By Steve Walker
Last week’s column spoke about a missing article –faith. It suggested how faith was necessary to reach one’s goal and be successful. Those thoughts lead to another thought—“What if.”
I started my “What if” journey with the question, “What if” I had attended a different college than Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth. Better still, “What If” I had not attended college at all? How would my life be that different than it has been so far? My quick answer would be my life would be vastly different.
Although my family, especially my father, had doubts about my being successful in gaining an education, much less my bachelor’s degree, I was able to graduate in the top fifty percentile. I was even able to achieve the honor of being voted by my peers as “Most likely to succeed” in spite of all the detractors making bets that I would drop out and then be shipped out to Viet Nam. Considering the odds were against me graduating at all, that is pretty good I think. While I graduated, I did get drafted and sent to Viet Nam anyway.
I was the only one in my supply company in Phu Bai, who had a college diploma for what it was worth. When I bragged to my fellow soldiers I was voted most likely to succeed, I did notice they rolled their eyes and mumbled something about me being the most likely to be sent home in my own personal body bag!
Attending Wesleyan I earned a teacher’s certificate. I taught 26 years in public school around town in San Antonio. Imagine if I had never been a teacher? Would a shy 12-year-old I taught in middle school in the seventies now be a County Court Judge in Bexar County if I hadn’t taught him? Would a young man whom I also had in class in the nineties, be currently running for a City Council seat this year with a good chance of winning, not choose to run if he wasn’t my student? I like to think he wouldn’t.
What if I hadn’t run to be a Justice of the Peace and served four years on the bench? Most likely I wouldn’t have been asked to write a column for La Prensa about a JP court. If I hadn’t lost my primary, last election cycle, I might still be writing “Ask the Judge” instead of “Just a Thought.” Without a college degree none of that would very likely happened.
As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I have posed the question many times, “What if?” in many different circumstances. Apparently it is a lifelong process that won’t stop any time soon. It is what it is.
You could say that the thought of “What if” has given me a new perspective.
I have been looking for all these years for an answer to “What if”and it was right in front of me, inspired by divine revelation. No matter how you word it, how you spin it, it still boils down to God’s plan. He saw my lifespan and determined what would be best for me. Now it comes down to the execution which relies on “faith.”
And as always, what I write is “Just a Thought.”
Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran and former Justice of the Peace and Journalist