No. 408


There is a famous quotation by Will Rogers that I have used a number of times, but it is never-the-less germane to something I want to share with you that a friend sent me the other day. The quotation goes, "Itâs just as important to be reminded as it is to be educated." The reason this is true is because many of us just plain forget to do those things that are important in our lives, like telling our spouse and children that we love them and being thoughtful to remember birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. In short, many times we just take those we love the most and sometimes our best friends, for granted, and we shouldnât because they deserve the best we can give them.

My friend is Mickey Cox, who lives here in our community, and he has taken me fishing a number of times, usually in his truck, his boat and using his tackle. Mickey is one of those people who enjoys fishing on a regular basis, but I just go when I get invited and when I can get away for a day or so. I have always enjoyed my fishing trips with him because he is a fine Christian man, we have wonderful fellowship and also because Mickey always catches fish and is usually kind enough to let me catch one or two. One thing I learned a long time ago is to never catch more fish than the fellow who invites you.

Mickey sent me this article by an unknown author that he had gotten somewhere, titled KEEPERS and at first I thought it was a fishing story, because thatâs the term we use when we are trying to decide whether or not we are going to keep a fish or throw it back. I might add, Mickey keeps them much smaller than I do. My motivation is determined by the thought of having to clean them when we quit fishing. If you have been around for a good number of years, I believe you will really appreciate the values contained in this article.

"I grew up in the fifties with practical parents÷a mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a housedress, lawn mover in one hand, dishtowel in the other.

It was the time for fixing things÷a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing - I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew thereâd always be more. But then my Mother died, and on that clear summerâs night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was stuck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isnât any Îmore.â Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away÷never to return.

So - while we have it - itâs best we love it - and care for it - and fix it when itâs broken - and heal it when itâs sick. This is true - for marriage - and old cars - and children with bad report cards - and dogs with bad hips - and aging parents - and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away, or a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special - and so, we keep them close."

The final thoughts on this article gave me the reason why my friend Mickey Cox sent this to me. We both grew up in the fifties. It said, "I received this from someone who thought I was a "keeper"! Then I sent it to the people I think of in the same way. Now itâs your turn to send this to all those people who are "keepers" in your life - like you!!" I hope you will take a moment and send this on to those people in your life that you also consider being "keepers." With millions of hurting people in our nation, we never know what a kind word, a special thought or even an article like this could mean to them. In reality, everyone is a keeper.

If you will think about it for a moment, I believe you will agree the reason articles like this are important is because they contain family values. Without a doubt, family values are values that we should cherish and hold on to, because they served us well, and I believe helped to make us the greatest nation on earth. When itâs all said and done and we come to the end of our days, it matters not how much money we made or how successful we became, what will matter most is that special relationship we have had with our friends and especially with our family. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034)