In my time on this earth, one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is the importance of working together. No matter what the task, it seems to go by so much faster and easier when everyone unifies in pursuit of a common goal. I had the opportunity to learn this at a very young age.
When I was young, Saturday mornings were spent cleaning up the house. My siblings and I each had certain chores that we had to complete before we could go out and play. So with the music blasting, my sisters and I would clean our rooms, wash dishes, set the table, and wash and iron clothes. My brothers would cut and gather the wood for the wooden stove, and they made sure our goats, pigs, chickens, dogs, and cats were fed. My mother even taught us how to cook a few simple meals. Her main goal was for us to help each other and learn how to work together. If one person had been tasked with cleaning the whole house alone, that person’s whole day would have gone to completing the long list of chores, but with all of my siblings (and oftentimes our friends) each doing our part, the house was cleaned in a couple of hours. Now, everything went smoothly as long as my mother was there to supervise.
One time, my mother left me in charge of my younger siblings, and they, of course, decided to not listen because “I was not the boss of them.” Instead, they ran through the house and refused to do any chores, which, of course, made my job very hard. It was all fun and games until one of my brothers fell and received a nasty gash right on his eyebrow. Even though there was blood everywhere, I remained calm and ran to our next door neighbor’s house. She came to the house and put cobwebs on his head to help stop the bleeding. When my mother came home and found out what happened, she became upset with my brothers because none of the house work had been done because of their horse-playing. After everyone had calmed down, we picked up where we had left off and eventually completed our chores. Later that day, I heard my mom telling my brothers that they, instead of tearing up the house, should have been working together like she had expected them to. Her expectation, when she left, was to return home to a clean house, and we all felt bad that we had disappointed our mom. From then on, we did our best to work together to keep a clean house because we knew how hard our mom worked to keep a roof over our heads.
When you love something, working together should be one of the easiest things to do, but we all know that it isn’t always that easy. This can be because people have different ideas, goals, or motivations. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and strive to help for the greater good. As president of the Seminole Indian Scout Cemetery Association, I am always thinking about ways to get people to work together. We all have different strengths, and we all come from different backgrounds, but everyone who wants to lend a hand can help in some way. I am always surprised and delighted to see who shows up when we need to get some work done. I am always happy to roll up my sleeves and break a sweat if it is necessary in order to get the task completed. Although it will get done, it is always, always, always so much better when there are others who are willing and able to help. During Seminole Days, we had so much help that it was overwhelming at times. In the year ahead, as we prepare for our next Juneteenth and Seminole Days celebrations, I look forward to working together to achieve our goals. Romans 8:28 states: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (KJV).
Note: This article was published in the 9/29/2016 edition of the Kinney County Post.