It's all up to you..!

By Robert Clements. Dated: 10/10/2018 3:11:07 PM

A scene that remains etched in my mind, is when as a child I had attended the funeral of a neighbor. An old man, who I had seen cycling everyday, working as a salesman. At the funeral, I suddenly saw his second son, a twenty five year old lad, taking a handful of earth and throwing it angrily at his fathers coffin which had been lowered into the grave, "Good riddance!" he muttered under his breath.
Later I accosted the man and asked him innocently why he had done something so crass and violent: "My father did nothing for us!" he shouted, "Otherwise I would not be where I am struggling without a degree!"
"I saw your father working hard!" I said.
"Not enough to give me a college degree!" he said.
Now listen to another incident:
His father abandoned the family when the child was an infant. His mother became a prostitute and the boy and his sister had to live with their grandmother. Early in life, he proved to be gifted for music and,
with three other kids, he sang in the streets of New Orleans and his first gains were the coins that were thrown to them.
A Jewish family, who had immigrated from Lithuania to the USA, had pity for the 7-year-old boy and brought him into their home. Initially given 'work' in the House, to feed this hungry child. Then
he remained and slept in this Jewish family where, for the first time in his life, he was treated with kindness and tenderness. When he went to bed, the lady sang him a Russian Lullaby that he
would sing with her. Later, he learned to sing and play several Russian and Jewish songs.
Over time, this boy worked hard. They gave him money to buy his first trumpet; as was the custom in the Jewish families, they sincerely admired his musical talent.
Later, when he became a professional musician and composer, he used these Jewish melodies in compositions, such as St. James Infirmary and Go Down, Moses.
The little black boy grew up and wrote a book about his life, his determination to succeed and the family who had adopted him in 1907. He said, that it is in this family he had learned "how to live a real life of determination.''
This little boy was Louis Armstrong, who sang the famous song, "What A Wonderful World!!
He made the best use of his circumstances and did well. He did not blame fate or his parents. He realized it was all up to him..!



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