Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

Published 2:30 pm Monday, January 14, 2019

“It is good to have wealth. It is great to leave with a soul in comfort.”

Ernest Agyemang Yeboah -‘Distinctive Footprints of Life’


Sometimes ‘Writer’s Block’ catches those of us who do this for a living, and we find ourselves struggling to establish our voice.

This has been one of those weeks.

It’s probably because this was the first full week back into the routine, and maybe it was because God was guiding me toward something profound to say.

We’re nearly two weeks into a New Year and that’s usually when some random thoughts run through my head. Sometimes this time of year brings on a bit melancholy, but that’s also something I think we also need in our lives because it sometimes takes more years than we imagine it would to understand what is really important in life. Let’s hope now we’re about to embark on a journey of a very important learning experience.

There is nothing that you can buy that you can take with you to that next journey after this life, most all of us know that. But after reading Ernest Yeboah, a West African-born writer, and teacher who has been blessed with deep thoughts about life, living and the reasons for living a life that leaves, well, distinctive footprints.

He gave me the following thoughts for 2019 beyond hoping to win the lottery, praying that my stepdaughter finally calls and tells me she’s getting married, or affirming that it’s better to give than to receive:

  1. Instead of that $300 purse, invite a friend that might not have been as fortunate as you to your house and spend a weekend reminiscing.
  2. Instead of replacing that 50-inch TV with a 65-inch 4K UHD model, rent a cabin for the weekend and take your significant other on a (re)bonding trip. We could even consider the tree-houses on the Cashie River in Windsor.
  3. Instead of a new set of golf clubs or that wood-pellet grill/smoker for the backyard, take some kids from your church to one of the many museums in Washington, DC (Smithsonian, African-American History, and Veterans Memorial) for a weekend educational trip.
  4. Instead of that neat upgrade for the man-cave or she-shack that you’ve been coveting, take an afternoon walk around your hometown, pause at some familiar sights and spend a few days reconnecting with your childhood.
  5. Instead of spending 300 bucks for a night out at some five-star restaurant, take that money and buy 10 coats from Walmart and give them to Goodwill or have your kids hand them out at a shelter.

Remember, everything that you buy that you really don’t need just stays here after you’re gone.

Build some lasting memories in 2019. Peace, and Happy New Year. As I wrote before, hopefully this one will be the best one ever.

Now for the bittersweet: part of my inspiration for this column was remembering two people who aren’t with us anymore. They are the late soft rock singer-songwriter Jim Croce and Stuart Scott. Last Thursday would’ve been Croce’s 76th birthday. His songs from ‘Bad, Bad Leroy Brown’ to ‘I’ve Got a Name’, to ‘Time in a Bottle’ all painted some great portraits of some pretty vivid characters in the artist’s life; all of whom Croce purported to have known in one form or another. The songs, but not those characters, are probably going to live forever.

As for Stuart, Jan. 4 marked four years since his passing. And all I can think to say to end this is: “Booyah!”.


Gene Motley is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7211.