We’ve Lost Our Common Sense

I’ve always thought teaching was the noble profession. I still do, but I have second thoughts when I read about some of the things happening in our schools these days.

There was a teenager in a Texas classroom that was suspended for two days for taking a cell phone call from his Dad who is serving in Iraq. The school has a policy of not allowing students to use cell phones in class. Apparently a teacher saw him answering his cell phone as he walked out of class and the kid was punished by suspension for two days.

Where is the common sense of the Copperas Cove High School authorities?

All of us understand the need for rules, but some rules must have exceptions and this was one of them. If school authorities cannot see that rigid intolerance belies learning then they ought not be in education for when the absolute becomes rigid, learning suffers.

Other examples: One school has a rule of no tactical exchanges between students. One little girl hugged another because she heard the other child’s Mother had just died. The kid was briefly suspended from school.

A few years ago the school board in Altoona, Pennsylvania had a policy allowing historical or religious documents to be displayed for 25 days in the school building.

The Ten Commandments was the first posting.

The caveat was that no document could show disrespect to an individual, ethnic group or religion.

Then the school board learned that the Baha’i faith, Wicca, atheism and gay rights history were to be displayed, they quickly voted unanimously to stop considering documents for display.

Rather than take away the words or images and icons of various beliefs, because they are controversial. Rather than hide them in textbooks on dusty shelves, perhaps the school board should have considered festooning the school with many documents as they walls could hold. And while they’re at it, hang the paintings and pictures of the great teachers from many beliefs.

Moses, Mohammed, Jesus, Vishnu, Gandhi, Zoroaster, Chief Seattle, Buddha and many more. Our children need examples of inspiration, not intolerance and fear.

Campaign Bickering

Unfortunately this Democratic Presidential campaign has debased into the common denominator of bickering. We continue, after the Pennsylvania debate on ABC, to have a litany of finger pointing. He did this. She said that. Her action is worse than mine. He’s an elitist. He or she attacked first. It’s interesting most of us don’t tolerate that behavior in our children, why should we in our candidates.

So far, in this Presidential candidate selection campaign, the issues have received short shrift, while the personality, integrity, and history of each candidate has come under personal attack.

Most people want, not only their candidates, but the opposition too, to tell us where they stand on issues that concern us. And just once, I’d like to hear one candidate say of another, he or she has a good heart and the best intentions, but I think my way is better for you and here’s why.

The issues for American voters is not who knows whom. Who worked with whom and what did it mean, if anything.

The issues are living wage jobs, affordable health care, a solid and competitive education, a clean and sustainable environment, safe streets, a reasonable fuel price and drug free neighborhoods.

Debate these things and you have a legitimate candidacy of service. Debate the other stuff and you’re only interested in getting elected.

Gobbleygook

We all get junk mail, both at home and now on the internet. Spamming is commonplace and most of us dump the unsolicited junk emails without reading them.

Something came across my electronic desk today that made me pause and reflect about our bureaucracy and the excess governmental verbiage called gobbledygook. I don’t know who wrote it. It was forwarded without attribution.

The truth of the adage that “less is more” is proven in the following email.

The Pythagorean theorem is explained in 24 words.
Archimedes’ Principle: 67 words
The 10 commandments: 179 words
The Gettysburg Address: 286 words
The Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words
The US Government regulations on the sale of cabbage: 26,911 words.

Need I say more?

The Power Of Thought

There are some people who believe the thoughts we have for others are seen physically in our body language and sent ethereally through an unseen energy. It’s been called many things: prayer, light, vibration, and even the force.

Assume for a moment that our thoughts are a personal energy that we can send to someone, even to the world’s leaders, the Kings and Princes, the Dictators, Presidents and Premiers and Prime Ministers all over the world.

The men and women who govern different countries are constantly being criticized or cursed by their citizens and others for one reason or another. We are all quick to criticize, but slow to praise, to encourage, and to even love, thus the leadership of the world is mostly bombarded by negative and harmful thoughts.

To help our struggling world, perhaps if we send our best thoughts to these fallible men and women, it will inspire them to seek the greater good through the medium of compromise.

If it works, if a little piece of our hearts, our positive energy, our Chi, could indeed be felt by these leaders, then we have everything to gain in the process. It might even encourage global agreement on contentious issues balanced in peace and shared responsibility.

Think about it!