“Conflict cannot survive without your participation” ~Wayne Dyer~
This put me in mind of the song sung many years ago by Kenny Rogers…..
So… I put together an instrumental version of the tune, and below it, are the lyrics……
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Coward of the County
Everyone considered him the coward of the county… He’d never stood one single time to prove the county wrong. His mama named him Tommy, but folks just called him yellow. Something always told me they were reading Tommy wrong.
He was only ten years old when his father died in prison. I looked after Tommy, ’cause he was my brother’s son. I still recall the final words my brother said to Tommy… “Son, my life is over, but yours has just begun”. …
“Promise me, son, not to do the things I’ve done.. Walk away from trouble if you can. It won’t mean you’re weak if you turn the other cheek.. I hope you’re old enough to understand; Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man”.
There’s someone for everyone, and Tommy’s love was Becky.. In her arms, he didn’t have to prove he was a man. One day while he was working, the Gatlin boys came calling.. They took turns at Becky, ‘n’ there was three of them.
Tommy opened up the door, and saw his Becky crying.. The torn dress, the shattered look was more than he could stand.. He reached above the fireplace, and took down his daddy’s picture.. As the tears fell on his daddy’s face, he heard these words again….
“Promise me, son, not to do the things I’ve done … Walk away from trouble if you can. Now, it won’t mean you’re weak if you turn the other cheek; I hope you’re old enough to understand… Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man”.
The Gatlin boys just laughed at him when he walked in the bar-room.. One of them got up and met him halfway ‘cross the floor. When Tommy turned around they said, “Hey look, old yeller’s leaving”, But you could’ve heard a pin drop when Tommy stopped and locked the door.
Twenty years of crawling was bottled up inside him.. He wasn’t holding nothin’ back, he let ’em have it all. When Tommy left the bar-room, not a Gatlin boy was standing.. He said, “This one’s for Becky”, as he watched the last one fall.
“I promised you, Dad, not to do the things you’ve done.. I walk away from trouble when I can. Now please don’t think I’m weak, I didn’t turn the other cheek, And papa, I sure hope you understand.. Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man”
Everyone considered him the coward of the county…..
And this, in turn, prompted the question posed in the title of this article.
What do YOU think?