Future Plan
Off the Wall, Jan 2
, 2014

When it comes to the New Year, often publishers will look back as to what the year had brought as a way of reflection of the many happenings, some good and others, not so great.

In my opinion, it does little for the future. Someone once told me, one shouldn’t look back. There is nothing one can do about that. I’ll vouch for that. Instead, look forward. That makes more sense to me. After all, isn’t that what hope is all about, looking ahead to the many happenings that may be of asset to each of us?

Of course, when people talk about the future in such a way, I always have to use a Peeveeism – “Do what cannibals do. Plan a head.” I may have gotten a smile or in some cases a “boo…” in making that statement. I can handle that.

I remember stating that to one man who had had a very bad day. I called him at his office and that was the first thing he said. I could actually sense the tension and stress over the phone. That is when I told him my Peeveeism. He burst out laughing for 15 minutes. Then he stopped. After gaining his composure, he said, “Thanks, I needed that,” and then laughed some more on and off for another five minutes.

Laughter does much to cut tension that builds up in each of us. That’s the reason I use the “word” “Fantabulous” when someone asks me how I am. A greater per cent of the time, people will smile or laugh. My goal is to break the frown so many people have and create smiles.

Of course, I have a new approach to that question which also brings a grin – “Which answer do you want? I have two choices.” Right away, they pick up on the fact that there is a good choice and a bad one. Their answer – “Well, the good one, of course. No one wants to hear anything bad, you know.” I realize that. Making people think and then react is my ploy. I look at it as a fun thing to do and you know what? You can do it, too, and it may make your day a little more exciting. See, here, you are practicing my “Peeveeistic” approach.

Personally speaking, I think there is a lot we all can learn from looking back. The idea is not to make the same mistakes we created by going against God’s teachings and continuing on in the future, adhering to what the good book – the Bible – tells us in the future to come.

First of all, I believe there are pursuits to life that we all must employ for future use.

The first of these is respect. It’s kind of gone down the tubes if you ask me. I see it particularly in the youth as there seems to be a lack in it in their approach to what is said and done. In the past, I have talked about teens dress, speech and acts when adults are around them. Now, I have to emphasize, I am not stereotyping – clumping all youth together as having the same behavioral patterns. I know there are many young men and women who honor adults, if that is the right word to use.

From a biblical standpoint, one of the Ten Commandments is “Honor Thy Mother and Father.” Many parents have taught their children to do this – and they do along with the fact that they are courteous and polite to other adults. But on the other end of the spectrum are those who do not do this and they are the ones I’m talking about.

Looking toward the future, we have to see others not so much as skin color, but that they are God’s creation. Just because the majority of readers may be Caucasoid (white), that doesn’t mean we are any better than those who aren’t. We have to approach all with love in our hearts – that same love that Jesus Christ exemplified when God sent Him to be with us after His birth on Christmas.

The last thing is sexual orientation – one thing I’ve never talked about in my column. God said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” What He is talking about is “spiritual,” not “physical” love. We’re not to judge. Just love as we are taught by our Lord. Keep in mind, “Love conquers all.”

- Paul J. Volkmann
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To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.