Bio-sketch #1 or “Let me say this, about that..”

Thoughtful Reader…

Thanks for joining me again on this journey. As I mentioned in my initial post, there is a little biographical background that I will serve up here along with a big slice of humble pie. Please remember as you read that I am not trying to sell you anything. I am not particularly proud of my history, but it’s the only one I have. The intent here is not to beat the drum, but to enlighten. It is my sincere hope that these first posts will give some insight into my life and why I am here. So, here a chronology begins…

Historically Speaking…

I was born a poor white child……While a bit tongue-in-cheek and overstated perhaps, it is nevertheless true. My early formative years were difficult ones. I didn’t realize it then, you understand, but in the decades following I have come to recognize that our family did not live a “normal” life. In retrospect, it seems like we were always from “the wrong side of the tracks.” Early school age years were spent with eyes downcast trying to avoid bullies…of course they weren’t known as “bullies” back then. It was accepted behavior that the stronger, more affluent, more influential kids were to be respected and shown deference. And really, I didn’t mind too much. I guess because I didn’t realize how poor we were, I was a happy child (for the most part..)….I was also a ghetto child. Not in the modern sense of the word, but really, that’s what it amounted to……Oh, the stories I could tell!!

My mother was killed in a car accident when I was about three. My father died shortly after I graduated from high school. All of the grandparents were deceased as well. I had already moved out of the house, for reasons which shall remain my own, when my father passed. My brother was still living at home at the time (he was three years behind me in school)….I think he was more scared than shocked. Today, my sister, my brother and I talk infrequently about this time in our lives. It is better left in the past. Chaos?? No, choices. It is all about choices. We have to make them every day…and live with the consequences. More about that later….

A World Touched by Tiny Hands…

I was present for the birth of my first son….In the delivery room….Four feet from the doctor when my son took his first breath. “Big deal,” you say…”that’s sort of normal isn’t it?” Well it may be now, but take my word for it, it wasn’t normal back then. It is an altogether moving experience as those who have been through it will testify. When your world is touched for the first time by tiny hands, it will never be the same. The same holds true for grandchildren too. Thinking back now, I am once again reminded of two facts that I hold to be self-evident (even if they are not, I still believe..). One is, the human race represents the highest ordered living things on this earth…above all other living things. And two, the human infant is one of the most fragile of all newborns. It is a bit of a conundrum, wouldn’t you say? The point being, our children require our help and guidance from the day they are born,……and we are all a product of our environment. Control the environment and the potential bad outcomes are greatly reduced. Is it easy? No. Is it necessary? Only if you want your child to prosper…..

Education, Education, Education…

Have you ever wondered how much education is enough? Some will say that a high school diploma is plenty….and I have met some who believe even a high school diploma is not necessary (although I admit to thinking that those who believe this need to be brought into the modern world, they are nevertheless out there, and represent a school of thought that shouldn’t be overlooked..). For me, education came late in life. My choices were limited after high school, so I moved on, always watching, waiting for opportunity. When I found it, I took advantage of it. Later, after leaving the Army, I was given the chance to work in education. It was an eye-opening time!! I spent some time in front of a classroom and some time in college administration. And today, I argue still for increased educational opportunities.

So, How much education is enough? I don’t have an answer. For me, there is no such thing as too much. Once you develop the mindset for learning, you feel lost if you don’t pursue additional knowledge. I guess I will continue to study and learn until I become incompetent or I die…..

If you can fill the unforgiving minute…With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,…Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it ………………………Rudyard Kipling

Time is a valuable commodity. All of us have a very finite amount of it available to us for our use. Every minute used (or wasted..??) is one less that we have in our personal vault. Education is a very worthwhile investment of that time. Use it wisely…

Choices…

And so I come to the end point of this part. I would like to leave you here with a bit of sure and certain knowledge gained through experience. As we go through life, each in his own way, we are constantly shown different paths. We choose the path we take. Sometimes the paths that diverged in our past become convergent once again. Sometimes not. The one thing that remains certain is we alone are responsible for all of our choices. We cannot fail to choose and in so doing refute responsibility, because the act of not choosing is in itself a choice. I encourage you to accept responsibility for your actions, learn and move forward. There is no “right choice,” only what you find acceptable in your current time and place. My wish for you is to find peace and acceptance in your mind and heart and to find someone at least once in your life who will tell you …………”You have chosen………wisely.”

Howard

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4 thoughts on “Bio-sketch #1 or “Let me say this, about that..”

  1. Bud, you have become a very strong, successful and brilliant individual; your childhood story you touched on was very moving and brought back so many memories of our family. I’ve only imagined how difficult it must have been for all of you and to us you were never Ghetto, you will always be family! Love you, Barb

    • Thanks so much Barb. Glad you stopped by. This blog is something I enjoy. History is never easy but it is always worth remembering. Really great to hear from you and Marilyn. Hope all is well with you and your family!
      Love to all,
      H

  2. I found your bio personal, moving and authentic. I loved the find someone in your life that will tell you, you have chosen wisely.. I think choice is probably the only thing we have. Oh and hope. :o)

    • Thank you for the kind words! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. The “you have chosen….wisely” quote is not mine (obviously..!!). From the Grail Knight in “…The Last Crusade”. I thought it spoke the sentiment perfectly.!

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