Weak men create hard times

As with every generation gets to say, “we are living in interesting times.”

Every day since November 8, 2016, I have greeted my FACEBOOK FRIENDS with the following message: 

Good Morning. For TWO-YEARS-TWO-HUNDRED-SIXTY-NINE DAYS, I wake-up and realize, it is my choice to make my world better with God by my side. It is sad to see people display the same behavior of those they “hate.” Has intensified = sad!

Only 384 days until the presidential election. Those Who Are Kind To The Cruel, In The End Will Be Cruel to the kind.
There is a principle in philosophy and rhetoric called THE PRINCIPLE OF CHARITY, which says that one should interpret other people’s statements in their best, most reasonable form, not in the worst or most offensive way possible.

We have one October 16, 2019! – Make it special.

I struggle to see so many of my friends and complete strangers give-in / choose to see the world (the country we live in) as anything but GREAT.  The only reason why many of them do not see the world (the country we live in) as “great” is because of their disdain for President Trump.  I am sure of it. 

Why would anyone allow a person, even the President of the United States of America, manipulate their attitude?

We have low unemployment.

We have more people employed than ever. 

We are pulling troops out of areas that have been sucking up our resources for decades. 

Yet, our nation is awful.  Horrible. 

Don’t misquote me / misunderstand me / put words in my mouth.  I NEVER SAID / WROTE, “Things are perfect.”  But my goodness… I see so much going well that I am sad that we allow the imperfections of our world (our country / our school / our leadership (who are made up of fellow humans) get us to the level of:  LIFE SUCKS! 

We are living the example of the following quote:

     Hard times create strong men
     Strong men create good times
     Good times create weak men
     Weak men create hard times

British author D.H. Lawrence wrote something similar:

Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks.  Their children brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools.  And their grandchildren are once more slaves. 

We are seeing “soft” people.  People who are “blame-shifters.”  People who will not take ownership of their crappy attitudes. Or simply admit:  LIFE IS A STRUGGLE.  By the way… I include me in “people.”  

For the fourth time (my first) since 1996, our school is going through a painful time:  the opening of a new school where most of the students will be from our school.  So, there are nervous teachers.  Teachers don’t know where they will be next year.  Students don’t know where they will be next year.  And when a human doesn’t know where his / her future lies, it can be stressful.  YET… we choose for it to be stressful. 

Not only is our school going through a major transition, so is our district.  For the first time, probably in over ten years, our district is being led by a person not a part of the district or the local area.  New ideas.  Change.  Those can be stressors.

When I stood up to talk at today’s faculty meeting, I reminded the faculty how wonderful they were.  I reminded them, I worked at Granite Bay High School from 1997 – 2005.  Because, we had fond memories of those eight years at Granite Bay, my wife and I left a very good job in the Bay Are.  Now, that we have moved back, we are seeing a “new” Roseville Joint Union High School District.

Being away from the district for 12 years gave Diana and me a different look

The look now is one of “progressive.”  One that has changed in, now… fifteen years.  Dealing with issues frankly were “Bay Area Issues.”  

I know one or two Roseville folks will read this “entry.”  I will respect that…

Roseville is still a beautiful place to live.  Almost “Mayberry:”  a bank on every corner and a church across the street.  But, as many places in our nation, it is changing.  Banks and churches are now “evil.”  

We are starting to feel the effects of the two “thoughts” I shared earlier (how soft times can lead to weak “souls”).  We are starting to see what happens when we have “good times.”  We become “soft.” 

I want to encourage all of us to be careful not to allow those who have had negative experiences hurt our vision, while at the same time, know that we must improve.  We need to listen to their “negative experiences.”  First understand, then be understood.  Those negative experiences are for real!  Yet, they are not our negative experiences.  Don’t own them.

At today’s faculty meeting, what I heard was stress.  A LOT OF STRESS.  Teachers are being stretched probably like no time before.  We have students addicted to their phones / social media / vaping / drugs / pornography.  You name it… it is on every high school campus in USA.  I can write “like no time before,” because no time before have we had the DESTRUCTION caused by the “smart phone.”  Our students are wired to the rest of the world TWENTY-FOUR-HOURS-A-DAY … unless they have strong parents.  Teachers are having to give a lesson on SUICIDE PREVENTION.  Trust me.  I never gave that presentation in 1989!  NEVER. 

Hell.  We, the children’s adult leaders, are attached to the world TWENTY-FOUR-HOURS-A-DAY and look what it is doing to us!  We see increase of anxiety.  Medication for anxiety.  Suicide rates increase and then I add, “During one of the most prosperous times in our nation.” 

What I am learning is without family / faith / friends, WE ARE SCREWED!  Literally… think of it as a three-legged stool.  A three-legged stool does not work well with two-legs.  And there are too many humans who think they can successfully live and enjoy life with two-of-the-three legs … NOPE. WRONG. 

Please do all you can to take full control of your attitude.  YOUR ATTITUDE IS “YOU.”  My attitude has been crappy of late.  I have been hurt – of late – due to my students’ crappy attitude (choices – they know it too, by the way) and have felt their attitude impact my attitude.  Yet, in the end, I am control in my response to others’ crappy attitude, even teenagers!  

I learned a lot today.  I told my principal, “There are times when I ask God, ‘why am I here?  Why did I leave a good job to be here?”  And today, I heard God’s answer:  you (Paul) are here to LOVE / to CONNECT  to / to ENCOURAGE your peers!  And I gotta tell you, as I write this at 8:36pm, October 16, 2019 … it sure is exhausting to LOVE… to CONNECT … to ENCOURAGE, but anything worth doing takes energy. 

I love you.  I hope we will continue to embrace how nice things are (LOCALLY AND NATIONALLY) and when they sour, be able to say, “this too shall pass.”  When they “sour,” those are the times that make us stronger!  We need those times, as well. 

What is Attitude – John C Maxwell (buy everything / book he writes)

Attitude is the “advance man” of our true selves.
Attitude roots are inward, but its fruit is outward.
Attitude is our best friend or our worst enemy.
Attitude is more honest and more consistent than our words.
Attitude is an outward look based on past experiences.
Attitude is a thing that draws people to us or repels them.
Attitude s never content until it is expressed.
Attitude is the librarian of our past.
Attitude is the speaker of our present.
Attitude is the prophet of our future.