Remember the Modern Stone Age Family? The original Flintstones aired from 1960-1966. It was so much fun to watch.
In one of the spin-off shows, there was a character named Bad Luck Schleprock. This guy never got a break. If something bad had to happen, it always happened to him. The thing was, he usually did nothing to deserve it. In the end, he would always draw the short stick and so would anyone around him.
Like me, you’re thinking of a person you know who’s like that. You may even be related to them. We find ourselves asking, why does bad stuff always happen to this person? They’re the kind of people who, no matter what happens, come out last in about any situation.
You may also know someone who is the exact opposite of Mr. Bad Luck Schleprock. This guy may have worked hard his whole life. Or maybe he has never worked or accomplished anything on his own. But he always wins. No matter what, he comes out on top. He may even boast that no one ever gave him anything. He’s always worked hard and earned it all by himself. This guy doesn’t need anyone.
It makes me ask myself: did I earn where I was born too and to whom? Growing up I never saw my dad come home drunk and beat my mom. I never saw the family car get taken back by the bank. I never saw our power get turned off for non-payment. I can never remember being hungry with nothing to eat. Why was I born here to a family in Highland County and not Haiti?
Now, I had wants like any kid, but I can’t remember ever not having something I really needed. Nothing I did earned any of that. I was so blessed growing up and had no idea that other kids’ lives were not near as good as mine.
A long-standing joke of mine has always been that I have never been to college, but I have helped several others go. There’s no degree behind my name. I was born with skills that have helped me achieve what I have so far. Many of you reading this might have another name for it but I was blessed with the gift of communication. Sales is a perfect fit for me. Did I earn this skill or was I born with it?
At only 18, I chose well in the girl I decided to marry. It would be untrue if I said that I had a long-range plan and it worked just as I anticipated. I didn’t have any more than a 10-minute plan for anything. Again, did I earn that?
This time of year, all of us weird people start looking at the numbers. How was this year compared to last? Did we do better, worse, or stay the same. I do believe that a lot of what we do is in our control. We decide to be content, happy, or even unhappy. We may not always have a choice in what happens, but we do have a choice in how we react.
When you get down to it, most everything we have, or what we have achieved, comes from blessings God gave us at birth. We are merely using them while we are here on this earth. To say what we have we have earned ourselves is not even close to the truth. While what we have in our path is not by choice, is totally up to us if we choose to take advantage of it.
God chose where and when we came into this world. He gave us each talents and gifts. We all have some but not all. I want to be able to be a great singer, but no matter how much time and training I receive, that will never happen. I will never be a decathlon winner in the Olympics, a race car driver or an astronaut. Those are not my gifts.
My question to all reading is this: Are you using all that God gave you to the best of your ability? Or better yet, are you using them to help others and not just yourself?
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.