i’ve been amazed by a few phrases from the3 books i have recently been reading. here are two quotes which i have found myself particularly caught up in.
as you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it – whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.
harper lee, “to kill a mockingbird“
i was talking with my dad the other day and i told him that i thought that statement would be more true today if it was said socio-economically. a person who has the best of education, social life, and resources who takes advantage of someone who has the least of these, “that person is trash.” i have been acquainted with far too many people who have made their living off cheating the poor. now please understand that i don’t mean by this those fine people who provide services in lower socio-economic areas. those people are just trying to make a living. that’s fine and dandy. making a living, a profit, and evening prospering is just fine by me as long as it’s done without regularly and continually cheating “the weakest of these.” for a case in point let me talk about my dad. one of my dad’s hobbies is running what in alabama is known as a “we finance” lot. these lots are used car lots that will finance anybody buying a car. depending upon the lot most of the people who buy cars probably won’t be able to get one through any other means. these leads to two groups of people running these “we finance lots”:
- people like my dad who treat their customers fairly (i.e. my dad rarely gets the full amount financed back and doesn’t go after it just because he can – my dad is fair with everyone. he “hobby” makes a decent “living” for him but he by no means abuses the poor.).
- people who have found a legal way to be the used car equivalent of “loan sharks.” these people take advantage of the situation that their customers are in to enrich themselves without regard to what will happen to their customers. i’m not talking here about a decent profit (which i find nothing wrong with).
i’ve been acquainted with people who have cheated through poor through various other means (i.e. slum lords, some sub-prime lenders, some check cashers, etc.). though i believe we are all sinners and stand in the need of GOD’s mercy and grace, i am not biggest fan of these guys and girls so my relationship with them usually stays at the “acquaintance” level. thankfully i know more people like my dad (who i am a fan of).
i’m pretty tired right now (after a long day of unpacking, going to the county fair, refusing to pay $8 per person to watch the county fair’s demolition derby, cooking out steaks, and making smores around our fire pitt) and therefore, i will talk about the other quote tomorrow. it may actually be a series of quotes because this book (augustine of hippo’s “on CHRISTian doctrine“) simply kicks butt.