Increase, Energy and Whynot

Years ago in a newspaper snip-it, Ripley’s Believe It or Not presented a fact that said that in Mississippi there are three communities that touch each other – Increase, Energy and Whynot. It is a fact that all three communities at that time ran together or at least bumped up against each other. Later the country community of Increase renamed itself as Causeyville. So now just outside of Meridian there is Whynot, Causeyville and Energy. Why would the little village community rename itself Causeyville when for years they had been stuck with the name Increase? What would possess a community of people to get together and name themselves? I wondered why the community folks got together one time and proposed, discussed, and finally did change their name from Increase to Causeyville.

In the small little downtown area of Causeyville there is an old country store and gas store. Now that the town has been renamed Causeyville from Increase there is a marker pointing to the fact that there is a historic spot there in Causeyville. It is the old Causeyville, or as it used to be Increase, grocery store. The folks in the area still know what they used to say about the old store where men gathered to spit and whittle. The word was there were two things that you would never hear around that old store. One was the truth and two was meat frying.

Now the first missing element – the truth – is a missing element in a lot of places across the countryside. Instead of telling the truth it seems that today it is more important to dance, dodge, bob and weave. It really does not matter who you are, where you serve or what the issue may be. Regardless of whether it is mechanics or machine operators, politicians or physicians, teachers, preachers or just plain old creatures, we have all learned that what is important is to farce words, tell partial truths and deny the rest.

The other missing element from the old store was meat frying. It is my understanding that this is sort of a play on words describing folks that are a tad lazy and won’t get up, go out and either earn the bacon or bring in the game. They just sit around doing nothing and no meat is cooking. The absence of both of these things is a tragedy. They certainly can be seen far beyond just a little community grocery store and their absence are a tragedy in our day. I am not denying that it is not bad, for it is. But I am also aware that there may have been times that it was worse than now. I am certainly aware that there have been times when it was better than now.

For me personally, it seemed to be an everyday issue brought up in class or in a conversation that we were to be a people of integrity and trustworthiness. It may have been just where I was raised or the people that I was around, but it was a big deal. I rarely hear of it being a big deal today. People worked hard to go out and make a living. They had a sheer determination and grit and a grin. They carved out a life for themselves and most always for those who would come behind them.

Sadly, we live in a day when too many folks want what they want when they want it and with no work or investment on their part. Greatness is far more likely to come not from what you get but from what you give. And it is far more likely to be found hanging around a wonderful verse of Scripture that says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Eccles. 9:10). Give your best to the job and to those who are around you. Do your job even if they don’t. Do your best to be helpful even if others do not help you. It is the right thing to do and the right thing to do will ultimately bring right to you.

Jim Futral
Executive Director-Treasurer