Circles of Thoughts
Along time ago, when I was a child I sought out something uplifting to distract me from poverty and an illiterate drunken stepfather.
“It’s no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.
Well anyway I decided in my spare time to find the wisdom brought to America by so many different immigrants from their scattered homelands. I decided on this path after reading a Bible and the book of Ecclesiastes. Perhaps if I had been old enough to understood Songs of Solomon I might have become an adult film maker instead.
Anyway, I then decided I would read about philosophy, history and the actions of historic figures, looking for parallels among the leaders and peoples of the world, to learn from their mistakes and successes. I coupled this with the concepts of logic and logical behavior thanks to the TV character Mr. Spock and the bravado of Captain James T. Kirk.
They made everything seem so simple and when you’re young you boil down every problem to a very simple analytical and logical solution and think it can be applied to all of mankind’s problems.
When I turned 12 I went to H.H. Filer Junior High School located at Hialeah Florida. There I realized that the logic and all the answers I had discovered and seriously believed would not prevent the scourge of bullies that made life hell, they beat up the helpless, and in my woodshop class they stole tools by tossing them out through windows and loading them in to their cars. In my woodshop classes there were guys who actually wanted to create boats and cabinets and other great things. However this was not to be because lurking there as in all of the classes of mine, were many low I.Q., Neanderthal looking, wallet stealing, throw you out of the Boys P.E. locker room butt naked and locking the door cretins. They smoked cigarettes, smelled awful lied, cheated and used the anger at home, they muted it towards their parents and then took it out on anyone that had any decent qualities. They would take the expensive wood meant for the expensive serious projects and lathe them into small clubs they called fish bats. Supposedly for knocking large fish unconscious. In my class alone they made over 50. The teacher resigned stating that he could not teach thieves and liars the second man, a very nice black fellow also quit as the anger for the stolen wood was blamed on him , no students were ever punished. To this day I regret the goings on,.
We often asked our parents how to deal with these devils and we were told given three answers, the first was tell your teacher which never worked, the second just avoid them like a coward and the third was standup for yourself. One time I stood up for myself, I had missed a week of school because I had my appendix removed. On the second day in Math class, I was punched in the back of the head, in anger I turned and stabbed my attacker in the hand with my pencil, we were sent to the assistant principals office. The black kid who punched me told me to shut up, he then told the principal that I had called him a n***er and that was why he punched me .I denied this as I was not insane. I was given 7 hits from a 3 foot long paddle that had air holes drilled in it to increase the speed and pain. When I got home I told my mom and she blistered the assistant principals ears. I was never paddled again. I learned that instructions 1 and 2 were my best options. I also learned to avoid bullies and sit in the back of the classroom whenever possible.
I sat in my U.S. history class in 1967 and while watching a PBS show with Mike Wallace narrating a film about WWII pilots crashing their planes into their aircraft carriers because they were out of fuel, a lot of kids in the auditorium began laughing out loud as if it were a cartoon show. The teacher turned off the televisions and asked the class what was so funny about Americans dying to protect this nation, I was ashamed but so many in that class just ignored him. Respect had not been observed and later in life I learned that this weakness would begin the downward spiral of our society. We Baby Boomers passed this serious flaw on to our own children who even further eroded what had once been a mannered age. There were so many serious personality flaws. The first being that most students in public school will display certain characteristics and learned behaviors then children need role models and parents are not their buddies. Most people had become too indifferent and lazy to make behavioral changes that could help them. This poor behavior I later learned was self-destructive and often reinforced through ignorance of culture and our individual responsibilities. I wonder how many of those people became stock brokers, politicians, TV preachers, used car salesman along with many other careers that have undermined our nation.
We shall see….