Layfield led by example; so should we all

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 9, 2005

Steve Layfield was a principled public servant who believed in helping others.

He worked through everything in life with the courage of his convictions.

Those convictions were based on simple principles of hope, compassion, faith and the ideal that sometimes you have to bend down to help someone up.

Sadly, Layfield, who was the director of the state employment office in Greenville, passed away Friday after a courageos battle with cancer.

Some people do not believe they are courageous but in Steve Layfield, it was evident until he left this world that he was indeed a courageos man.

When he was diagnosed with cancer last year, he didn't simply give up.

He fought it with ever fiber of his being.

The courage that he has shown these last months should be an example for us all.

Few people knew that he and his wife, Mary Beth, would give up most of their Thanksgiving so that they could help feed people at Thanksgiving on the Hill each year.

Few may know that they spent many months working on mission trips helping the poor, sick and hungry of Central America.

In fact, they were supposed to have spent a year out of the country and were preparing to leave when he fell ill last year. On June 6, 1966, in a speech given in South Africa, Bobby Kennedy said: ‘Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope and crossing each other from a million centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

Those words very much describe the life of Steve Layfield, whose life was tragically too short.

But in his death, let us learn by his example of courage, grace, righteousness and that all people deserve a chance, no matter their consequences.

We add our condolences to the very long list of those who will remember Steve Layfield, a truly good man, who will always be worth remembering.