THE WORDS I STILL REMEMBER AFTER FIFTY YEARS

When I was maybe fifteen or sixteen I had a short, but important part in a church play—a stake play. Without going into too many details let’s just say I memorized those words and knew that part thoroughly, but when it came time for me to give it on stage it had vanished. Oh I stuttered something and tried to piece some things together, but basically I choked. I can still see the stunned face of the star of the play (who was also the star of our high school basketball team) as he nodded with small short jerks of his head, his eyes wide, as if willing the words to come from my mouth.  HE had done a fantastic job playing a character with a dilemma in his life. They’d all done a great job—everyone who’d participated—everyone but me. Those two or so minutes as I struggled to piece together some words and try to have them make sense, were possibly the longest and most uncomfortable few minutes of my life. After the curtain closed, I rushed off the stage feeling I’d ruined the play, and well, I probably had. I couldn’t figure out how I could have forgotten my part after so much practice—other than the fact that I’d worked myself into a frenzy that day before in fear that I would forget them—and other than the fact that I’d told myself I was going to forget them. Well, the brain is an interesting thing. I remembered the words again within seconds after I didn’t need them anymore. To this day I STILL remember those words.

Here they are:  It’s important to dare to be what you want to do in our circles. What’s more we encourage each other to live up to our highest ideals, no matter what. Yes, no matter how much they tease or even torture. Look at it this way. A scientist would be foolish to ignore a known truth in his work, wouldn’t he? Well, so would we. We know that top flight behavior brings top flight results in our lives. It’s that simple. So why live any other way?

I’ve wondered through the years if those words  might have made a difference in someone’s life that night. They’re pretty good guideline words for life. Who knows? Maybe someone would have turned from a life of crime. There’s not much I can do about it at this point. I can’t go back. Time machines only exist in fantasy stories and old Back to the Future movies.  On the other hand, maybe, by sharing these words now, they may still help somebody out there reading them. In fact, maybe if I share these words enough, as many people as were in the audience at that stake center auditorium on sixth east and eighth south that night, will eventually read them. Even though I’m not young anymore or up on a stage, maybe they could still have impact. Okay, maybe not.  But it’s pretty much all I can hope for at this point. In fact, I need to be more positive about it. I think these words are going to help someone today! Here they are again: It’s important to dare to be what you want to be in our circles. What’s more we encourage each other to live up to our highest ideals, no matter what. Yes, no matter how much they tease or even torture. Look at it this way. A scientist would be foolish to ignore a known truth in his work, wouldn’t he? Well, so would we. We know that top flight behavior brings top flight results in our lives. It’s that simple. So why live any other way? If you’re out there and you’re living a life of crime because I didn’t say these words, could you please immediately change now that you’ve read them? Ha ha ha ha.

No, but really. These words are actually pretty cool, now that I really think about them. Hey, maybe they’ll help ME. Maybe they’ll help my grandchildren.  I’ll share them with my grandchildren. I’m feeling better now. Thanks for listening.

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