I have been troubled by folks who try to limit my rambunctiousness from a very young age. As I aged, I learned that being too truthful was not necessarily good. Until age seventeen, I thought that the truth was the light, and that was how God wanted it.
When I lived with my uncle and aunt during college, I was shocked when my little cousin was told that James Brown was saying “spunky,” not “funky.” This spark helped me understand that absolute honesty may not be what little ears need to hear.
Earlier in life, our mom and dad separated when I was four or five years old so that mom would accumulate whippings we would get when he visited. He wouldn’t whip us; he just talked to us and made us feel so bad that we wished for whippings. One day he said, “I can’t believe you are my son!” He could have stabbed me in the chest and twisted the knife; it would not have hurt as much.
Boundaries became more critical when I entered high school because I had to steer clear of some past negative and daredevil actions. I even managed to be voted student body President at my high school.
Being overzealous early in my career had its ups and downs. Because I wanted to know all aspects of how jobs were done, I got into trouble with trade unions for doing things as simple as moving a ladder. Fortunately, I was able to talk my way out of situations quickly.
The traffic laws are the most significant set of boundaries I have had the most problems with. After about fifty years of driving, I began to let other vehicles pass me. Going to traffic court helped me realize how stupid it was to think that law enforcement officers stopped and charged Blacks equally because over eighty (80) percent of those in the courtrooms have been Black. Through fines, we are paying way more than our fair share toward financing in most jurisdictions where I have gone to court.
My other lifelong problem with boundaries has been my simply wanting to be different from others. Some things are cool and don’t matter much, but occasionally, I do something inappropriate. Know that respecting boundaries includes knowing to keep one’s mouth shut!
Thanks for listening!
William Leroy Kennedy
Former Financial Services Professional at Kennedy Group, Ltd. – Financial/Motivation
Studied Architectural Engineering at Prairie View A&M University “Giving a strong recommendation: Khan Academy for educational success”