We Can Always Choose To React Differently

To The Reader’s Forum:

There is an old saying: “We get too soon old and too late smart.” This seems to have happened in Sanford, Florida. Trayvon Martin’s death was a tragedy, not only for him and his family, but for the entire nation. As juror B37 later said, George Zimmerman “got in too deep.”

However, this encounter involved two people. We don’t know the exact details, but presumably George in some way rattled Trayvon and he reacted. How should we react when someone offends us? The book of Proverbs has a helpful principle. “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. (Proverbs 12:16).

There are many “if onlys” in life. If only George had said: “I’m George Zimmerman. I’m a volunteer in the neighborhood watch group; are you visiting someone in the community?” and if only Trayvon had responded: “I’m Trayvon Martin. Yes, I’m visiting my father who lives down the street; would you like to walk there with me and meet him?”

All of us are subject to the possibility of being misunderstood or offended in some way. We may not always be able to prevent it, but we can choose to react in a wise way. If we do, hopefully our “if onlys” will be fewer.

James W. Faulk