“Baby, we have no choice of what color we’re born or who our parents are or whether we’re rich or poor. What we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives once we’re here.” Mama cupped my face in her hands. “And I pray to God you’ll make the best of yours.”
(From Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Chapter 6)
Every now and then, a book reaches out to me, breaks my heart**, and heals it again in the most powerful way. This piece of advice from Mary Logan (Mama) isn’t just relevant to some imaginary character in a book, it is relevant to me and you, right here, right now.
It is true that some of us were born into unjust circumstances. Some are born with parents who barely know how to raise a child. Some are born penniless. Some are stuck in poverty, in societies that have forgotten the poor. But forget all that and remember that we do have a choice over what we make of our lives.
Let me rephrase Mama’s words for the internet generation. In a nutshell, don’t suck.
If you have lousy parents, forgive them (they’re only human), stop complaining, and don’t suck.
If you are stuck in poverty, make peace with it (being angry at it won’t help), work hard and smart, and don’t suck.
If society has left you behind, calm down (bitterness will only get you down), run fast, catch up, and don’t suck.
**It breaks my heart that Cassie had to learn about racism in the way she did. A child should never have her innocence trampled upon by bigoted adults.