years ago in a far and distant land, it was there I was born and raised in the
glorious laid-back and primitive climate of NE Texas known as the Ark-La-Tex.
those years seem like a crumpled, faded page out of yester-year. Like a by-gone
era, long gone but never forgotten time, impossible to return to. Things were
a lot simpler back then and life moved at a much slower pace. Words like please;
thank you; yes sir and yes mama, or excuse me and may I, were widely used by manner
able and respectful young folks.
Tilling the soil and raising a garden
were done with horse drawn plows like a turning plow; a middle buster and a Georgia
stock, or maybe a cultivator, all using real hoof-to-ground horsepower, if you
please. The garden hoe, a rake and shovel were some very common and much used
hand tools, too.
Indoor plumbing with running water in the house, and
electricity, were becoming more prevalent throughout rural areas of Cass County
during my formative years. But, even into the late 1950’s, there were still old
homes without those conveniences. Some old houses were abandoned for lack of that
modern stuff. Some were turned into barns for animals and feed storage.
you know home schooling was highly important for many families back then, too?
Not home schooling exclusive, since it hadn’t been invented then, but in addition
to local public schools. Wise parents knew that more training and discipline were
needed than could be learned in six to eight hours a day, five days a week at
the schoolhouse. They took the initiative to provide more at home.
schools have never been the only or the best total source of education. Even though
families throughout the years have relied heavily upon it as a standalone education,
as mine mostly did, more has always been needed. But more has not always been
provided. Public school teachers are only a part of the total solution in education.
All-be-it a very important part, they can’t do it alone.
The home is the
first and primary source; the backbone of discipline and education. Nothing is
more important than parental guidance, discipline and training in the home.
church is a third and very important source. Spiritual training and guidance through
teaching of youth in church classes and pastoral leadership is a strong plus in
young lives. Building youth upon Christian principles builds better adults.
school, the home and the church; all together stands the best chance of giving
our youth the right and basic start in life. A good start that so many desperately
need today embarking upon adulthood and long careers.
of the earliest teaching from my dad involved, “Son, save your money and watch
your friends.” Very good, but later when passing that bit on to my children,
they seemed to take it in the negative sense. i.e.; “Like, say what? Are you kidding
me? Save my money for what? Or watch my friends for what? Like, are they bad,
ugly or unsavory characters whom I shouldn’t associate with? Dream on Pop!!”
No! No children! The “Watch your friends” part is only a positive perspective.
Watch their good influences and good behavior; their education and their upscale
careers. Watch their successes in marriage, family life, spiritual life and all
areas of life in general. Look at the good things they do; the rewards they receive
and perhaps there may be; there just may be a thing or two you might want to mimic.
Emulate only the positive! Extenuate the positive!
And Mom’s good, rewarding
and long lasting bit of advice? “Son. Eat your vegetables.” I still struggle
with that one daily.
© Nolan Maxie
February 5, 2010 Column