By Fred Owens
We Live in a Ruthless World
We live in a ruthless world. We need Ruth to come back and make everything nice again.
Ha Ha --- a serious week so we could use a laugh
I had a hard time in high school but I never got shot at, so I need to keep the perspective. The kids that marched and spoke yesterday were right to do so. They had a justification -- a failure of the adults to protect younger folks.
"We are not safe." That's the truth. That's a fact. And if people aren't looking after your safety you are best to do it yourself and speak up.
My brother teaches public high school in Los Angeles. He was at the march. "I didn't see any of my students, but there were hundreds of thousands of young people there, so some of my students might have been there."
My brother supports the effort. He spends most of his working day in the company of teenagers. He likes them and he gets along well with them. Sometimes they even listen to him.
A Story about Teen Life that seems Relevant to me
When I went to high school, 1960-1964, there was no possibility or thought of violence. Inconceivable. It was an all boys Catholic school. Generous doses of prayer and corporal punishment kept the student body in line. To put it plainly we were afraid of the Jesuits in their black cossacks and swinging, sanctified fists. But nobody got killed.
Years later when I had my own teenagers they went to public high school in Newton, Massachusetts -- not in a regime of prayer and corporal punishment. Amazingly, they still learned a lot and nobody got killed. This was 1991-1995.
Something happened since then and schools are no longer safe places for children. If we adults cannot ensure their safety, then we are not entitled to their respect. That's how it works.
One More Story
My Dad grew up in St. Louis, born in 1904. They were very poor -- his widowed mom and her five children. My Dad was the second oldest of these five and he had to leave school after only the 8th grade and take on a full-time job -- to feed his family, he gave his pay to his mother.
My Dad didn't get to be a teenager. At age fourteen he became a man, because he had to become a man, because the adults in his life were not able to provide for him and his brother and three sisters.
So a kid can grow up in a hurry if he has to. Those kids in the high school in Florida had to grow up in a hurry too.
Let's listen to what they have to say.
When I Die... My story with this title about the passing of Stephen Hawking was taken up for the Op-Ed section of the Santa Barbara News-Press in Sunday's paper. They knew it was a good piece and worth a broader audience.
Gardening. It rained all last week, so there was no gardening work for me. But this week I am busy with seven customers and lots of weeds growing now, gotta get cracking first thing Monday morning.
Subscriptions. I would write Frog Hospital for free. The only reason I ask for subscription funds is because I need the money. I make $500 a month and more doing the garden work but it is hard work and I am getting too old for that. So my life plan is to diminish the garden work and increase the writing income. You can help by pitching in.
Send a check for $25 or $50 to Fred Owens, 1105 Veronica Springs RD, Santa Barbara CA 93105 or go to Frog Hospital blog and hit the PayPal button for $25 or $50