Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Never Preach Despair"

My basis for saying this is a quotation by Danny Thomas, entertainer and tv star. Many years ago, in the days of black and white tv, I saw part of his night club act. He stopped the music and got very serious and personal, and this, to a Las Vegas night club audience!

But I am certain this was an audience composed largely of parents, and they needed to hear this message.

It struck home to me, because negative "teaching" was the way I was raised. Praise was very hard to come by, but there were plenty of warnings.

"Get a good education so you can get a good job," was popular then and still is, though plenty of folks with "good educations" can find no jobs at all.

But it got worse. "You'll never amount to anything" morphed into "No girl will every marry you."

I realize the tactic that was being used, a kind of reverse psychology, like loading a stubborn mule onto a truck by pushing against him until he gets on. But I was not stubborn. Rather, I was so discouraged that I had given up. My once-good school grades plummeted.

I realize now that my parents were trying to make me like themselves. This is how they had coped, overcoming adversity. But I was a different breed of cat. I needed attention and got none. I needed words of encouragement, and lived in silence.

Some kids need to be restrained, like the proverbial wild horses. And some need to be encouraged. It was a mismatched deal all the way.

The world likes the wild horse variety. "They've got spirit!"

Sorry, but some of us are different.

Today, the "get ahead in life" people sicken me. I should be more broad-minded, but I'm not. This negative upbringing has left a mark on me that only death will rid me of.

So, bless you Danny Thomas, you understood. Such an unlikely source, but so understanding.

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