Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Spoiled, dependent, entitled, indentured, enslaved

Are spoiled children born that way? According to British writer Roald Dahl, “Some children are spoiled and it is not their fault, it is their parents.” Spoiled children have parents who give them everything they want instead of teaching them to earn what they want, instead of teaching them responsibility and independence. Quite simply, parents of spoiled children fail to heed the advice of “The Country Parson,” Frank A. Clark, who said, “The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.”

Where are you from?

The other day a friend and I were talking about immigration. He immigrated to the United States, is an American citizen but never refers to himself as a something-American, a hyphenated-American; he is just an American. My great-grandfather emigrated from Prussia in 1852. And like my friend, I don’t consider myself a Prussian-American; I am just an American.

My friend says people occasionally ask him where he is from, the question suggesting to him that they think he is a hyphenated-American with divided loyalties. Perhaps his mild accent or foreign sounding name prompts the question. But might I be asked where I am from if my last name were Gerbeling or if I had a German accent?

Gratitude is a burden

“Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure.”

Tacitus, 56 AD – 120 AD, Roman historian

Does this sound a bit too much like today, suggesting we may have progressed little this past 2,000 years? Is gratitude still a burden? Is revenge still a pleasure? Is complimenting difficult? Is complaining easy?

Think of the signs in stores pointing to the customer service department, the successor to the original complaint department. Have you ever seen a sign for a compliment department? I haven’t, and even if they existed I doubt people would stand in line waiting to offer a compliment.

No more apologies – Part II

We grovel before Gadhafi and hide our flag. Critics claim we are a self-centered and selfish country, providing less foreign aid than twenty-one other countries when comparing the aid as a percentage of gross national income. Are our critics right? Are we not what we believe?

Well, how might we fare if we looked at total foreign aid rather than percentages? In that case, the United States is first, giving more than $25 billion in 2008; the next 21 nations combined giving only $85 billion. The United States provides nearly 30% of the world’s foreign aid.

Values and common sense

Do you ever wonder about our lost values, our disappearing common sense?  Where is our foundation, our cornerstone, showing us the values that are America?  Our foundation is crumbling and a cornerstone is hard to find.  And we have fewer anchors to look to for help understanding what we are, and what we should aspire to be.

Nearly 30 years ago, I met such a man, such an anchor, although I did not realize it at the time.  Our first meeting was in the emergency department of Bannock Memorial Hospital.  He was a bit confused when I very kindly, but firmly, asked him to please read, and sign, about 500 pages of consents.  With a boisterous voice, he suggested that might be excessive; I suggested it made a great deal of sense.

What do we see in our flag? – Fourth of July, 2009

A high school social studies teacher took a unique approach to teaching her classes the value of being an American.  She had all the student desks removed from her classroom. And, as each period’s class arrived, shocked there were no desks, she said to them, “I want you to have a desk, but before you can have one you have to tell me how you earned the right to sit at one of these desks.”  

Concealed carry permits – right or privilege?

This summer the Supreme Court issued its ruling on the meaning of the Second Amendment.  I believe they correctly understood the Founding Fathers intentions; affirming that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  But, they did not settle all issues surrounding gun ownership; including if the government can require more than just a background check to get a concealed carry permit.  Pistols and revolvers are common firearms.  Therefore, the right to own them is resolved.  But, is a concealed carry permit a right protected by the Second Amendment, is it a privilege, or is it both?

Introduction to men and women

I am approaching thirty years in our emergency room.  I am not sure I can any longer recall patients I have seen, the histories I have taken.  Some histories are fascinating, some adding to my life education knowledge I never needed to know. The one constant that has remained throughout these years is that men and women are staggeringly different.  More important, those differences never diminish or go away.