A Barbed Wire World
By Greg Winston
An innovative message that provides a sustainable solution to helping kids avoid police violence and create meaningful lives.
Blood, love and preparation for the cruelty of America: over the years I have come to believe that this is what raising a child in today’s world is all about. It’s about coming together the way it was when we were kids. Back then we all knew that a child had to behave when they went out: otherwise the neighbor would intervene just like Big Momma or Paw Paw would.
We have lost that sense of community and now we navigate alone, dealing with the scientific pain that comes from being a divided race. On my Grand Daddy’s farm in the country the entire community seemed to function as one farm. I had to behave no matter where I went or how many farming neighbors I would visit. Not doing so would mean that whatever adult was nearby acted as my parent. They would protect me, watch over me as if I was their own, and by the same token they would punish me if I did anything that was wrong.
As I write this there will be parents who say don’t you touch my child. I understand how they feel, and at the same time I understand that same parent would want an adult to protect their child if something went wrong. Well, something has gone wrong. The world has divided us much the same way apartheid divided South Africans. The age-old divide and conquer tactic is alive and it’s killing our kids.
The cover of my book shows two pictures. The first is a black and white picture taken for Life Magazine during a demonstration for civil rights in Birmingham Alabama 1963. The second photo is a color photo taken during a recent protest against police brutality. The picture taken in 1963 showed the world how America treated its citizens. It sparked the controversy that forced Lyndon Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Bill of 1965. To date, I have not seen the same kind of progressive benefit of contemporary protests against police brutality. It is befitting that Tonja Seasley Baymon discussed this same concept with me two years ago and we are still in need of change.
For years, our doomed vision has allowed us to shout, cry, and complain about the people we loved being killed. We even had a President was the same color as we are and it made no correction to the problem of the senseless deaths of innocents in America.
If you are a person or a parent who cringed at that last sentence, let me share something with you that might help: demonstrate. Demonstrate to help your kids grow and advance. Demonstrate how they should act when they are pulled over by the police. Demonstrate what your children should say in the face of authority, knowing that most fatal shootings escalate based on words.
Even more, let’s refer back to our rural roots and act as a community. Watch and help the children of your neighbors. Be open to your neighbors returning the favor and helping your kids. In doing, so we become a stronger community, a community that’s stronger because of our numbers. Stronger because we save our children and our numbers grow. Stronger because we will not allow ourselves to be divided.
When you read Barbed Wire Souls I hope that you can relate to the stories of my youth. In each story I share with you a way to demonstrate to your children. These stories act as a launching pad to start life-changing discussions. There was one shining light in my life that has never diminished: the stories and conversations I had with my Grandfather. Today, I credit any success that I’ve had directly to the lessons demonstrated to me by my Grandfather.
Did you demonstrate today?
About the Author
Greg Winston is former juvenile delinquent who overcame poverty, a crime infested neighborhood, and drug dealers to receive a college degree and
work with Fortune 500 companies.
The turning point in Greg’s life came when his mother sent him to live with his grandfather. The lessons Greg learned on his grandfather’s farm were life altering.
During college Greg was asked to speak to a group of kids in a detention center. He told stories about his grandfather and how it changed his life. The experience started Greg on a mission to help kids reach their full potential. With the problems in the world today, Greg is even more focused on helping kids succeed.
“An aware parent loves all children he or she interacts with – for you are the caretaker for those moments in time.” – DOC CHILDRE