An Age-Old Dilemma

There is a woman who lives a
life of integrity, an integrated
life, a life where things fit
together into a whole, actions

reflecting words and vice versa.
Her core values of justice, mercy,
peace and forgiveness are lived
out in action. Some say the woman

has a prophetic inclination. Some
say she is uppity and acts unbecom-
ing for a woman. She certainly
knows how to anger people with

the things she says and writes. It
is almost a compulsion, maybe a
curse, this trying to set things
straight, to seek justice, to defend

the rights of the helpless, to lift
up and affirm the notion that all
of life is sacred and that we should
handle that sacredness with care

and love. Sometimes her actions are
interpreted as being unloving and
not compassionate. She is like the
preacher who steps on his parish-

ioners’ toes to which they say he has
gone from preaching to meddling. The
woman doesn’t even know where
this comes from except that the father

she admired but who died when the
woman was young, had integrity,  so
maybe it was handed down through
nurturing and conditioning, but the

woman’s father hardly knew his father
or mother, both of whom died as young
immigrants and, of course, the woman
didn’t know her grandparents. One day

she received a note in the mail from a
distant acquaintance who was research-
ing his past and came across the fact
that the woman’s grandfather had been

falsely accused of impregnating a woman
but because he cared for her, paid child
support for years. The note said that the
woman’s family DNA exonerated her

grandfather. Maybe it’s nature, maybe
in the blood, leaving the woman with an
age-old dilemma: Is it nature or nurture?
Both? Whichever, she’s just grateful.


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