Liberty and Freedom
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Where has Common Sense Gone? By The (Anonymous) Professor
When did American common sense die??? Where did our government bury It?? When did Americans stop teaching common sense? Common sense was the balance wheel which corrected bad actions and thoughts.
All children do dumb and stupid actions, and someone, a parent, a grandparent, has to teach them commonsense, I and my brothers and sisters were taught common sense by my parents and grandparents. If commons sense is not taught early in life, people make bad choices and often end up in a stewpot of trouble which costs them dearly.
Example one: When we were kids of 5 and 6 years and were going for a Sunday afternoon walk and we boys walked in a briar patch, and soon were calling for help, help us. Dad’s answer, loving as he could be, said, “hold it boys, stop, look, back where you came through”. “ Boys look back at your tracks, and follow them back to find your way out” In most cases we could backtrack and find our way out!!! Soon we learned not to make such errors again!!! Dad didn’t have to fish us boys out of trouble we created.
YES, we learned to “look before you leap” We were not extricated out of every mess we made by our parents. “We learned not to fall into messes of our own making”. We learned to think about situations instead of crying for help. Isn’t it high time to start teaching common sense again? LEARN TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS BY OURSELVES.
When we were teenagers going into the North woods, we boys had purchased good compasses, which dad pointed out, it’s called planning ahead. Deep in the woods, dad would say, ‘what direction are you headed, deep in some swamp, “In what direction are you headed, as we stepped out of the car. (Dad had it planned in advance).
He would say( careful teaching) “look at your compasses”, and say, “what direction are you facing? Looking at our compasses, we answered,” south”, and dad would say, “I don’t care how much you wiggle around in the swamp, remember you must come North to find this road and the car”. What wise teaching for eleven and twelve year old boys. Yes this was Dad’s common sense training, and interestingly we never got lost. Excuse me. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” Ben Franklin.
Interestingly, over the years, I have traveled after, looking at
maps, once to Washington DC, later, to Richmond and Norfolk Virginia without referring to a map while on the road, and after
spending time, my wife and I took a different route to Williamsburg, and later Monticello, and the Skyline drive headed to Pennsylvania turnpike and home, with out referring to a map.*** see note. Looking at a map only once, General rout numbers are fixed in my brain.
Using the same memory techniques ( see Note) taught by dad, I traveled, while in the U.S, Army, through seven countries,1957-59 with out getting lost, ie, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. See Note. Dad’s early tactics worked.
Thanks to the common sense dad taught us our heads function well. Dad tested us boys over and over until we had a compass built into our noses. By ages 16 to 20 we boys had common sense in grained into our actions. Whether we were changing thermostats in our cars or tires or breaking bolts because of to much leverage, dad a great mechanic, would scold us with a chuckle, take to tools, and teach us boys how it was done.
Dad’s tough but loving common sense rubbed off on us boys, the neighbors, and cousins. If any of our cars needed repair, dad would arrange a time, and teach a lesson at the same time. Cars ran well when Gil was done showing his protégé, his common sense marked a road for the observer to follow!!! Gil’s abilities were respected by all who knew him. He had swarms of friends, he was straight forward and honest. Hundreds of friends young and old , they came to his gas station; they came to work at the boat factory, where he was the chief trouble shooting engineer( self-trained) for thirty years.
Gil’s resourcefulness, honesty and helpfulness earned endless respect. Off the job, the furnaces, pumps, cars and tractors, trucks repaired over the years, and sound systems (later in life) were to numerous to count. (See Note) A mechanical common sense repaired many things, hunting guns, scopes, tractors, spray rigs, for friends blueberry farms, irrigation systems, the list of dad’s repairs were ad infinitum. Dad was a work-a-holic which he enjoyed. He was a natural, a jewel at repair. It was not work to him!!! It was fun. Praise, praise, praise, by people who needed repairs done.
We were always in Dad’s-Gil’s wake, like the wake of a boat, learning, learning and absorbing his common sense. WE WERE NOT LATCH KEY KIDS!!!
Other hard working family members(late 1800’s 1980’s,) several Uncles in the trades; Uncle John, farmer-plumber in Northern Michigan, taught his sons and son-in-laws the plumbing trade, now grandsons and great grandsons, the family, have been in the plumbing trades for more than 100 years!!!
Uncle Russ, a builder, trained his sons Ed, now in his 80’s, and later David every facet of building, but heating and plumbing. Ed built houses in Michigan and in Florida. These men have subdivisions of houses with their names on them. Their training was all hand on!!!. None of these boys wasted time as latch key kids, they had things to do ( it was not permitted) This was the making of a vibrant America. Our lives were filled with honest and decent activity.
Slimy activities, slimy thought were nipped in the bud early in life’s journey. Everyone learned to walk a straight path and work to make a good living. That was before inflated money sank our family ship. Television taught good or bad changing people’s actions.
Back to uncle John the Plummer who taught several of his seven sons the plumbing trade from the ground up, the young men learned the cutting and threading of pipe, putting in plumbing fixtures , kitchen sinks, and they also learned to drill wells for house hold water. John’s great grandsons by the dozens are in the business as of this writing, 2011.
The Immigrants. THINK YOU HAVE IT BAD!!!
John’s father and two uncles came to America in 1873, from Germany when they arrived in Grand Rapids, their money was spent on the trip, and they worked in Grand Rapids furniture factories, saving every dime, gold dollars, they each bought two horses, and supplies, and made a walking trip through wilderness for more than 190 miles claiming homestead farms, and over several years, they farmed and cut timber, and baked building bricks to build their houses and barns besides farming. THESE PEOPLE WERE HARD WORKERS with long hours at farming, timbering, brick making , and caring for families. Over the years they handed their children a better life through their grueling efforts.
None of these kids were latch key kids, they were part of the family effort, family education family work ethic. They had work to do, farm chores, and earned money on the side. When they earned money they weren’t taxed out of their skin, before inflation, FDR 1933.
Whether, we are right-brained—hands on- auto mechanics, builders, plumbers, cement masons, highway builders, factory workers auto mechanics or left-brained, office personnel, teachers, professors, doctors, lawyers , or name a thousand other jobs we must be honest. Honesty is the best policy.
THINK ABOUT IT!!!
How we built America.
Dad’s secret to success and a memory and wired brain: what you choose to do in life; success in any endeavor, is was and will be by obtained by absorbing, Classical Music, deeply; Strauss, Chopin, Beethoven , Bach, Schubert, Sebelius, Greig, Hayden, Mozart , Vivaldi , Offenbach and many other composers.
This has been my father’s listening life, and he imparted the same love of Classical Music, and I find a memory depth unsurpassed and work capacity enhanced.
Why, I could remember so well, when on leave in Europe, my Classical Musically trained mind, from the time I was a child, has become a baggage train of facts, thoughts, and ideas, maps, which go way back to age four and five. After leaving the service and entering college, my freshman year was series of orientation and learning successes. Ever after yours truly, was on the honor roll, he became the answer man in each class for every professor under whom I studied. My parents were stunned and pleased and I was also.
After college I taught school. My students were surprised, when the “professor” could find answers, for math problems, geography, history-social studies, spelling and much more without excuse. The professor, salvaged students, who were having trouble, and parents knew they wanted to help their children climb the ladder.
The professor’s classically trained mind helped the student find the answer he needed. The professor used his few top flight students, when finished with their work, to help cover the bottom two thirds of the class climb out of the ditch. All the professor’s students found rising success. The professor, the students, and the parents were pleased.
Thanks dad and advisers of the 1930-50’s, and to all of the hundreds of classical musicians who created volumes of classical music which trains the mind. Multiple Thanks.
The author has several young Classical Musicians in his extended family; and once everyone of them has practiced each piece of music numerous times they don’t need the sheet music in front of them. They can play from memory perfectly.
Janet, Thanks for your thoughts. I used to believe Ron Paul was a goofy, oddball, loony man. But, in the past year, during this tumultuous campaign, I've paid attention to what he says, and now realize he is not loony (Though he IS a bit of an "oddball"!). I sure wish I would've listened to him years ago, so I wouldn't have lost so much with the economic collapse.
These thoughts about the loss of "common sense" are not mine--but those of a retired teacher, who wishes to remain anonymous. Of course, I can't disagree with most of what he says. I just post the information for "The Professor"--as he is not skilled at posting information on internet websites.
Janet Blazen said:
Anthony, You are correct in "teaching" our kids to have "common sense" by having them look back at what they have done and see where they went wrong so they can correct it..............Kinda like looking back at our history and learning from it ! "If we don't know our history we are bound to repeat it"..................Kinda like how Ron Paul would TRY to tell everyone over the years about the housing bubble, the Federal Reserve, the collapse of the dollar, NAFTA, etc. and how he is still trying to tell the Americans what is coming but NO ONE will believe him until it's to late............Kinda like the NDAA and how he and his son Rand are the ONLY ones trying to do anything about it while the others (Romney, Gindrich said they would have signed the NDAA into law if they were president and Santorum said he supported it.)...........Kinda like how some of us TRIED to tell the Tea Party group "weeks" before the NDAA was signed into law and no one would listen and instead called us names and ridiculed us ..............Yup, I sure do know what you mean about teaching our kids to learn all about "common sense?) But instead of teaching it why don't we show by example ? In fact I think a few adults could learn about some common sense as well ? Most Americans seem to be unwilling to learn. They only want to fight and argue !
Anthony, Thanks for your comment............I do have to ask what it is about Paul that you think is "oddball ?" Maybe I can fix that for you ? :-)