Jan. 9, 2020

HATE ATTACKS THE HATER....NOT THE PERSON BEING HATED.

Several years ago, one of my meanest critics from my hometown died…at the age of ninety-one. In 1973, He served as the lead attorney for my husband during our lengthy divorce.

 I mentioned Steve Matthews in my book, THE BEAUTY QUEEN because he openly hated me. I never understood why-- during the divorce-- he attacked me so viciously,  He treated me like a scorned lover.   He attacked me personally when I asked for enough money to keep my daughters in the private school they were presently attending.  He acted like any money for them would be coming out of his pocket.

Many years later, when we crossed paths-- socially-- Steve refused to speak.  Much like a bitter ex-husband, He stared at me from across a crowded room with such anger and hostility, I was actually afraid of him. Surely, his unharnessed Hate must have made him physically ill.

Reading his obituary, I marveled that he was being praised for the various positions he held in his church. I found it puzzling that he was credited for the length of time he’d served in each position. Everything in his lengthy obituary focused on his church duties and number of years he’d performed those duties….but, never once, did his obituary mention any personal involvement he had with life, community, or other commitments outside the church.  There was absolutely no mention of any of Steve’s “good deeds”.

For me, Steve’s death was a reminder of his ongoing Hate toward me. I know attorneys are hired to do the best job for their clients-- especially when clients have deep pockets-- BUT---does that also mean attorneys are required to get so-personally involved in cases that they adopt the same hate-contempt- selfishness for the defendant.....as their client!?!?!? 

Obituaries seldom--if ever--say anything negative about the deceased. As old people would say, "Never speak ill of the dead." But, as I approach the finish line, I speak out more and more about what I've experienced from people….whether it puts them in a good or in a bad light.

 Life is never one-sided; every one of us makes mistakes.  Hopefully, we learn from those mistakes......but..... if we purposely hurt others, slander others, and do whatever we can to harm others, should our obituaries focus on our commitment to our Church?  

Should our obituaries describe us as candidates for Sainthood? I don't want to hear about someone’s Dedicated Faith or how many hours they spent performing church duties.   Talk to me about that person's good works.

PS….For the “first time” ever, I’m acknowledging one very-sick fact:  Steve Matthews, my ex-husband, and several others from Pine Bluff's “Good Old Boys” club wrote nasty-ugly letters against me and sent them to Governor David Pryor.  Their signed letters of Hate were a serious attempt to get me fired from my job with Arkansas Public Television---a job I desperately needed after the divorce.

 I saw copies of the letters because David Pryor was a friend-first (David and I became friends when we both attended the U. of A at Fayetteville, AR)--before he was a politician; before he was Arkansas’s Governor, and before he was a United States Senator.   

Stay Close,

Sally