When understanding…was simple

the-simple-lifeI grew up in a time when understanding…was simple.

Prime example is the first twelve years of my formal education. I knew in advance that the purpose for attending school was to receive an education in order to improve my chances of becoming successful.  The word “successful” is a subjective word meaning different things to different people…which we will discuss another day.

Ok….let me backup a little…in the first few years of my education I couldn’t even conceive the words that I just used above…must less spell them. The first few years were spent learning (without my awareness) to interact with other kids, structure, sharing, respect for authority, discipline…and heartache.  Yes…heartache, there was a little girl in the third grade that was cute that had absolutely no interest in becoming my girl friend.

Beyond those first few years I gained the “simple understanding” of several things. If I didn’t listen and study…not only would I not learn…but there would be consequences. I would not be promoted to the next grade level with my friends if I didn’t meet the minimum academic requirements… that my family who cared about me would be disappointed… that it was my fault that I didn’t pass because I didn’t apply myself because of my priorities.  I had a great deal of respect for my teachers and their attitude toward us as developing individuals. That respect never wavered…even when I was sent to the Principal’s office to have my ass whipped…that’s right …have my ass whipped.  I didn’t need a thirty minute lecture or therapy session with the Principal, I knew what I had done was wrong and I new the consequences beforehand…it was my choice.  I also knew when I got home that my Pop would not be going to the school the next day to try and have the Principal fired…but that he would just whip my ass to reconfirm the Principal’s action.  I began to make better choices after a couple of those sessions.

This was also an age that you learned in life that everything was not necessarily equal.   I am hesitant to use the word “fair” because to me that meant you “cheated or didn’t play by the rules”. Today I feel that word is used more too express “resentment or entitlement”. It was a time…if you didn’t win your ball game…it’s was because the other team was better that day. It was fair…it just wasn’t equal on that given day. You also realized that your physical skill level may not be equal to some of your team mates, but you didn’t resent their talent…you used it as an incentive to play your best.

The first twelve years of my formal education was for the purpose to help me reach a level of knowledge and understanding that should benefit me in making choices in the “real world”.  There would no longer be a bell ringing every 50 minutes to direct me to the next event of my life… it was my time to make my own choices in life…the understanding was simple.

Johnny J.


 DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.

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