I don’t care who you are, my mother will probably hate you.  It’s nothing personal, really.  She just hates everyone.  She’ll find a reason, believe me.  You will have the wrong skin color, practice the wrong religion, have ancestors who were born in the wrong part of the world.  She’s a pretty universal bigot.  She seems to hate just about everyone for some reason or another.  But more about her later.

Smith magazine, the home of the six word memoir, has just published “The Moment”, a book about life changing moments in the lives of 125 people.  You can grab a sample from Amazon.

The book begs the question… what is the moment that changed my life?

For me, that moment came  April 4, 1968 with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.  It was repeated again two months later on June 5, 1968 with the assassination of Robert Kennedy.  I had been a youngster when President Kennedy had been killed, so the events of that day, while emblazoned on my mind, didn’t have the impact these other killings had on me.  By then I was a teenager, trying to understand my place in a radically shifting world.  I was looking for role models, and Dr. King was one of them for me.  He taught love and acceptance, civil disobedience and standing up for what was right.  The day he died was the day I learned to recognize the face of evil.

The riots that ensued seemed like something from another country, not here in the good old safe USA.  How little I knew of the world.  My sociology teacher decided that he should bring some diversity to our lily white classroom, so he invited a friend to speak with us, a successful black entrepreneur from a nearby city.  The evening before he was supposed to arrive, someone burned a cross up on the hill by the school.  I didn’t know we had the Klu Klux Klan in our town, but we did, and they made themselves known.  There was a reason that we never saw any color of face other than those that looked like me.

Which brings me back to my mother.  I recognized the face of evil in her face.  I woke up to the idea that the venom she was spewing, the subtle brainwashing that no one could ever be as good or pure as we were was so very, very wrong.  I made mental lists of all the types of people she hated and was amazed.  She calls herself a good Catholic, but she despises and disparages everyone who doesn’t fit her little view of the perfect Aryan world.  April 4th, 1968 is the day my world switched direction and I began to walk away from everything I had been taught by the person who had given birth to me.  It was the day I became my own person, free of the fear that is the basis of bigotry.

I have signed the Charter for Compassion because that is my life belief, begun that day in April of 1968.

What was the moment that changed your life?  Please share it with us.

Read the preview of my new book, an Alice Anne  mystery:  “The Banker’s Murder List.”


  1. Margie says:

    Whoa, very powerful post Chris. Good for you to have the strength. You are a better human being for it. Margie

  2. eeryweerywoe says:

    Im currently in Prague and recently read about John Hus. Very interesting post!

  3. […] The questions is “What was the moment that changed your life?”   Check out her blog My Mother Hates You to find out her […]

  4. Congratulations! I’ve nominated your blog with the Versatile Blogger Award. I’ve enjoyed your mystery writing. Here’s the link with more details on the award: http://earth-rider.com/2012/01/16/the-envelope-please/

  5. rumpydog says:

    I think your mother and Jen’s mother are related maybe?

  6. pegbur7 says:

    Congrats on your award! I understand your feeling. I was brought up in a very prejudiced household but rather than think that my parents were/are evil, I choose to believe that they were mislead and uninformed. They were only passing on what they were taught. Hopefully I stopped that vicious cycle!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s