Every once in a while seemingly unconnected occurrences happen that when combined make a person look at them in a totally different light.
Not too long ago I listened as someone read a letter complaining about how the writer felt they had been the victim of what they termed as a dual pricing practice that a local contractor had used because they were “Second Homers.”
Now they were sure this was the case because they had heard the idea from an unbiased competitor of the offending contractor.
The letter went on to intimate that by extension probably all the local businesses were guilty of charging higher prices to folks that didn’t live here year-round.
A week or so later I was describing the wanton damage done by vandals at the park when I received a reply that was not expected.
“Well, what can you expect when there is nothing for kids to do around here?” truly set me back on my heels.
The third thing that caught my attention was a repost on Facebook from a site called ‘I Love America’.
The original post stated, “One of the greatest threats to America is the fact that our school system is not teaching the next generation morals, American exceptionalism, free-enterprise, the constitution, the dangers of socialism or the value of hard work.”
Wow! In a series of three unrelated opinions heard over a period of about two weeks I have learned that the town I call home, where I have raised three of my very productive children is probably not a fit place to live.
I mean, the businesses are crooked, the community is derelict by not providing adequate entertainment for would-be delinquents and the schools are failing to teach our children anything but the three R’s.
Or, maybe not?
I have always tried to have an approach to life that if you encounter a difficulty don’t complain or blame, find a solution.
With that in mind let’s take a look.
We have a customer that is unhappy with a price quote so he gets another along with the free wisdom of the bidder, which must make it true and ergo, is it probably the case with most businesses in the area.
Sort of the “birds of a feather” concept.
Lets consider another scenario where the contractor is really busy, doesn’t really want the job so his price goes up, or maybe he finds the customer really demanding and hard to work with so the price goes up or maybe he just believes the work he will be doing is reflected in his price.
Solution? If you don’t want to pay what the asking price is, don’t sign the contract.
There aren’t always sinister motives behind every door and if there are, that contractor won’t be around for long.
PS: Low bidders aren’t always right.
Problem: nothing for kids to do around here.
What a crock! There are sports practically year-round, there are youth groups, Scouting groups, school activities and a vast resource called “Mother Nature.”
I know my kids were so busy when they were growing up I struggled to keep up with all their activities.
Aha! Maybe we touched on something there. Most youth activities require at least some parental support.
Maybe we should rephrase that earlier statement to read, “There is nothing for kids to do here that parents what to take time to cultivate.”
Maybe that’s the solution.
Don’t expect the community to entertain or raise your children, that’s your number one duty so if you fulfill that responsibility your kids will be active in positive venues.
Besides, what possible activity could the community provide to keep kids out of trouble at 3 o’clock in the morning?
If a parent and child can’t find constructive activities to participate in together they might consider talking with a child development professional.
So our schools are one of the greatest threats to America?
When I was growing up my dad traveled a lot for his job and was only home a couple of weekends a month, but that didn’t mean I was lacking in adult direction.
My mom (and dad) and my grandparents were always involved in my activities and they were the ones that taught me about values, the value of hard work and the dangers of any political system outside the system we live by and often referred to as a Republic through democratic election.
After all, that is the system that has made America exceptional in the history of nations.
I am one of those that believe the schools should teach more about the history and growth of our country and how that very unique and timeless document “The Constitution” has guided those that believe in its qualities.
I was so impressed with it in school that I still carry a copy with me to date and as part of a solution I pass along its wisdom to young people as often as I can.
A very long time ago I was taught that everything we do as individuals is a choice.
From the time we decide to get out of bed (or not) to what we decide to eat for breakfast (or not) to whether we go to work or school (or not) we are continually making decisions and each and every one of those choices is going to have consequences.
Some will be good and some will be bad.
The choice to destroy property has nothing to do with lack of “things to do”; it has everything to do with a total lack of respect for other people and the community.
The choice to blame area businesses for some perceived slight of an unhappy customer more than likely indicates a lack of understanding of that free enterprise system by the customer and the notion that the school system is a major threat to our country because it is not doing the job of a parent is, at least to me, laughable.
I am the first to agree that businesses can always strive to do a better job, especially with customer service.
I am also a huge advocate for volunteers that will help parents teach kids about values and work ethic through groups like Boy Scouts, American Legion, Rotary and the Elks.
The schools are always in need of volunteers and parents that will help in the classroom and let me assure you there is no greater joy than to watch the faces of the kindergarten class as you read to them or the hugs that follow.
With all that, I truly believe that the best and most important solution to a vast majority of our “social problems” is for parents of any age to be committed to their number one duty and be active with their children.
One of the many “old sayings” that I have left my children with is quite simple and sort of cute, but very true: “If you always do the right thing, you can never be wrong.”
Let’s be problem solvers!