Commentary: Why I Choose To Stand

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

I attend a lot of games at which it is customary for the singing of our national anthem.  It for some reason struck me at the game Tuesday between Piper and Basehor-Linwood to wonder why I am standing.  Even with the Colin Kaepernick protests and seeing some kids this school year following suit has been interesting to watch.  Earlier this year I saw a football player take a knee and just at the Bonner Springs vs Piper game I watched a young man sit with a look of disgust, while the band played.  The beauty of this discussion at least for me is that I don’t care what other people choose to do during this song.   

For as long as I can remember though I find myself at full attention with my hand on my heart singing along quietly to myself.  I do this oblivious to what anyone else thinks or again chooses to do.  For myself though I choose to stand because of what this country has rewarded my hard work for.  I get sentimental at this time of year, most times after I meet with my CPA desperately exploring options to lower my tax burden.  I take pause every year though to remember where I came from and hope for where any of the students from my home town can get to.

I grew up at 1014 Freeman, 4 blocks from Big Eleven Lake.  I grew up in a house with the living area that is no bigger than my living room and kitchen now.  My family was on welfare and received food stamps for a number of years.  I sold Call papers out of 10th street Jewelry store to make a dollar to buy 100 jungle jollies from Taylor’s which was across the street from Douglas Elementary.  I witnessed gangs, fights and unfortunately had to participate a time or two.  I am sure I can relate to many kids in the city.  Despite my plight I now choose to stand.

I have a healthy respect for our military and believe the country and taken huge strides in terms of race.  The black community is a generation or two from hopefully turning a powerful corner.  This progress is what allows me to be in the situation that I am in today. 

I stand because I had the opportunity to succeed.  Thank god I was raised with the will power and work ethic to take advantage of it.  I bring you a message of hope that despite every social injustice I can share a story of opportunity.  In the future my hope that for every tail of disrespect I can share 5 stories of success. 

Today I manage a staff that makes well over 1.5 million dollars in salary.  I work at a Fortune 500 company that entrusts me to work on tens of millions of dollar projects.  I stand because if you dedicate yourself and take accountability for yourself you can do anything you want.  I stand because you can choose to be a wolf instead of the sheep. 

Denzel Washington said it best during and acceptance speech.  “If you get knocked down 7 times then get up 8.”

This was on my mind to share and continue to hope to motivate all the students out there and pray for their success!

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