By Eddie Griffin
Friday, June 11, 2010
The 10-year old kid with the bloody nose is my grandson Little Ed. In the waning days of the school year, a big boy pushes him to the ground, face first. Yet, he smiles with pride as he explains how it happened.
He took a pack of cigarettes from his friend and crushed it. The bigger boy who was trying to entice them to smoke took offense and pushed Little Ed down. That was the extent of the damage.
This is the same tough little kid, who has had a ton of medical problems. He spent his entire summer last year undergoing radiation treatment for colon cancer. Before that, his retina had to be detached and realigned in the socket in order for him not to lose sight in one eye. After all this, he gets pushed off a trampoline, lands face first with his bottom teeth protruding through his lower lip. This injury required seven stitches to mend.
This is the same kid, when I asked how he was going to avoid becoming an alcoholic or drug addict, replied that he was going to be a Christian. I guess that he suppose a Christian is to take cigarettes from his friend, in order to save his life. Whatever his 10-year old thinking, he felt good about himself and what he had done.
It was time for grandpa to teach two lessons: (1) How to choose friends; and (2) How to avoid trouble. These were the same lessons taught to his father, Big Ed.
Before choosing a friend, watch them closely. Give them six months to prove themselves. Once you embrace and befriend a person, you inherit their problems.
I made friends with a young man named Hondo. His name literally meant War. He stood about 5’5” and was at war with the world. His enemies became my enemies, and he had many.
Never go to where trouble exists. If there is a fight on campus, go in the opposite direction. And if trouble must come, let it come to you, not you to it. That way, you can see it from afar, and will have already decided what you will do.
-grandpa Eddie Griffin