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by Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Author’s program note. It has just gone 7 a.m. here in Cambridge. It is one of those precious summer Sundays when the good people, the indispensable people of the land are engaging in time sanctified slowness… the universal desire to refresh, renew, recharge, recreation the order of the day, not revolution, not even here in the citadel of revolution. The day promises to be sultry, kissed by sunshine, so choice that even fervid movers and shakers, their every move calculated, deliberate, serious sit down for a moment and allow themselves to be touched by the simple majesty of a pink hedge rose, enriching every passer-by with the wanton liberality of its insinuating, insistent, evocative and always joyous scent. But here’s the important thing. Two years ago these flowers were not to be found in my neighborhood park, the Common.
They are only there now because one person decided to make it a better and more soothing place by taking roots from another place alive with their radiance, planting them in dead of night, thereafter giving them the water and the tending required. A man. His task. His secret… and a happiness that comes from making the world, even in such a small matter as this, a better place. You may guess who this horticultural benefactor was; I will neither confirm nor deny. But I tell you this: the good folks of Louisville, Kentucky applaud such initiative by emulating it… and this is the point of this article. That if there is to be change, you must designate yourself as the change agent, selecting the work you must do to change a world in constant need of revitalizing and thoughtful revisions.
That is why for this article, I selected one of the most moving songs about change ever written, not merely on the need for change, but the need for you to get up and help make it happen. The song which you can find now in any search engine is “A Change Is Gonna Come”. It was written and recorded by Sam Cooke in 1964. It has been called one of the most inspiring anthems of the Civil Rights Movement. And so it is… but we have need of it now for so many other purposes. What good are anyone’s civil rights when we as a species are daily assaulting, by means various and pernicious, what we must have to survive? “Oh, there been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long/ But now I think I’m able to carry on/ It’s been a long, a long time coming But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will.” Thus sayeth the folks of the Louisville Interdenominational Male Chorus, making a difference, note by melodious note, for over 26 years now. Here is their story… and it’s well worth the hearing. What must be done to bring about beneficial change.
The world we inhabit today will not be the world we live in tomorrow. It is not just that the verities we knew so well yesterday are in the process of transformation; it is the verities of today which will not be the verities of tomorrow, whether we like it or not. The first task, therefore, of mankind in general and each of us in particular, is to move with change, keeping in step with the developing evolution of everything, for everything is evolving, embracing as much as we can with optimism and joy rather than bemoan and bewail the loss of the “good old days”, the passing hours we lived in just the other day, precious in our mind’s eye but gone, gone forever, replaced and irrevocably so by the change that is gonna come, the change that is, after all, nothing more than a bridge to the change that grows out of the change, great and small, we make today. It is easy in these circumstances to feel insignificant, a person of no consequence, no meaning, less even than a grain of sand in the midst of infinite time, space, and eternity. Such a realization can easily lead to dismay, despair, and demoralization. But this would be wrong… for the stupendous challenge of our life is to craft our planet and every feature that distinguishes it, the goal perfection, the objective crucial, the task glorious because it involves us all and calls upon us all to act, for without the act there cannot be the achievement.
If the goal was not monumental and demanding, we should be cheated. We, all of us, were created to rise above, then rise above again, our every sinew and muscle required for the task at hand, a task that calls us from the pedestrian affairs of daily life to be and act like the children of God that we are and must never forget, no matter the difficulty of the road we must each trod… for this is the only road worth traveling. How change comes. On August 29, 1983 a small group of reverend fathers assembled at the First Congregational Methodist Church, their numbers few, their work necessary, their steadfast determination notable and essential. They would make music, holy music, thereby uplifting the people, disseminating the good news… and from monies raised through their musical and charitable endeavors, they would help as many meritorious students as possible attend institutions of higher learning, education necessary if these students were to rise above their circumstances and, in their turn, assist others not yet as fortunate as they now were. Thus from the First Congregational Church, Greater Salem Baptist Church, Little Flock Baptist Church, Mount Nebo Baptist Church, and Portland Memorial Baptist Church The Interdenominational Male Chorus was founded and a new light lit for the churches, their pastors, their parishioners, the great city of Louisville, and mankind, for a good idea that makes life better is never merely local and parochial but a good deed and high example for the world at large which can only advance by such means, a fact we can never forget. Two revered gentlemen, Brother Harry Brown and Brother Alfonso Vance, were honored by their honorable colleagues; assigned to protect and foster the happy idea and take particular responsibility for its success… and so they did. Thus they acted from the first day as all the truly great people on this Earth have ever done; they started, one foot after another, minute by minute, one day at a time, so are the greatest goals achieved. Here was their unbeatable agenda: They committed… for without commitment there can never be greatness. They did more than their share… for change is always carried by the few… for the good of the many.
They urged the good people of Louisville to join them… for it is the undeniable fact that those doing good have a responsibility to recruit those who might also do good… if only they were asked to help. And asked again… and again… for you cannot achieve maximum results if you ever take no for an answer. They listened to excuses. They didn’t make them. When you work with people you hear people’s excuses. The excuses which diminish progress, or even stop it all together: “I can’t…”; “I’m sorry but…”; “I forgot…”, “I’ll be your best worker — next time” and all the rest. People become leaders because they disdain the making of excuses as unworthy of them and their important mission. They covered for those who said they would do a certain thing, then failed to do it… forcing the true believers, the people who nurtured and cared for the idea, to do more… and to do it with the smile that was often under the circumstances deeply difficult to summon, but always there notwithstanding, for heart is always part of the kit of every one who works for change.
For such a one there will always be heart… and at just the precious moment most necessary. That is what is meant by the old adage, “God helps those who help themselves”. No one epitomizes this more that William Buck, fighter, survivor, inspirer, man of the cloth , my friend. Brief history of a man of courage, tenacity, faith and resolution. Of the many things I could tell you about William Buck, this one reaches the core of the matter. He woke up this day in pain. He will go about his important business today in pain. And he will go to bed tonight in pain. Yet this pain will not define this or any other day; rather his determination to continue to effect the most positive of changes will. He has pain; pain does not have him.That is the crucial difference and the reason his story is worth attending to far beyond the confines of Louisville’s Greater Shepherd Church, (which he founded) and the New Jerusalem Baptist Church, where he acts as Assistant Pastor, in his “retirement” years. Some of you will have been born with debilitating back problems like Pastor Buck. Have they defeated… or empowered you? Some of you will have worked the most demanding and laborious jobs, the kind of job that progressively destroys even the strongest of bodies. Pastor Buck did. Has it defeated… or empowered you? Some of you will have become so enfeebled and weak that one day you missed your step and fell helpless to the floor, all alone, no one to call, no means of calling them… and so spent hour after excruciating hour alone with only your fears and the name of the Lord to comfort and sustain you.
Did the experience defeat…or empower you? William Buck was cobbled together with titanium in his back… and unequalled resolution in his mind. The Lord was his shepherd and he rose to the task. Pastor William Buck was tested by such experiences… was challenged by such experiences… was born again because of such experiences… and so because of such infirmities, their constant pain, and the faith they tested and thereby helped secure, he moved to God, a grateful child of the Lord, a man who learned to lean on Jesus where he found everything he needed to rise above, rise above, rise above and bring the good news to the people, particularly in the songs sung by the Louisville Interdenominational Male Chorus, his special cause, his particular joy. Hallelujah! Envoi. This is more than a story about one particular man in one particular place.
It is instead a story about the individual commitment, responsibility and constant work that have built thousands and thousands of worthy organizations across the Great Republic. Select one of them as your special cause and learn the joy of giving like the good people of the Louisville Interdenominational Male Chorus, currently in 15 churches, have done, for they in general and William Buck in particular are worthy models of what we can do when we put our minds to the task and work together to achieve it. Dedication.
The author, with great pleasure, dedicates this article to all the people who have used song as the means to advance the favored young people of Louisville and especially to Mrs. William Buck, Bulah Mae, and their two children, Lakesha (37) and Contrallo (32). These are his rod and his staff, nothing likely without them, but with them the great change that gonna come, that he works for every day of his blessed life. About the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is the author of over a dozen books in print, several ebooks, and over one thousand online articles on a variety of subjects. One of Dr. Lant’s favourite topics is to write about interesting people who are changing our world for the better one day at a time. Republished with author’s permission by Howard Martell http://HomeProfitCoach.com/associates . Check out CB Passive Income -> www.HomeProfitCoach.com/?rd=vz1JfdGp