From Yesterday to Today: Let's Celebrate Acceptance

Updated on July 22, 2020

Greetings From the Front Porch

It’s so good of you to join me on the front porch for some more reflections about life. Hop in my time machine and let’s travel back to the year 1962 for some friendly chatter!

The old homestead in Tacoma
The old homestead in Tacoma

Graduating From 8th Grade

I attended the same school from K-8, St. Patrick’s Elementary in Tacoma, Washington. It was, obviously, a private Catholic school, one of five or six such schools in the Tacoma area. It was taught by Dominican nuns and I swear, they must have been recruited because their temper and foul moods were valued.

For nine years I studied there, and only one teacher in those nine years earned my respect and admiration; that would be Sister Mary Charles, the youngest of the nuns at that school, and as I recall and very attractive nun at that time. Yes, I had a crush on her, which really is the ultimate example of unrequited love.

But I digress!

When we finished 8th grade we moved on to high school. Please note I did not say “
when we graduated” because there was no graduation ceremony. The last day of school, the last year at St. Patrick’s, the bell rang at three o’clock and we 8th Graders left, never to return, with no diploma in our hands.

And that was the norm rather than the exception.

You can't see the slap marks in this picture, but they were there.
You can't see the slap marks in this picture, but they were there.

Fast Forward to 1990

My first teaching job was in a high school, in Seattle, from 1978-1980. My second was in 1990 in Olympia at a Catholic K-8 school. My first year at that school was an adjustment, as all new schools are, but I muddled and faked my way through that first year without any major problems.

June came and I looked at our school schedule and was amazed to see we were all expected to attend the Kindergarten Graduation on June 3rd. Not only that but on June 4th was the 5th Grade Graduation, and on June 6th the 8th Grade Graduation.

What the hell???

I was really trying to avoid making waves, but I just had to ask the principal why in the living hell there were graduations for three different grade levels. The principal, a very patient administrator, informed me that we needed to celebrate the student accomplishments which, in turn, would aid in their self-worth.

The accomplishments of kindergartners?

What the hell?

On to Sports

I coached volleyball that same year. At the end of the season I was expected to have a sports banquet for the players and their parents, and at the banquet I was expected to give out awards. I believed that to mean awards for Most Valuable Player and Team Captain Award, those kinds of awards, but the principal, again very patiently, told me that it was customary at that school to give plaques to every player, a Participation Award, and no individual awards for outstanding achievement. That way, she said, everyone felt the same amount of value.

What the hell?

I did as I was told, but you better believe I swallowed some very sarcastic comments.

I don’t have to swallow those comments now.

MVP or nothing when it came to awards.
MVP or nothing when it came to awards.

What the Hell?

I was at that school for twelve years. Same procedure every year. I saw similar approaches to building self-worth when I taught down in Oregon between 2007-2009.

Listen, I get it! Every child is special. We are all special. We are all God’s children, and that makes us incredibly valuable. I really do get it.

But once those kids leave school and actually enter the “real world,” they are going to be shocked to find out that the “real world” doesn’t consider them the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Just sayin’

But I can see both sides, you know, and that’s the lesson I gather from it all. There are valid reasons for it all, for and against, and my job, or at least one of my jobs, is to be willing to see both sides of a debate.

Times Change

I grew up when spankings were accepted. It was just a way of parenting. Hell, at the school I attended, the nuns would slap us and hit us with yardsticks. In high school, run by the Jesuits, we would get a wooden paddle across the ass, thank you very much.

Can you imagine that today? Can you imagine a parent spanking a child today? Child Protective Services would be called so fast it would make your head spin like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist.

And I can see both sides of it. There are no blacks and whites in life, or so it seems to me. Different shades of gray all around us, mixing and matching hues among seven-point-five billion of us.

Oddly, and I say oddly because my dad was beaten as a child, I was never spanked by either of my parents. They were “old school” all the way, but they did not believe in corporal punishment. It didn’t seem to bother them much if a nun slapped me; their common reply was “You must have deserved it,” but they never once raised a hand against me.

Complicated!

A Certain Wisdom Comes With Aging

That’s really what this reflection is all about, the wisdom I have gained over the years. I’m not claiming to be the Second Coming of Socrates, but I have finally figured out a few truths which make life much easier, for me, to navigate, and one of those truths is this: my truth is not necessarily the only truth in life. Simply because I don’t agree with a person, or I don’t accept their premise for an action, does not mean they are wrong and I am right. There are very few absolutes in life. Life is not black and white; it is a magnificent array of grays on the best of days.

I try, very hard, not to engage in debates about politics and religion, and the reason for that is my earlier statement about the absence of absolute truths. People who make absolute statements drive me crazy. All Liberals are not evil. All Conservatives are not evil. All Southerners are not racist. All protesters are not rioters. And yet that’s the kind of nonsense we see on Facebook daily, and it does so much more harm than good.

Whatever happened to compromise? Whatever happened to making an attempt to see the other side of a debate? How can we ever hope to come together, as a nation, if we cannot, at the very least, actually listen to opposing viewpoints?

My dad was a Democrat through and through. He would vote a straight Democratic ticket every election. But he believed in a smaller federal government and he was a racist. He believed in a strong military, and he didn’t have much patience with social programs which gave things away for free.

So was he a Democrat in name only?

Life is complicated, folks, and that’s what I learned, many years ago, sitting on the front porch observing those around me. And from those observations, many years ago, and observations during the years which followed, I came upon this conclusion: my job, as a card-carrying member of the human race, is to let love be my guiding light. If I approach any interaction with another person with love in my heart, I stand a decent chance of finding fulfillment and happiness in my life.

If that seems simplistic to you, so be it. I can only tell you what works for me.

Wrap It Up

I’m no longer a teacher, so I don’t have to concern myself with award presentations. I’m no longer a coach. My son is thirty-five, so thoughts of corporal punishment are long gone, and my parenting duties fading with each sunset.

But I am a human being, and I know I need other human beings and they need me, so in the time I have remaining I’m going to do my damnedest to find acceptance and be more understanding.

And to Sister Elizabeth, who literally knocked me to my knees one afternoon with an open-handed slap, I say this: Sister, you missed your calling; you should have been a boxer!

Bill

H.O.W. (Humanity One World)

“Helping human beings to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, you had me howling with this entire post. You called the teacher a bitch? Priceless! I'm sure she deserved it and you were instantly a hero to the students.

      As for your daughter....a psychic vamp? I've never heard that, but I like it Those extroverts wear me out, and it only takes about five minutes. I'm sure I would like her....in short doses! lol

      Happy weekend, Zulma!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      6 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Bill.

      Yes, in hindsight it is pretty funny. I had the opportunity to meet this teacher. When I say meet, I mean she ambushed my daughter in my presence, without acknowledging me in any way. As she walked off, my daughter told who she was. I looked after her and said out loud, 'What a b****.' Got quite a few laughs from the other students.

      You probably would like my daughter, Bill. For about an hour. She is quite the extrovert and is, what I call, a psychic vamp. She has a way of sucking the energy out of you and leave you feeling exhausted. I've often slumped into a chair after spending time with her.

      She's a good kid, though. Gainfully employed, liked by her peers, and loves her family. God help anyone who says anything bad about us. She will get right in their face until they run off sobbing. lol

      Have a great weekend, Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Now that is a funny story, Zulma! I literally laughed out loud, which I rarely do despite using "lol" often. I am absolutely sure I would like your oldest. :)

      Happy Thursday my friend!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      6 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Hi again, Bill.

      I wish I could be a fly on the wall so I could see the crestfallen look of the 20-nothing who just realised he wouldn't be getting an award from his boss for showing up to work on time. lol

      I remember when my oldest came home from secondary school complaining that her English teacher was terrible. It turned out the teacher was fluent in English as it was her second language. Her father advised her, apparently forgetting who he was speaking to, to simply tell the woman how she felt. Did she ever. She told her the woman she was a s*** teacher and had no business instructing an English class. Fun times when we had to explain that bit of disrespect to the headteacher.

      Have a great day, Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It would be nice, Shannon. I doubt I'll live long enough to see it happen, but it would be nice.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      7 weeks ago from Texas

      If everyone felt like it's just noise, there'd be no division big enough to literally divide a country to the point of violence and hate. Wouldn't that be nice?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm with you, Shannon! I don't have the time or the desire to debate issues. In the end it just doesn't make any difference what I think about any issue. It's all just white noise as a backdrop to life.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      8 weeks ago from Texas

      Gee, thanks! Cat's meow is the perfect phrase choice, considering I'm very much a cat person.

      LOL....I don't feel a "need" to debate often either. But sometimes things just rub me the wrong way and I step into a conversation that turns into a debate of sorts after simply stating my opinion. I've started scrolling through FB less and less because of that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      She did pretty well, William, with what she had to work with. lol Thanks my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks Shannon! It's nice to know I have some best qualities. lol I happen to think you're the cat's meow too. As for debating, I leave that to those who feel the need. I don't feel it and thus I don't do it.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      8 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      "...it would make your head spin like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist." I follow that, Bill. Quite descriptive!!! As for Sister Mary, she must have taught you well.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      8 weeks ago from Texas

      So...I thought today was Monday. Obviously, I was wrong. But instead of a mailbag, I found this gem that I was missing out on.

      It's easy to see why you and I get along. Someone told me fairly recently that my articles are neutral. It was in reference to a couple touching on some hot topics in our society right now. I realized that I am indeed opinionated, but not necessarily toward one side or the other. I think you've summed it up perfectly - I see both sides of the debate. Sadly, though, it's also often difficult to communicate with people who want to engage in a debate because they only look at their side of the issue. Anyway, I think your willingness to see both sides is one of your best qualities.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I think I finally threw the trophies out when I went away to college, Flourish. As for the nuns, I don't know why most of them were so mean, but they were in my school. Only Sister Mary Charles was sweet and gentle, one our of eight.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      So very true, Rajan! Thank you for that insight!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      8 weeks ago from USA

      Aww that Sister Elizabeth had some anger issues that went far beyond the moment and the issue she was wrongly trying to correct. The church must have selected the nuns who hated children for those important teaching positions. Not every woman enjoys children, especially someone else’s smart ass noncompliant preteens — not that that was you. It just describes a lot of kids.

      I’m not a believer in the notion that everyone gets a trophy. Sometimes you just lose and need to congratulate the winner. Where do those trophies go anyway?

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Life experiences enrich our lives. Reflecting back on life's gone by moments is like reliving moments of one's life all over again. When we say times have changed, it's the way we think that has changed, more than anything else.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't know why nuns were like that, Nithya, but it was quite common during the 50's in the U.S. Oh well, I survived, so all is well.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      8 weeks ago from Dubai

      Hitting children is no way to discipline them. It must have been terrible experience for you. Nuns are supposed to be kind and caring messengers of God and I don’t understand why they felt the need to physically hurt students.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      The clouds are always pretty, Sha, and as long as I can see them, all is well in my life. :)

      I think we are interesting as holy hell, my friend. We are each fascinating creatures, and I'm sure glad I know you.

      Happy Weekend to you!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Yep, I've had my knuckles slapped with a ruler and my hair pulled many a time when I was in Catholic school. I guess each school has the equivalent of your Sister Elizabeth. Mine was Sister George, 6th grade. She was downright ornery!

      Enough of that.

      I understand what you're saying, Bill. We all have our own aptitudes, strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies. It doesn't make any one of us better than the other. But it does make us all interesting, worthy of respect and, yes, acceptance.

      Beautiful contemplation, my friend. Aren't the clouds pretty today?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I'm with you; at times I'm not sure it is possible.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Riffat! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Great points, Mary! Yes, we do have to care. We can't allow the nasty people to take over the world. How scary would that be?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your wonderful thoughts, Lori! Great points you have raised. I am so tired of the name-calling on social media. It's ridiculous, it's demeaning, and it belittles us as a species. I just won't take place in that kind of childish behavior. I have a life to live.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting and thought-provoking article, Bill. Acceptance is important whenever it's possible.

    • Riffat Junaid profile image

      Riffat Junaid 

      2 months ago from Pakistan

      Nice article Bill, you are right we have to accept each other because it's good for all of us.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      It looks like acceptance comes easily with age. I laughed around your stories of nuns spanking kids. I have a share of that but on the spanker side. I hope my students have forgiven me. Today, I find there is so much hate and non-acceptance. I'll unfriend you on Facebook seems to carry force. Sometimes, I just say I don't care, but this is not good either. We have to care and share more of love amid all these conflicts.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      2 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      This was very thought provoking. When I was in sixth grade, I was putting my paper machete animal on the counter by the window like everyone else (to dry) that I failed to here my teachers command to sit down. While I was admiring everyone's work, She came up behind me and whacked my butt in one fell swoop with a three-inch thick wooden paddle with holes in it. Dang it hurt. But the humiliation was horrible. I never saw it coming. She was a fabulous teacher and I was a good kid so this caught my attention and I never made a mistake again.

      I think there are many more absolute truths than one might think. In some life circles, things are a little muddled. If you throw politics or controversies out there, there wide differences in ideology. But I think some of them are absolutes, others are preference. The problem is the human heart. We innately want to be right at all times. We are proud and arrogant. This turns us into little monsters, little twits who thrive on causing trouble and being bullies. As far politicians go, there are so many hostile hypocrites it's horrible. But to be honest, we are all hypocrites and one time or another.

      It seems that politics and religion are the most long-lasting hot button issues. It goes back centuries. Why is that?

      What I hate is the name-calling and blanket statements, as you alluded to. If you are a Trump supporter all conservatives/republicans are morons, racists, mysogonists, and all those "ists". And, all the liberals are tagged as snow flakes, woke, etc. One thing is absolute, name calling and hatred are wrong, they are sins. And we can all do better.

      This award for all is one of those non-absolutes I think. I was the one who never got awards except participant and that made me feel worse than not getting any award. What is hard is when the same people get the top awards almost every time. It made me feel small and stupid. And yet I think it's good to give the ones who have done best an award in order to stimulate others to do better. It's always been a mixed bag for me cause I was always the loser.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I can certainly see giving recognition to students with a learning problem like dyslexia. Not an easy word to spell, by the way. I can understand that completely. But these participation awards for every student for every damned activity drives me nutso. lol

      I do my best work on the porch, my friend. Thanks for joining me.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know, Liz, right? I had 8th graders who went to graduation parties in limos rented by their parents. Good Lord!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh well, Bill, it's just the way it is these days, my friends. Thank the gods you and I learned well, eh?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting take, Demas. Thanks for sharing. Let's hope those words come true in this country soon.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Different times for sure, Linda. I love your reference to the snowflakes. I would have students come to me and complain that other students were being mean to them. Are you kidding me? Hit them in the nose and move on in life. That's what my dad would have advised. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Devika. Thanks for sitting with me and listening.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Becky, I was much more afraid of the nuns than the priests. How odd to say that. You sure wouldn't expect that to be true, but it was. Those nuns were mean, by and large.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's funny, Ruby! Great story about time. Heck, Ruby, I deserved most of the punishment by the nuns. I could be a smart ass at times. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I have no regrets about those days, Meg. Yes, punishment hurt, but I deserved it 90% of the time, and it taught me valuable lessons I still carry with me.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Denise! I don't have any of my trophies or certificates from long ago. They simply weren't important to me. I don't even have my college graduation certificate. I know I graduated and that's all I need.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      If not crazy, Pamela, definitely different. It took some major adjusting on my part to come to a peaceful spot with all of the changes. I'm not sure I am yet. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peggy! It was an interesting time to grow up, and I wouldn't trade it for any other time. I loved those years, even if I did get slapped a few times.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 months ago from SW England

      I agree with rewarding those who excel but I also agree with rewarding those who make an exceptional effort. Many of my dyslexic students were given some kind of reward or mark for effort and that boosted self-esteem and a good work ethic. Some excelled at sports and had medals for that, just first, second and third. Not all competitors.

      I don't see the point of giving everyone an award as there will be those who don't deserve it and think that their behaviour or effort is acceptable whether it's of a good or bad standard. That breeds complacency and also devalues the award.

      I had rewards at school and excelled at tennis - but I had to work really hard for it all.

      At junior school, the boys were given the cane (even for not trying hard enough when they were not academically gifted) and the girls just told off. I always thought that was unfair but I never wanted to be treated equally!.

      Great thoughts here, bill! I like your moments of contemplation on the porch. It seems much philosophy and poetry is created on porches, in the USA and in Australia!!

      Ann

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      Times have certainly changed. I don't recall a prom, aged 11, when leaving primary school. Now parents feel pressurised to hire big limos for the event.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      2 months ago from Massachusetts

      Have to agree with you, Bill. Things certainly have changed. I graduated high school and college, nothing else in-between. Seems silly to me and helps create a sense of entitlement in kids by celebrating everything. And yes, wisdom does come with age. Have a great day.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      2 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      My take is just this: "There is a "baby and the bath water" line here somewhere, and any leaders who seek to lead this further will know where the bath water ends and the baby begins. Empower the changes, but make them the kind that can last for all Americans. One nation under God with liberty and justice, and equal opportunity for all." Demas

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, sorry I'm so late to the party. You've given us a lot to chew on today. First, I agree with you--we're not doing our children any favors by rewarding them for breathing. What a rude awakening they will have when they have that 13th graduation (one for each year of K thru 12) and realize that they really AREN'T the center of the universe. I can't help but think that this "entitlement" is the reason for the problems with authority and that the snowflake-syndrome keeps our little ones so fragile and unable to cope with the hurts and realities of life. Every setback now seems to require a team of counselors to come in and help everyone adjust and explore their feelings.

      Maybe that's why we can no longer compromise, see the other person's point of view, or even just have a decent conversation without going crazy on each other.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      2 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Bill you enlightened me on a different era and a lot has changed since then. Thank you for another well written and informative hub. This taught me a lot in your time.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      2 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      My husband used to speak of Sister Mary Catherine, from "Stand tall and be proud Texas". She was 6'2" and the disciplinarian of the nuns at his school. She used a ruler and would smack it down across your fingers on your desk, when she caught you doing something wrong. Anything she couldn't handle, she sent you to the priest. My husband was very familiar with the priest. He was more afraid of that nun. He was also very fond of her and she made a lasting impression on him. Neither of us were fond of participation awards. Why bother trying to do better when you knew you were going to get one no matter how bad you were.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This was a fun read, except for the nuns being mean to you. BTW my mother would have beat the faith out of them. lol It's funny how we remember unpleasant happenings in school. I remember the teacher asking me to go out in the hall to see what time it was. ( Why the clock was in the hall and not in the room, I haven't a clue ) Well, I didn't know how to tell time, so I looked at the clock, went back in the room and shot her a number, the class all laughed including the teacher. I think I was in the second grade. I felt really humiliated. I made sure that my son could tell time before he started to school.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      2 months ago from Northern Ireland

      I so agree with what you just said. When I moved from a mixed primary (elementary) school, where the cane was the norm to a girls grammar (high) school where there was no cane but there was detention after school, I complained that I would rather have the cane for misbehaviour, than detention. The cane stung for a few minutes, then it was over. Detention took not only half an hour of your time after school but also meant you missed the school bus and that you had to make a long and arduous way home, or else walk the whole way, which I did a few times, taking shortcuts over laneways, rather than going by the longer main road.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      2 months ago from Fresno CA

      I had a very few awards in my school years because there was always someone better than I... and those worse than I. I figured that it is the way it is. I didn't fret over not getting many ribbons or awards because when I did achieve one it was so much more prized. Upon high school graduation, I had applied for so many scholarships and didn't get them but when I got called up to the front on that last day of awards, I was truly surprised. I received a tiny medallion for the teacher's award of Most Outstanding Artist. And when the whole school clapped for me (because who hadn't seem my art by that time), it was a moment to be remembered. And not just one more of the many participation certificates. I think we did the Millenials a terrible disservice by doing that to them. Awards didn't mean anything really because they all got one.

      Nice visiting with you on the nice new porch. Great view from here. I'll be back.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a very interesting artice, Bill. Sister Elizabeth is really something! I was never hit in school and if I was spanked at home I don't remember. I remember my mother yelling at us when we were naughty, which was not very effective. LOL

      I have said for a long time that two people ought to be able to talk with differing opinions and walk away friends. I think these safe rooms in colleges are kind of silly. When you have any type of sport, why does everyone get a trophy? We were taught to be responsible as children. I worked starting at 16 years old. As an adult I had three boys, raised alone mist of the time and they turned out just fine. It is a crazy time we live in right now.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      We grew up in the same era when corporal punishment was the rule instead of the exception. Sorry that your nuns, except for one, were mean-tempered. I lucked out with the Franciscan nuns we had in elementary school. We loved them. There were a few instances that the head nun paddled a student in front of the class with her "board of education." That did not happen often, and if it happened, the parents would also scold the child when they got home.

      The only graduation ceremonies back then were for high school or college. As to every participant receiving an award, it just did not happen. We all survived those days pretty well. At least I think so.

      I agree with everything you wrote. We all need to realize that not everything is black or white. We need more love and understanding as we navigate through life. Take care, and stay safe up there!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you, Dora! I am a very grateful human being. I have so much to be thankful for, I don't have time to be ungrateful.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Val, that first sentence of yours is right on. If you have acceptance, it resonates well. If you don't have it, it sounds like a foreign language. Let's hope more people tune in sooner rather than later. Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! I never spanked my son, but I would poke him in the breast bone with my index finger to get his attention. He still remembers those pokes. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Too funny, Heidi! I understand it all and I don't understand it, at the same time, which makes me one conflicted human being. :) Enjoy your Wednesday, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I have no permanent scars, Rosina. It's just the way it was back then. Most of us came out of it fairly normal. lol Thanks for the visit.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I have no problem envisioning your own personal chair in the principal's office. The school system, back then, was not designed for free spirits with brains. lol Thanks for the laugh, buddy!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, thanks for honestly sharing your observations. You exude the sense of gratitude and contentment which enables us to accept life as it was and as it is. It also enables us to spread hope and encouragement. There is so much we still have to celebrate!

    • ValKaras profile image

      Val Karas 

      2 months ago from Canada

      Bill -- Acceptance is such a noble concept resonating well in hearts of those who are already practicing it -- and sounding like a "sissy" idea to all those who thrive on inner and outer conflicts.

      As for me, thanks for the invitation, buddy, let's celebrate it, not by accepting those who cannot accept, but by ignoring them.

      Have a fabulous day! I like your story, I got my own share of spanking, slapping, and belt beating. Not being particularly a religious dude, but -- I'll borrow the words of someone there: "Let's forgive them, because they didn't know what they were doing."

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This article is full of so many home truths, Bill. I have often contemplated the reasoning behind the same things like awards for participation and none for excelling. I also admit giving my kids a spanking if they really deserved it...they actually thank me for it now.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      2 months ago from Chicago Area

      What? You're not the reincarnation of Socrates? Hmm.

      Oh, the participation trophies! Do not get me started. While I agree that all steps forward should be honored and appreciated, it doesn't mean the same as celebrated.

      Around our neighborhood, there have been congratulations yard signs for the high school graduates who didn't get to celebrate. That's fine. But then more and more smaller "graduation" signs started showing up for kindergarten and almost all grades except for high school grades. Why not high school? It's tougher than grade school on so many levels. I understand that in this pandemic year, people are just trying to keep up their kids' morale. But it does remind me of the Adam Sandler movie, Billy Madison.

      My parents, too, were often conflicted and confused, just as we all are. And, yes, getting older does offer the wisdom of perspective.

      Well, gotta run and put a sign on my lawn that says, "Congrats! You survived today!"

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      2 months ago

      It's sad, Bill, there was corporal punishment at school in your time. At least your parents never spanked you.

      It's really good not to get involved or argue about politics and religion. Life is much simpler that way.

      Thank you for sharing this article.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Don't look over hear Bill I celebrated every time I was not kicked out of class. My principal had a chair just for me before swats were ceremonial dispensed.I was a four star letterman and class president and then senator for 3 years. I cannot remember a month where I was not beat up. But at fifteen with my 53 Chevy pick - em up truck I had all the girls. What was my mom thinking.

      Well now all broken down and battered and hung up wet to dry I guess,,,,, what is that song? Glory days.

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