Shirley at the Plate

800px-Tarom.b737-700.yr-bgg.arp_-300x200 Shirley at the PlateAs we entered the parking shuttle at Los Angeles International Airport, my two colleagues and I politely greeted the driver, a cheerful, grandmotherly black lady. We were the only ones on the shuttle, and as we sat down, it seemed like a good opportunity to engage in a bit of light conversation.

Her name was Shirley and she had that kind of exuberant, joyful disposition toward life that was contagious. We asked her about her job and she said she was happy about it for three reasons: she likes people; she likes to drive; and she likes to work outdoors. This job was perfect, so she had no complaints, no resentments and plenty of common sense.

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However, while Shirley was content with her job, she was not completely oblivious to the world. She was not a self-centered person only concerned about her own little world. She knew a lot about the problems inside society and she was quite outspoken about them.

When she asked what we were doing, we explained our activism in defense of moral values and God. The mention of God hit a sensitive point and she came alive. She decried the loss of Faith and the moral crisis of our days and talked at length about them. She was very opinionated and many of those opinions were not necessarily politically correct.

She was indignant, for example, that “In God We Trust” was taken off the face of the Susan B. Anthony one dollar coin. “I tell people if you get one of ‘em, give it back and ask for a dollar bill,” she commented.

“People need to step up to the plate,” Shirley told us. “It only took one woman to take prayer out of the schools. Everyone thought it would be impossible. But that one woman got it through because no one opposed her. We need to speak out.”

As we approached our terminal, Shirley apologized, saying it was time for her to “get off my soap box.” However, on our part, there was no need to apologize since we were all edified by her attitude. It was evident to me that she was a person who influenced all those around her.

In my book, Return to Order, I maintain that there are what sociologists call “representative characters” at all levels of society. These are natural leaders who embody the values of those around them and put them into a plan of action. They are people who step up to the plate.

Usually, when referring to these characters, we tend to think of people with a lot of money, position or prestige. That is not always the case. On the parking shuttle, we found a refreshing example of a representative character from much more humble origins. I have no doubt that she plays a role that is not small where she lives and works.

Subscription5.24-300x300 Shirley at the PlateIndeed, our nation is not in worse shape because there are all sorts of natural leaders like Shirley all over the country who climb onto their soap boxes. However, these existing figures are not enough to change the course of the nation. What we will need if we are to return to order are legions of heroes to come forth and let their voices be heard. We will need many more Shirleys to step up to the plate.


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Have you met any Shirleys lately? Tell us about your experience below. Pass this article on to all the Shirleys in your life.

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  • ann b

    Very interesting case in point

  • pat

    Christians fighting Christians … doesn’t get the job done. I’m
    Catholic. But I know there are plenty of Catholics, and other so-called
    Christians who don’t Believe or Practice their Faith … and then …
    there are those who do practice their Faith in CHRIST … but who do so
    while also criticizing other Christians who practice their Faith in the

    We have to stop that.

    We also need to stand our
    ground against all of those who think, like the Germans did in Nazi
    Germany, that we can look the other way while people are killing the
    living unborn who are alive and living and growing in their mother’s
    womb. It started with contraception, just like Pope Paul the VI said
    it would. So it did. First we killed our conscience and drove GOD
    out of the bedroom and our of our private lives … and then it ended
    with and lead us into abortion … where we killing our Hearts and
    killing our Minds and killing our souls with our killing of the Living
    UnBorn in their mother’s womb … or … we looking the other way …
    and saying … oh, I wouldn’t personally do that … but it’s ok if you
    do that … just the way they did with slavery and with the
    concentration camps of Germany and Communism.

    Am I my brother’s keeper. You bet you are. And so am I.

    we are going to criticize our Christian brother, may it be for their
    NOT practicing what they are supposed to be Believing … and Not
    because they are not in our Christian group.

    I am convinced
    beyond doubt as to the rightness of the Catholic Faith and Sacraments
    … but I am also convinced that many Protestants are better Catholics
    than many Catholics … and may get to Heaven way before many Catholics
    do … even though the Catholics having all the Blessings and Truths of
    the Faith in full … still … many of us Catholics are CINO
    (Catholics in Name Only) … many politicians being 180 degrees off from
    the practice of the unchanging and unchangeable Teachings of the Church
    … which BTW … the Pope cannot even change a teaching of the Faith
    of CHRIST’s Church .. never has and never ever will … if you
    understand correctly that a dogma is a defined article of the Faith as
    it has always been taught, but which now is in need of a formal
    declaration there-of … just like Paul saying.

    But I digress.

    put … we needing to work together with those who really and sincerely
    Love the LORD … and we needing to save the UnBorn so that GOD will be
    able to save us from ourselves.

    Also, there were several
    references to the ‘Woman’ of the Bible … at the beginning … at the
    end … and in the Gospels … CHRIST referred twice at least to HIS
    Mother as Woman .. at the marriage feast where she saying ‘do whatever
    HE telling you to do’ to the waiters … and at the Cross … telling
    Mary, ‘Woman, behold thy son.’ ‘Son, behold thy Mother.’ With almost
    HIS dying breath, our Lord assigning us a Mother, HIS own Mother to be
    our Mother. That’s what we Catholics Believe and Know. So, please
    get over it. We call Mary our Mother, because Mary is the Mother of
    JESUS and we are HIS Body and Bride. Also, since all generations will
    call Her Blessed, we DO THAT. It makes us very happy to do that. We
    will always do that, just like Mary said that we would.

    reference to the Woman is in Apocalypse, Chapter 12. The Woman clothed
    in the Sun (clothed in the SON, Spiritually speaking) with the moon at
    Her feet and crowned with the stars and in pains of giving birth. Mary
    did not have pain giving birth to JESUS, is what we Believe. I won’t
    go into it. But, Mary has much pain in giving birth to Her other
    children, you and me and us all who say we are in the Body of CHRIST,
    the Church. Mary and the Church are both our singular Mother, in
    different spheres so to speak … and they are the Woman whom the Dragon
    goes off to wage war against the Woman and her offspring, the brothers
    and sisters of the LORD. You can also say this of the Church in the
    temporal level of ongoing time and history. That’s us. We are
    fighting it out with the evil one and his children till the end of time
    and history.

    So, don’t let it blow your minds and poison your
    relationship with the Pope or the Church or with Catholics … excepting
    perhaps with those who do not actually Believe the unchanging and
    unchangeable Faith of over 2000+ years. That would Not be me or the

    Also, the Pope is more limited than any Protestant. The
    Pope cannot change any defined dogma of the Faith nor the understood
    meanings of oral Tradition (which Paul emphasizing to keep the
    Traditions — the Faith — which we having passed on to you whether by
    written world or by word of mouth — the only way that the Teachings of
    CHRIST being taught at the beginning of the Church — orally — and
    using the old testament too, the only Scriptures at the founding of the
    Church — She not writing the new Testament till later on and not
    formalizing the New Testament till much later than that) nor any of the
    understood meanings of Sacred Scripture. But the Pope can apply the
    unchanging Faith to the world as we are experiencing it right now …
    and the Pope can deepen the understanding of the Faith … but without
    changing any of Her already expounded understandings of Her Teachings as
    regarding Faith in Her LORD and HIS Teachings which HE having given to
    Her to teach and preach to the ends of time and history and to the ends
    of the earth.

    Scripture saying to hear the Church .. referring to
    the Church as the ‘Pillar and Foundation of the Truth’ .. and that She
    is .. not by our design, but by the design and will of GOD and of
    CHRIST, HIS Only Begotten SON, SON of Mary.

    Oh, I did not mean to
    say all of that … but only that we need to support one another as
    best we can … cause nothing else will do in this Spiritual Battle
    against the evil one … and the Church is NOT your enemy … the evil
    one is OUR enemy … and we are the children of the Woman who is doing battle with that evil one.

    I’m sure no one agrees with much of all I’ve said. Thanks for allowing me to say it.

    GOD Bless us all.

  • pat

    BTW … good article. GOD Bless you and us all.