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Each Man Should Concede to His Limitations

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As a comic and poet, I am good at impromptu performances. Seldom do I work from a script or read aloud before a public audience and when I do I fall on my face, last week at the NAACP 60th Scholarship and Award where I agreed to MC the program was no exception. Public reading has made me uncomfortable since I stuttered in elementary school.

Although, I seldom stutter or appear uneasy with my own material, I am a bag of nerves when trying to overcome my 50-year handicap diction.

Usually out of self-preservation, I would escape the jitters with offscript humor. During the wellattended ceremony May 6 at the Riverside Convention Center, I fumbled early at the beginning of the program so badly that I was unceremoniously removed from the stage in front of a packed house.

Though humiliated, I realized that my failure to concede and acknowledge my limitations, instead of constantly trying to overcome themselves lead to my just dessert. At first, I joked around with the prospects that I had a sudden unwelcome and unexpected senior moment but that was not the case. Perhaps since I have heard so many times that it is branded into my head that I should never give up. And perhaps that’s true but my overcoming a challenge should not be done at the expense of other people and their programs. Hereafter and evermore, I’m sticking to my own material and staying as far away from other people’s scripted material as possible.

Nevertheless, God works in mysterious ways. Had I been allowed to continue, my clean comedic material, though funny, out of nervousness, was headed in a gray area as for as clean and/or racial is concerned.

Later that night, as I tossed and turned in bed, it occurred to me that many other people get into hot water by ignoring or not accepting their limitations. Some people are too impatient to be schoolteachers, too uncaring to be nurse, and too antisocial to be waiters, waitresses, or church ushers. In some cases, people are too selfish to be spouses or parents.

Poor drivers shouldn’t transport children but do so in hopes they will overcome their recklessness.

Although impatient and uncaring people need jobs, they should consider self-employment, working from home or something. I believe their shortcoming is a private matter until it begins affecting others. People with drug problems shouldn’t work for the public even though they’re trying to overcome the addiction or habit.

It is appropriate that I put on my big-boy-pants and extend my heartfelt and sincere apology to all the members of the Riverside Chapter of the NAACP and especially to it’s president Woodie Rucker-Hughes, member Mary Welch, Crystal Davenport, Jean Denny, and anyone else that vouched as a reference for me. A special apology goes to Robin Woods who found herself in the uncomfortable position to rescue the audience by sitting me down and taking over the job herself.

Website: www.richardojoneslive.com

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