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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
                 Monday, July 21 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterR-e-s-p-e-c-t

Last week's series recounted a turning point in my life, at which I converted anger into productivity, creativity, and a new understanding of myself, my future, and, as a popular preacher likes to say, my possibilities. The attitude, "I'll show you" has, I'm convinced, been the beginning of many successful enterprises. Desperation often works; sometimes it's motivated by life-threatening poverty, even hunger; sometimes it's motivated by jealousy at another's success or fear that someone else will succeed before or at a bigger scale than you. Sometimes it's an effort to show a critical parent that he or she is wrong. All of these can work, and often they work to produce prosperity. We Americans are used to thinking that what works is what's best, and especially if something works for us, or someone we're deeply invested in, like a spouse or son or daughter, we seldom question the validity of either the effort or the success it produces. And just as likely we don't question the morality of the path chosen.

But the fact that something works doesn't make it right or morally acceptable. Disrespect of parents is a breaking of the Ten Commandments, and an "I'll show you" attitude is hard to sever from disrespect. And sometimes, putting the problem into a God-honoring formulation rather than the vindicative one may work just as well. Why couldn't the angered son (me, in this case) think, instead of "I'll show you, you nincompoop" have cooled down first and thought: "Dad's right. I won't amount to anything until I start learning to apply myself more dilligently and creatively. But I don't have the stomach for farm work but I do love writing. I'll apply his advice to my writing and see if I can hone that skill into something worthwhile. But I won't shirk my chores, either, or deprive him of his rightful respect and obedience."

I wish I'd had that much wisdom at age 14. And I hope I have imparted something closer to that to my own sons and daughter. As the Pennsylvania Dutch souvenir plaque says: "We are too soon old and too late smart."

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

I was just thinking...

I was thinking about old age and decided that it is when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it anymore.

I thought about making a movie on fitness for folks my age and calling it Pumping Rust.

I have gotten that dreaded furniture disease...that's when my chest is falling into my drawers!

— Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Thought for today

A blush is the color of virtue.

— Diogenes

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