Op-Ed

Meet our letter writers: Paul L. Whiteley Sr.

Retired teacher, 73, Louisville; married father of two sons and grandfather to two; NCAA track and field champion in 1959 three-mile race for Emporia (Kansas) State University; alternate on the 1960 U.S. Olympic team for the 5,000 meters; born in Tell City, Ind.; moved to Kentucky in 1941.

What motivates you to write?

Since I am an amateur writer, writing letters to the editor is my hobby or serves as a substitute for journaling. I believe I was meant to be a prolific letter writer, following in the footsteps of my Baptist minister dad, Gordon Craig Whiteley Sr., who wrote many letters to Louisville newspapers from the 1940s to 1956, the year he died. I am a regular person who tries to incorporate justice, kindness and walking humbly with God in my letter writing.

What shaped your worldview?

My parental upbringing, life experiences and faith shaped my view of the world. By word and example, my dad and elementary school-teacher mother taught me much. I was the fifth of seven children who lived simply in church parsonages. My dad never learned to drive, so we didn't own an automobile. Like so many who lived during post-Depression days, our family didn't possess much of life's luxuries. But we always had enough food, clothing and shelter.

Living today in a world driven by greed, where enough is never enough, those growing-up experiences led me to see the eternal truth of the Middle East proverb, "Enough is a feast."

I love America, but see myself primarily as a citizen of the world and of God's kingdom on Earth. My study of Judeo-Christian scripture tells me of God's overwhelming love for the poor among us. As a follower of Jesus, I've been taught to love God, my enemies and my neighbors as I love myself. I have faith that someday nations of the world will finally come to turning weapons of war into farming implements to feed a hungry world.

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