Once Upon A Time, School Days Took Us Back To ‘Basics’
“School days, school days, good old Golden Rule days; Readin’ and Writin’ and ’Rithmetic Taught to the tune of the hickory stick.”
School days have always been important days. Even for those of us who remember the “good old days,” school shaped our lives. We recall when life was less complicated. We attended a one-room school. Discipline was strict; the hickory stick was used by the teacher at school, and by dad at home. Discipline or punishment for breaking the rules is not allowed in our enlightened society. Discipline is necessary; discipline is not to be equated with abuse.
We who were disciplined learned the “basics.” We learned how to read well, and to understand what we read. We learned to write; we took classes in penmanship. We learned math, how to solve problems and to think for ourselves. We competed against other schools in spelling and math contests. We developed our skills for living the good life.
Along with the basics, we were taught to be fair, and that honesty is the best way to deal with people. We learned to respect those in places of authority. We were taught to be loyal to our family, to our school and to our community. We learned what is required of good citizens of our nation. We were taught to help our neighbor, that hard work would be rewarded, and that every person has some contribution to make to society. We were taught to be faithful to our husband or wife, to be faithful in keeping our promises, and to be faithful to God and Church. We learned that when we worked for the good of all, everyone benefited and life was good.
If the “basics” were important in the “good old days,” how much more important are they today! A person who cannot read or write, do math or think for himself will find no place in today’s world. A person who is dishonest and corrupt, who puts his or her interests above the best interests of the community, is a liability to society. A person who is unfaithful to the people in his or her life will bring disaster to everyone concerned. A person who has no room for God or church will never find the “good life.”
Some things are important yesterday, today and tomorrow. Some values remain constant; some things never change. God has given each of us a mind to use, for the betterment of ourselves and for the benefit of others. Let us use what God has given us to make this world a heaven on earth for everybody.