By Steve Walker
This week’s column will be the final in my series,“What If?” Over the last couple of weeks, I have offered my speculations and possible consequences concerning faith and the lack of faith. On any given day we make hundreds of split second decisions that alter the course of our destiny. I have suggested that faith is a necessary ingredient to successfully reach one’s goals and I truly believe that to be a fact.
When you ask yourself “What If” I…”, you can pose many subjects, such as lost my job? Get married? Get hit by a car? Win the lottery? Can you imagine your life being different if these questions are different from the life you now live?
I certainly can if events in my life had turned out much differently.
At Christmas every year, the television broadcasts the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” with actor Jimmy Stewart. (aka George Bailey) The question is raised to make us address as to whether or not we make a difference in people’s lives. Hopefully the answer is “yes.”
In a quick synopsis, a depressed Bailey prepares to jump from a bridge because he believed his life was falling apart and his family would be better off without him. His guardian angel Clarence intercedes, shows George what life in Bedford Falls would have become for the residents there if he had never lived.
The whole movie speculates how the Bedford Falls citizens would have fared without him. Obviously they would all have lived much different lives as well as his family. That detail affected everyone in the city.
In my own life I still wonder “What If?” Had I not served on the Balcones Heights City Council some years ago, and not fought for a bus for the 20 elementary students who were being forced to walk across IH10 where there was no safe crossing to attend school? They were put at risk because the district didn’t provide them with transportation and many of the parents didn’t have vehicles to take them.
Thank God I was able to convince other council members to vote to budget a bus for the little ones. My teacher instinct kicked in. They have that bus even today. “What If” I hadn’t been there to insist they do so and one of those precious students were killed walking to school? Scary to think about it.
I always beat myself over the head asking “What If” I had not graduated high school or college despite the fact I was told I couldn’t because I wasn’t smart enough. Thank God I didn’t buy into that or life would be totally different for me. I certainly could have never been elected as a judge for four years and made a difference in many people’s lives especially truant students.
Taking this thought of “What If” to a different or a much large arena, I pose the challenge to the reader to speculate on “What If” we lost the Battle of the Alamo? How would our lives be different? Would we all carry Mexican passports and all speak Spanish? Since the first week of March is the anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo, I leave you with just that thought.
As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I have posed the question many times as many of La Prensa readers may have at one time or other. 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. Perhaps you the reader have come to the same conclusion. But then again, “What If” you didn’t?
Anyway, as always, what I write is “Just a Thought.”
Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran and former Justice of the Peace and Journalist.