Good morning. It's another beautiful, clear, cool day in east Tennessee. Looks like it's gonna be a hot summer, and it's only April now. We totally skipped winter. And that's a shame because I was looking forward to four distinct seasons. Instead, we got two---summer and everything else. Hummmph.
I. The subject of bullying keeps coming up. Listen---bullying will always be with us. It begins in childhood and lasts throughout life. Kids have to be taught to handle it, or else they will be preyed upon from womb to tomb. The bully does his/her work because he/she can get away with it. The bully derives a benefit from getting away with it. The bully can be stopped only by being taught the lesson that there is NO BENEFIT. In my opinion, the best way to teach this lesson is to bop the perp over the head with a hard object to get his/her attention, and then do it again to administer the lesson.
Otherwise, the bully will continue to bully into adulthood and old age. As long as they are getting away with it because folks are afraid to confront them, the beat goes on.
II. On another note, I have been thinking about the great American pastime of "acting out". Acting out is a pattern of behavior that begins in childhood and continues into adulthood and old age. Sound familiar? Acting out involves an individual doing something in their life to gain a benefit that is otherwise lacking. It is related to ego defense mechanisms.
---A spouse has an extramarital affair because he/she does not feel they are being appreciated enough by their marriage partner
---A child is a juvenile delinquent in their behavior because they do not get proper discipline at home and are seeking some kind of attention
I don't know the answer to solving this problem. It is widespread and permeates our society. But, I do know one thing---it is always destructive.
III. Cindy and I have been discussing the subject of hosting a party. We agree that, if one is invited to a party, one should tell the host whether or not they intend to attend. If one says he/she will attend, one should make every effort to be there. If one cannot attend, one should say so. No excuse is needed.
A related topic: when entertaining, the host should have regular and decaf coffee already made. Do not ask the guests, "Would anyone like coffee?---It's no trouble to make..."
This line makes everyone say, "No thank you" , because the guests do not want to cause the host to have to do more work than they have already done, even if they really would like a cup of coffee.
IV. Have you ever wondered about seeing someone from your past again? Have you noticed how the passage of time always causes you to recall only good things about that person?
Several times I have had occasion to reacquaint with old friends I had not seen in decades. Within minutes of our initial meetings, the bad things of their personalities came oozing back into my memory. Yes, my friends---I am sure they felt the same way about me...
V. You ever have regrets? I do. I especially regret how certain people in my life have passed away, and I feel like I was not there for them in their old age like I should have been. I regret not being able to see/be with my grandparents more than I was. But, I suppose everyone carries these feeling around to some extent.
VI. Reader's Digest used to have a feature in every issue titled "My Most Unforgettable Character". I have a few from my life. My father-in-law. Man, what a trip this guy was! He was a country farmer/store owner. Tough as nails and funny as all hell. He was loved and hated.
Then there were my grandparents. Every single one of them was unforgettable. Solid, accomplished, loaded with personality---maybe just a little of that rubbed off on me, for which I am eternally grateful.