Friday, February 18, 2011

Hurtful Children

- - Those who wish we'd all get along like children have obviously never been a child. Some of the most vicious, hurtful, and potentially damaging things that have ever been done to me were done to me when I was a child by other children.

While under the age of ten, I was once dragged the length of a large swimming other older children. They pulled me by my legs so as to make it impossible for me to stand up and breathe. I never knew who my assailants were as they grabbed me from behind; fortunately I knew to hold my breath while being dragged underwater.

Once while walking through a secondary school cafeteria in my early teens, my mechanical pencil was ripped from my pocket by an older male who held the pencil by either end while his seat-mate karate-chopped the pencil in half. When I expressed my displeasure over their actions, the pieces of the pencil were thrown at my face, its jagged edges opening up cuts. I never even knew what their names were.

As a child while shoveling my parents' sidewalk free of snow one winter, this simple action or my odious presence was apparently enough to cause an older male child to start kicking snow back over the cleaned path. Again, I never even knew his name.

These cited examples are not all-inclusive, but are simply remembered instances that come to mind illustrating how cruel children can be to other children. Probably you can think of numerous other examples of your own from your own personal experiences.

--So we should all learn to get along like children?--Generally speaking, this is not a good idea!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Not-So-Good Old Days...

-- The past is calling...and usually what it says is, "Wasn't it great?"

I usually get one or two e-mails a week of the type from well-intentional people that suggest that everything was better in the past. You know what I mean; they say things like, "Remember when you could leave your house unlocked and not worry?," or "Remember when you could leave your keys in the car and not have it stolen?"

Yeah, I do remember...but such flashes to the past are usually selective and far from comprehensive, regarding the past with rose-colored glasses. You never see a nostalgia item that proclaims, "Remember when blacks and gays were regarded as sub-human?," "Remember when we lived in fear that the Russians might bomb us back into the stone age?," "Remember when lots more people died at an earlier age?," or "Remember when religious and sexual bias were operational and institutionalized?" These things, too, were part of the past, but are conveniently excluded from too many flashbacks.

There were many cool, commendable, and noteworthy things about the past, but it was far from golden and returning to it might eliminate some problems but create others. All in all, it's well to remember that the "Good Old Days" weren't all that great...

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Mistaken Identity?

 - - The political far right loves to demonize President Obama as a dark-skinned, war-hating socialist who wants to give us all health care...

...they've apparently confused him with Jesus!