Willie Spears


August 7, 2019

Sunday, we had a guest speaker at church. The church we attend has five locations within a hundred-mile radius and this famous person is a faithful member. He drives the golf cart on Sunday’s to pick up members who park far away from the sanctuary.

He is a former Pastor, Governor, Presidential Candidate, and Author and has his own television show. You will never guess correctly. Do you want a hint? Once I give you the hint you will probably not read the rest of this article, on the other hand some of you will read the next six hundred words because of the hint.

I believe some grownups are often hindered by their political affiliation, church denomination and preconceived notions. Whereas some millennials or young people have no foundation for truth or basis for decision making. These two views cause one group to judge others and the latter to judge no one. Both dangerous. Here is your hint.

His daughter’s name is Sarah. She most recently worked for two years as the White House Press Secretary.

Our guest speaker was Mike Huckabee.

He told a story about reading bedtime stories. He reminded us that our parents use to read us bedtime stories when we were young. I remember reading Tayelor and Kenneth bedtime stories.

Tanika and I would read Bible stories to them every night with great enthusiasm. The stories he was referring to were fairy tales. Stories that began “Once Upon A Time” and ended “And they lived happily ever after.” He went on to say that children watch everything we do.

I call this principle “more is caught than taught.” He demonstrated the way he would turn the pages when he read to his children. He would read a page, then lick his fingers to gain traction so that he could easily turn one page instead of several pages at a time.

One day he noticed his daughter reading a book and licking her fingers too. The only difference is she was turning pages with one hand and licking the fingers on her other hand.

She copied the behavior but didn’t do it the same way her father did because she didn’t understand his why; his reason for licking his fingers.

What’s your why?

The people watching you may not know your why.

Coach Jason Brown was featured on the Netflix show Last Chance U. He has been in the news lately for insensitive remarks he made on the show. On a sports talk show he stated the viewers only saw a glimpse of his coaching style, but said the glimpse was accurate. He and I communicated through e-mail and he told me why he coaches the way he coaches.

What’s your why?

My father was born in 1950. His generation didn’t need to know why, they just did what they were told. I was born in the late seventies and my generation wanted to know why but were too afraid or too respectful to ask. This generation wants to know why. They want to know the purpose behind the behavior.

Unfortunately, many of us don’t know why we do what we do. We don’t have real answers. Instead we have these vague sayings that we stole from the previous generation: “because I said so”, “because it’s in the bible”, “because I’m an adult”, “we’ve always done it this way”, “it’s the best way”.

Governor Huckabee was not trying to teach his daughter to lick her fingers when she reads, but that is exactly what he taught her. Are we indirectly teaching young people bad habits?

When my son was in fifth grade, he screamed you suck, at the top of his lungs in the direction of an unathletic student who made the same mistake three times in a row during a kickball game. I wonder where my son got that from?

Willie Spears is a teacher, coach, author, minister and motivational speaker. He has been awarded teacher and coach of the year. He speaks to thousands each year through his business The Willie Spears Experience. Willie may be reached at www.williespears.com.

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