Tag Archives: book

Book Sense and Common Sense

When I was in the military, we had a saying about many officers and it was, ‘lots of book sense and no common sense’. This also applies to some NCOs as well. Not all of them were like that but there were plenty to go around. These people stayed in some sort of school, always into their books but when it came to thinking outside of the box, what is not found in a book, they were lost or would do or say something crazy.

               There are a lot of people in Congress, state and local government that run in the same pact. They can say what you need to hear or want to hear but never enacted what they have said. They are good at telling you what need to be done or tell you what to do but have never done it themselves nor realize what the outcome will be. Every situation is different with all sorts of variables which mean there must be some sort of fine tuning to complete the task.

               There are many people that cannot think beyond the box and have been put into a position due to who they know or who they owe, etc. but they do not have the knowledge, expertise, or anything that qualify them for the position. I have seen a lot of them when I was in the military. There is one in Congress (there may be others that made it in because of this situation) that was elected because her opponent had to drop out for personal reasons, and she ran unopposed. If the opponent had not dropped out, she would have never won the election. Now the state and the country are stuck with this unqualified person.

               Then you have those that get into politics to gain wealth. All they want to do is make money anyway they can. They will say and do anything. They will take money to say and do certain things as long as they can climb up the ladder a little further. In the meanwhile, we the people suffer for the wrongs that are being perpetrated by these people. They do not care if the law that they want enacted helps the constituents or not as long as they get theirs. If they can garner a fan base, all the better because that will ensure they can stay in place and make more money.

               There is a Congresswoman that constantly break the rules and is fined for them. Now she is complaining she don’t have money because her pay is going toward paying off the fines imposed on her. Common sense tells anyone not to break the rules that carry a fine in which you will not get paid on payday.

               Thinking about book sense and common sense; there is a leader of a violent group from the right that is a Yale Law graduate but is now considered a jailbird because of his and his group’s actions. He has plenty of book sense, but I don’t think he ever had enough common sense to stay out of jail and to keep those radical views out of his head.

               I’ve always said that knowing the book is good but common sense is better. First, the book may not tell you everything. And second, is the book telling the truth? A mix of book and common sense go hand in hand to make a better person and a lot of Congresspeople need to make that change. There is a lot of stupid out there, even in those that elect these stupid people and keep them in office.

True History Is Not Pretty

There have been a lot of fuss about teaching history in school. In particular, what is taught about history. I agree with only one thing in history and that is some, if told correctly and factually, will be too sensitive for very young children. However, the rest of us, child and adult, does not really know the bare bones of factual history.

               History have been distorted for hundreds of years and, today, it is still happening. For instance, I am presently halfway into reading “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead, who won a Pulitzer Prize. It is a fictional novel because the people names are fictional, but the story is one of many like it. It is a story that is not in history books and probably will never be.

               Remember, I have only read about a half of the book, so far, and many parts I remember being told to me when I was a child, even the sensitive parts. As kids, we had to know what was out there against us. Like it has been for thousands of years, what took place years ago is passed on orally. This is still done in many parts of the world today, however, many young people do not want to hear it or call it a bunch of bullxxxx. It is said that those that do not study history is doomed to repeat the same mistakes (another say is ‘doomed to failure’).

               In the start of the book, that I mentioned, it starts by telling what the slaves on this plantation were doing and how they were treated, in gruesome detail. This is factual and young children cannot deal with the descriptions without having nightmares or worst. Regardless of what have previously been told, being a slave was a nightmare. Besides the labor, all sorts of atrocities were meted upon the slaves. This certainly would not be in a history book. Much of the atrocities are too egregious for young people to hear. At the time of these things happening, the young children had to be taught what to do, say, and act to keep them as safe as possible. Most of the time it did not make a difference. It happened anyway.

               Situations of this sort not only happened to American slaves but some of it happened to American Indians and others around the world, especially if they were dark skinned. History books do not properly portray Egypt as it should because most of what is written distort the truth and the truth is seldom pretty. Even the truth about Ireland is distorted, including the surrounding areas.

               A few days ago, I saw a picture of a Woolworth store in Facebook and the question was does anyone remember the store. If you remembered the store, it showed how old you were. I remember it for a different reason. I grew up during segregation and I participated in sit-ins and peace marches. Only part of the truth is mentioned in the history books. Most of the full stories are never told. Only the glorious portions are ever told and just a tiny portion of the bad.

               Many people say that was then and this is now. I say, just a few years ago a man in Texas was dragged behind a car with a rope tied around him until there was only a very small piece of him left. That is now, history is now, true history should be taught but with caution to the child’s age. Again, history is not pretty but we are attempting to teach something that is beautiful.

Elderly and Writing

Cool weather is upon us and we must prepare for the up coming cold winter air. Don’t wait because it will be upon us before we know it. Winter, like summer, is no joke, especially if you are among the elderly. Things we used to do when we were younger is no longer true now. The heat or coldness we used to endure is fatal now. The getting up at the crack of dawn is gone. Swiftness in our step is slowing if not already slowed. Soon it will come to a stop; we all must meet that fate. It’s no fun getting up in age; we all must meet that fate also. We are human and not infallible and must watch what we say, do and react to. Infallibility certainly come with age and we get older, not younger.

Have patience with those that are older than we are. Those that move slower. Those that are slower in wit (some didn’t get it with age but was there most of their lives). Not only does the body deteriorate with age, so does the mind (few exceptions allowed). Be helpful and understand. One day we all will be in the same position. How would we want to be treated?

On a lighter note…My wife and I attended the Annual Meeting (and luncheon) of The Virginia Writers Club on the 7th and it was grand, although there wasn’t as many attendees as I thought there would be. We bought a couple of books (the book I’m writing is not finished yet) and had them autographed. My wife won a prize, a book. The main speaker was great and the food was out of this world. The event was held at The Embassy Suites Hotel and the hotel have a botanical garden area that Lewis Ginter Gardens would surely love to have. It was wonderful to tour the floras and running water (all indoors, of course). We even accidentally met the keeper of the gardens. It was a great day. Now I must buckle down and write in earnest. I’ll tell you why…

The Mighty Pen is a project presented (hosted) by the Virginia War Memorial. I am in the second class of writers that are coached (taught, instructed) by some highly powered people. The class was an idea of author David Robbins and he taught the first class and drops in on the second class, my class, which have two more weeks left of a ten week course. My class is instructed by Dr. David Coogan, author and professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. There are only twelve people at each class but two have dropped out of mine. As can be expected, the writings are all about the military, fact or fiction (great majority is fact). It is a great course and I would have never forgiven myself if I had passed on the opportunity to attend (it was my wife that showed me the article about the class). I’m glad I am attending and I have learned a lot as well as rubbed elbows with a lot of influential people. I hope the younger class members realize what an opportunity it is to be there.

Mr. David Robbins is also the co-founder of the James River Writers Club and asked me to check into them and, hopefully, join. I am looking into them as soon as I can and, if they are as good as The Virginia Writers Club, I will join. These clubs, in the future, may be a help to me in my writings and will look good on my resume, when submitted to a publisher. Wish me luck.

There was suppose to be a writing course started here at Imperial Plaza. I signed up for the course about three months ago but have not heard anything yet. I heard, a couple of weeks ago, that they were looking for people to take the course but my name and number have been on the sign-up sheet for a long time. Oh well, no contact, no sweat. I’ll wait because I have plenty of other things on my plate, not counting my writings.

Remember, prepare for winter and keep a sharp mind. Be mindful of others and, as it was said in days of yore, “keep on keeping on”. And, as I used to close all my radio programs, “be kind to your neighbors, because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, ensure your words are soft and sweet, because you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them”. Bye-bye!!!