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Where you begin effects where you are. This simple truism applies to everything from taking a road trip; to life and how I live it. I decided to make my opinions known in this forum. I aimed to speak up and set things aright. Then, it occurred to me, we didn't need another knee-jerk opinion. Why not exhibit a different approach? Why not open a window and turn on a light instead of crying in the dark and pointing a finger?

There are low-level currents which disturb me and pull me toward reaction; an unhealthy one. However, as the nascent static pierces my own interior walls, I still reach that place of wholeness above the noise. Here my hope thrives and even can flourish.

On the Fourth of July, a group of us in downtown Texarkana celebrated our nation's founding. We had good music — you should have heard The Jive doing "Play That Funky Music White Boy" and Dana O'Neal singing our National Anthem. We enjoyed glorious fireworks — I mean, what else?

Then, last Sunday morning I went to Jefferson Park with my two-year old great-nephew. We swung on the swings and slid down the slide. Unexpectedly, a dozen cars appeared and a circle of African-American men and women formed. What was this? Should I grab my great- nephew and beat a retreat? Then I heard it. A leading woman exhorting those standing around. A few more minutes and a six-year-old from the group began playing with my little Judah. A moment more and a call-and-response song arose from the same group. This was no angry activist demonstration. I was in church surrounded by the faithful. Jefferson Park was a crystal cathedral; the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with all of the angels in attendance.

I am weary with the difficulties. I want the shut-down to shut-down. Yet, from this place I call home this I state emphatically; I choose life and that without unhealthy fear.

Harvey Eugene Woods

Texarkana, Arkansas

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