No. 249



If you or some member of your family have ever made the statement, Ill never speak to that person again as long as I live, then I have some thoughts to share with you during our visit today that could be very helpful. There are many reasons why people get cross-ways with others but more often than not the bottom line is greed. This is to say they perceive, whether justified or not, that someone has taken advantage of them or they have been wronged in some way. This happens in every area of society but it is most painful when it happens to members within our own family.

What brought these thoughts to mind was a true story a reader sent me in the mail a few days ago. This reader, who lives in a state up North, has written me several times and he began by saying, One day last week a small boy stopped by my fence to chat, while his mom was at the neighbors. In our chat I asked him what his mothers maiden name was. When he told me I asked, Then Francis so-and-so is your uncle? This little ten year old boy replied, Oh, we aint on speaking terms with Uncle Fran; him and mom had a big fight when Gramps died.

This reader, who had told me earlier that he was a member of the Catholic Church, went on to say, There is so much of this nonsense in our society. Ive seen brothers and sisters, mothers and daughters, neighbors approaching the Lord to receive Holy Communion at the same Sunday service and they boast, We aint on speaking terms.

For me, and maybe for you too, there are few things as uncomfortable as being around people who are not speaking to each other. As they say, The air is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Its easy enough to avoid those people we dont get along with in most cases but the exception is a funeral. When families come together out of respect for a loved one and some of the family members are on the outs its not a pleasant thing.

This brings me to the real sticking point. The key phrase in that true story I passed along a moment ago was when this little ten year old boy said, Him and mom had a big falling out when Gramps died. While this reader did not go into detail, its obvious that these two siblings had a disagreement over what Gramps left behind. Im sure you know, there is not anything in all of society that divides family members as does the division of assets after the death of a prominent, or not so prominent, relative.

Regardless of the setting or the circumstances, when one person covets what another

desires there is bound to be conflict. You may have heard this old Arabian Proverb, Covetousness has for its mother unlawful desire, for its daughter injustice, and for its friend violence. While the answer is simple its not easy. One of the Ten Commandments in the Holy Bible says, Thou shall not covet. We should never let covetousness or greed take over our emotions to desire what is not legally or rightfully ours.

If you have members of your family who have this problem, just take comfort that in the end they will receive their just rewards. Always do whats right because you have to live with yourself. The person who has greed in his or her heart will always be unhappy and in the end there is no material possession in the world that is worth that. We can just agree to disagree and be kind to this person because unless they change they are the real loser. Before I leave you I want to ask you this question, do you need to make things right with someone? My prayer is that no one will ever make the statement about you: We aint on speaking terms. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)