shall test you for prejudice.


            When Malcom X stood up, raised his clenched fist to the sky, and shouted, “Black power!” there was cheering. Some who saw this were concerned. Some even had fear.


            Some of my ancestors came from Poland. If I were to stand up, raise my clenched fist to the sky, and shout, “Polish power!” I would only get laughter. That is all I would get no matter what your race. There would be no cheers or jeers. There would be no love or hate or fear. Just laughter.


            That is prejudice. If your reaction to one would be different from your reaction to the other, then you are prejudiced. Don’t try to tell me that it is different. That is just a pathetic attempt to avoid the issue. If your feelings are different one from the other, then you are prejudiced.


            Of course, you are a product of your history. What you are is created from two sources. One is what has happened to you in your past. But, the second is what you yourself do, how you change yourself, how you take control of your own destiny. Do not be a prisoner of your past. Break free. Do not allow your past to control your future.

Three great rights of mankind - Confucius


            Someday you will go to meet your maker. If you retain your prejudice then God will put you with others who are prejudiced. Some just might be prejudiced against you or your kind. Don’t think God is going to change your soul. You are the only one who can do that. You better start now. It may take a while to get all that taken care of. God is not going to place a soul filled with prejudice with pure souls.

            Satan loves prejudiced souls. He would be pleased to have one more.


            With your prejudice, you distance yourself from God.

            Distance yourself from prejudice. Grow closer to God. Isn’t that what you really want? You must at least try. Then you can at least tell God that you tried even if you failed. God does not expect perfection. God will recognize the fact that you tried. Maybe you will succeed. Think how great that would be. If one person reads this and then succeeds because of what I wrote, then all the effort I spent trying to write this book is worth it. Even for only one.


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