WHAT’S WRONG WITH PEOPLE
The Whole 500 Cents
The Way I See Things
Rex Leslie Howard, Jr.
Well, yall may remember that I sometimes write a little column called
The Whole 200 Cents?
So what’s up with the 500 Cents thing?
Well … I’m going to write about some things that aren’t going to set
well with some people and for others, it will be as a voice of reason
speaking up for those who can’t or won’t.
I’m definitely not going to be pleasing all the people with this one.
But I hope I do please most of you who call yourselves my friends and family.
Because I’m writing this for you.
And I’m writing this against the growing decline in moral integrity,
ethical responsibility, faithful unions, tough love, effective
parenting, real Christian living and an overall lack of care,
compassion, empathy, sympathy or understanding for anyone outside of
our own little worlds.
And yes I know my words will change nothing but at least I’m saying something.
Maybe you want to say something too and perhaps my lengthy essay will
give you strength, motivation and courage to do just that.
Maybe after reading this, you want to chew me out.
Have your say. Whether you speak or remain silent, you are saying something.
Now one final warning before we get into the meat of the matter.
This gets heavy and confrontational.
I make no apologies.
These things need to be said.
Not all of you will appreciate what I have to say. Not all of you will
feel a warm fuzzy feeling in your hearts for me.
So be it.
Let’s get started.
If you have known me for any substantial length of time you have
undoubtedly heard me use some of the following quotes ad verses of
The first faults are theirs that commit them. The second, theirs
that permit them.
You shall learn the truth, and the truth will make you mad.
The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.
Sticks and stones are hard on bones, aimed with angry art. Words can
sting like anything but silence breaks the heart.
That last bit comes from Phyllis McGinley’s poem called … “A Choice
Do you see the problem here?
Silence is a weapon, not a curative. Lack of communication is a
sickness, not a remedy.
Failures in communication are plunging us further and further into a
crisis of character.
it’s not going to get better if we just stay quiet.
Failure to compromise, work through issues and conflict is a
disability. Silence is a weapon. It is not an asset.
Some of the people who call themselves Christians couldn’t be more
wrong about their religious affiliations if they were to suddenly
begin to pronounce themselves as atheists, agnostics or some other
generic term that has come to describe a nation without a heart for
God, without a heart for people, without an appreciation for life, a
nation that has lost respect for integrity, for ethical standards, for
morality, for unity, for growth, development, perseverance or anything
that doesn’t put them first and at the forefront of everything they’re
You see, God didn’t create any of us to be an island unto ourselves.
God didn’t create us to break ranks.
United we stand, divided we fall.
A house divided is a house defeated.
You think satan doesn’t know this?
Do you know that where there is strife in relationships and
friendships prayers are hendered?
Look up the scriptures for yourselves this time.
I generally provide them but this time? No. I will just tell you that
everything I am saying here is bible based, founded in scripture and
easily searched out.
Don’t take my word by any means. And I say that with absolute
sincerity. Look up things I tell you. Check my theories against the
word of god.
You’ll find that I don’t say it publicly like this unless I know it does.
We’re told over and over again in scripture that where there is unity
and communication, where people work in one accord that God commands a
blessing of life forevermore.
In fact, there is such power in unity that God had to separate the
people and divide them into different language speaking groups because
they were working so well together in an attempt to reach heaven by
building a tower.
God said “look at these people working of one accord. There is nothing
they cannot accomplish. Let us go down and confuse their languages and
How did the devil bring shame and disharmony to the Garden?
By creating doubt. By creating discord. By messing with unity.
And he’s even better at it today than he was then.
So let me spell it out a little more clearly.
If God commands a blessing of life forevermore where there is unity,
what do you think He will command where there is fighting,
back-biting, gossip, slander, libel, adultery, infidelity , and an
almost Walmart type approach to relationship building and friendship
Don’t like something a friend does, trade them in for a new one.
Don’t like a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse anymore, exchange them at
the Service Counter of any club or meet market hangout.
Tired of the kids? Find friends with new one’s. Hell it’s only people.
Reminds me of that song Grandma Got Run Over by A Reindeer. Remember
when they are wondering whether to keep the gifts or take them back
and the chorus yells “Take them back?”
That may have been the right thing to do with Grandma and the
hooftracks across her back but it’s not the right thing to do with
people who have life scars across their heart.
Love covers a multitude of sins and that’s not talking about Jesus
love covering our sins.
Jesus love didn’t and doesn’t cover our sins. Jesus blood covers our
sins. Jesus sacrifice covers our sins. Jesus death on the cross covers
our sins … when … we come to him for the living water that never
Until then … we get no benefit from his work, his death, his
resurrection, his ascension and his continual work as our advocate.
Do you realize that God build this whole thing in six days and he’ll
work on us our entire lives?
If God is willing to put that much effort into us, the least we can do
is try to meet him somewhere in the action.
We’re not doing that when we fight with everyone around us.
So what does God command where there is a lack of unity?
I’ll tell you what He commands in these situations. he commands …
Death to the sanctity of marriage. Death to the idea that people can
work through anything if they just will. Death to the heart which
hopes for love. Death to the notion that right is right and wrong is
wrong no matter what. Death to Christian principles. Death to bible
teaching. Death to children raised in Christian environments. Death to
school prayer. Death to separate bathrooms. Death to the notion that
life isn’t fair and shouldn’t be fair and was never intended to be
We don’t want anyone to lose so we’ve stopped keeping score in sports
and even in some classroom environments. But everyday we’re causing
our up and coming generations to lose more than they can possibly
We don’t want to hurt little fragile self esteems and yet we’re
creating a nation of people dependent on the attention of others to
get them through a day.
We don’t want to see our up and coming generations do without like we
did as children but everyday they’re doing without the support and
nurture of whole family units. The very idea of functional
relationship building is so foreign to most people these days that
people just settle for anything as long as they can feel loved and
wanted a little bit of the time. We’re learning Algebra, geometry,
aspects of science and medicine that most of us will never use in the
real life we’re supposed to be preparing for and yet we go into
adulthood without the skills to manage a checkbook, write letters,
send thank you notes, have an actual phone conversation with people,
shop for groceries, maintain vehicles and develop coping skills to
help us deal with the very real truth that life sucks sometimes and
will throw us curveballs at every opportunity.
Do you all know that the great social experiment of the decade is to
cut down on people communicating effectively by creating stock images
to help us say in pictures what we need to be saying in words?
Don’t believe me?
Do you realize that when the first build of Emoji’s was released,
there were 180 Emoji and now there are over 3000 little pictures and
emblems to help us say silently what we need to be saying vocally.
An Emoji to say “I love you?” How about this “I! love! you!” Eight
characters not counting spaces or my exclamation marks. We’ve whittled
that down to an image that takes up less than one bit of data. And …
data is not an issue anymore. Laziness is.
An Emoji to say “call me?” An Emoji involving an egg plant to
basically ask someone if they’re a vegetable? Emoji’s to replace the
actual physical sharing of a kiss, hand holding, a hug, a smile.
We have Emoji for clothing?
Is it too much time wasted, effort and trouble to say words like
“dress, shoe, bikini, coat, blouse, umbrella, purse, hand bag?” What
could possibly make us think an Emoji showing a birthday cake would be
better than the real thing?
Someone sends me a bacon Emoji, they better be sending it to say “I’m
bringing the pork, you start the eggs” because if they’re not, all
they’ve done is make me hungry. Oh … my bad … hangry.
When did we become so effected by the normal needs of our human bodies
that we get angry when we’re not fed on time?
So you didn’t get your usual 7:30 AM breakfast feeding this morning.
Get over it and fix yourself something to eat on your own. Being
“hangry” won’t solve anything. Being hungry and doing something about
And while you’re at it, call a friend and see if she or he might like
to join you and you can turn hangry into appreciative, thankful and
I’m willing to bet that’ll sit better in your stomach at the end of
the day than that pour attitude you’ve been allowing to stew and boil
in the festering sores of your growing ulcers.
Duane Sheriff says it so eloquently when he says “stop stewing on the
difficulties of life and start brewing a pot of thanksgiving.”
it’s not hard to do.
Here’s a few simple little rules.
1. Don’t accuse someone of being self-centered and then turn around
and do self centered things. It makes you a hypocrite and builds walls
of resentment faster than the Russians build the wall separating East
Berlin from West Berlin.
2. Don’t expect other people to put into relationships and friendships
more work than you’re willing to put into them. The fact is that in
most relationships this is the way it goes. I don’t dispute that. What
I’m saying is stop expecting the givers to always be givers. Perhaps
if you stop expecting everything to be about what you get verses what
you give, you may give more and expect less. When you do that, you
will actually get more and have to do less. It’s called the law of
sowing and reaping. The law of sowing and reaping is misunderstood by
so many. You generally hear people say “you reap what you sow” when
something bad happens. But do you know you reap what you sow when
something good happens. Sow reap good. Stop worrying about reaping the
bad. it’s going to rain on your parade, storms will beat against your
house, famine will strike your life, you’ll wonder in wildernesses at
times. You’ll get your heart broken. People will hurt you. People will
desert you. People will misunderstand you. Keep sowing good and you’ll
reap better. Quit thinking of it in terms of karma. Karma is for
fools. God’s judgment will be the ultimate law of rule one day. Leave
karma to the Buddhists. You think of it in terms of reward and
judgment in Heaven and I guarantee you life will improve exponentially
day by day by day.
3. Say I love you more.
4. Say I appreciate you more.
5. Say I need you more.
6. Say “you’re important to me” more.
7. Give a few more hugs.
8. Kiss a little more.
9. Hold each other a little more.
10. and … love a lot more.
Quit using that excuse that love hurts.
You ain’t never going to suffer what Jesus suffered for our heathen souls.
We need to get over ourselves.
We need to raise our standards to meet those of the standard bearer.
And stop giving each other the silent treatment.
If you’re reading this you’re not a child. Stop acting like one.
Nothing speaks as loudly as an uncaring silence.
You may think remaining silent, refusing to speak or get involved in
civic events is also a right and calling but it isn’t. It’s a derelict
of duty, a miscarriage of justice, a slap in the face to our men and
women in military and an outright cowardly position to take.
Have I missed anything?
Have I helped anyone?
Have I truly pissed off anyone?
If you have something to say, here’s your chance.
A ten spot for your thoughts.
Oh and if you read this all or listened to it all, thank you very
much. I appreciate you, I’m thankful for you, grateful for you. And I
even love some of you.
A few I even like.
PS; For the legalistic among us who may have a problem with me using
the word “pissed” I would like to direct you to the King James version
of the Bible and these six scripture passages.
1 Samuel 25:22 KJV So and more also do God unto the enemies of David,
if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that
pisseth against the wall.
1 Samuel 25:34 KJV For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth,
which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted
and come to meet me, surely
there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that
pisseth against the wall.
1 Kings 14:10 KJV Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house
of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pissethagainst
the wall, and him that is shut
up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of
Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.
1 Kings 16:11 KJV And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon
as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left
him not one that pisseth
against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.
1 Kings 21:21 KJV Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take
away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth
against the wall, and him that is
shut up and left in Israel,
2 Kings 9:8 KJV For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will
cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is
shut up and left in Israel:
Now, how many of you saw that coming in advance?
Be careful with traditions in beliefs or viewpoints about the bible.
If you’ve not read it from cover to cover multiple times, you don’t
know that word.
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