Archives For Will Rogers

2014-06-28_11-29-19“My hair is arriving at a sort of a blend that it deserves respect if nothing else. A graying head is a mark of respect in any land…” – Will Rogers, 18 November 1934

I don’t know a lot about the year 1934 but I kind of expect it was different than it is here in the 21st century. When I think of that year, which I guess was a measly twelve years before I was born, I see Walton’s Mountain with multiple generations living in the same household and everyone respecting Grandma and Grandpa Walton and constantly seeking their wisdom on life’s issues. I’m not sure this multi-generational household  was by choice or necessity since the “Great Depression” was in full steam about then but that doesn’t really matter.

Anyway, from what I can see with my graying head it doesn’t get me much respect in today’s world. It won’t even get most young people to hold a door I am following them through. It certainly didn’t get me seat on a crowded subway.

It seems that most corporations now days want to get rid of all us old folks so that can save some money by hiring young kids at a fraction of the salary.  They just don’t seem to have much respect for our years of experience. They now see us as a liability.  But they see everyone except maybe their owners as liabilities so maybe that doesn’t apply here.

I’m just not sure that my “hair blend” buys me as much now days as it did in Will’s.

Wanting An Education

July 10, 2014

FootballIn the old days boys wanted an education. They even had reading, writing, and arithmetic, instead of football. Up to then boys had gone there for their heads and not their shoulders — Will Rogers August 26,1928

In the old days must have been before 1928! I would have figured it to be later than that but maybe what we have been doing since that time is to hone it to perfection.  I have seen so many articles around today about how boys just don’t do school very well. By school I mean as Will indicated reading, writing, and arithmetic.  It now seems that girls make up the majority of our kids going to college. I guess the boys, especially those of color,  think they can make their millions off whatever their favorite sport is. They just don’t seem to be interesting in putting in the work necessary to learn anything else. That seems to be a very sad reality of today’s world doesn’t it?

Anyone who has read this blog much knows that I am not a sports fan in any regard. I often say that maybe sports among several other things helps build character when we are children but once we grow up it should be illegal to pay an adult for any sporting activity. That would definitely take the irrational dream away for many of our young boys. Given that in the future women will very likely become the primary bread winners in almost all households I wonder how those testosterone driven guys will handle that?

Come on all you parents out there. Take your boys out of one or two the their scheduled sports activities and use that time to make them study a little more…..

To Prevent War…

May 22, 2014

2014-05-15_13-38-34Somebody is always telling us in the papers how to prevent war. There is only one way in the world to prevent war and that is for every nation to tend to is own business. Trace any war and you will find some nations was trying to tell some other nations how to run their business. All these nations are interfering with some other nations’ personal affairs but with an eye to business. Why don’t we let the rest of the world act like it wants to?

Will Rogers June 28, 1925

College Years 002The header of this blog contains one of my favorite Will Rogers quote.  “Do the best you can and don’t take life too serious”. It would be years before I realized the power of putting those two things together.

We all have different skills and capabilities. We all have different talents. I think that the secret to a satisfying life is to discover just what your skills and talents are and then do the best you can to make them flourish. My personal history it this regard is kind of so-so. But I did for the most part do the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time and maybe that is all I could have asked for.

As a kid I seemed to always be looking to the future and trying to imagine where my place would be in it.  But I never seemed able to latch onto that one specific thing. Looking back I seemed to be looking at the forest and not concentrating on any particular tree for potential growth. It would have been nice to have the knowledge and wisdom I now have in those early years.  But, I guess that is what growing really means.

As much as can be expected I did do the best I could with all my circumstances in life. I got into a profession that I really didn’t have much passion for but I did the best I could while there.  It would be more than twenty years into my thirty year work life before I found an area that I was passionate about and that was software development. My analytical mind thrived in that area.

But then along came deafness that put another obstacle in my path and it proved to be a tough one. What should have been sure fire advancements in this new area were not there because of my new affliction. My superiors just couldn’t see a deaf person leading a bigger team than I already had.  The depression that my deafness caused almost took me down for a while. And then I got my second wind and started coping as best as I could. Struggling without hearing in a hearing world was certainly  my biggest challenge.  But I did the best I could.

Perhaps the biggest challenge in realizing Will’s quote above was the last part. It would be years before I was finally able to not take life too serious. The first part of meeting that challenge was to not take myself too serious. I was convinced that I needed to change the world and was always disappointed in my lack of being able to do much of that.

The progression from not taking myself too serious to not taking life in general too serious was a natural one it seems. The first serious stage in that process was to realize that today’s politics are just not worth the worries that they inevitably cause. Our country is just too divided right now to allow any serious advancements in the political realm. I found it very satisfying to finally realize that fact and to put the muddy politics of our times to a very remote rear burner of my life.

So, here I am approaching my 68th year on this earth and I think I finally have Will’s quote down. It’s about time…..

The picture above is of me in 1966 during my college years….

 

 

Our Dumbness….

April 26, 2014

2014-04-16_14-13-17“I guess our country holds the record for dumbness. The Pope spoke to the world this morning in three languages and we didn’t understand a one of ‘em. But the minute he finished and the local stations got back to selling corn salve and pyorrhea tooth paste we were right up our intellectual alley again.” – Will Rogers, 15 May 1931

 

Short Memories…

April 12, 2014

2014-03-02_16-18-10“The short memories of American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.” – Will Rogers, 7 April 1930

That and very uninformed, some might say ignorant, voters….

Hunt Out The Good…..

April 11, 2014

2014-04-06_17-29-10“Hunt out and talk about the good that is in the other fellow’s church, not the bad, and you will do away with all this religious hatred you hear so much nowadays.” – Will Rogers, 11 March 1923

This quote hit home with me especially after my recent post about Pope Francis and the poor. There was one sad creature who tried multiple times to put in some vile words about the pope in particular and Catholics in general. It is obvious that he has nothing but hate for that group of people. Of course I did not let him have his say on this blog.

But then again, sometimes I do the same thing but to a much more civil manner. I see all the wrong-headed things going on in various church denominations and I point it out as how not to do “church”. Maybe I should take Will’s words to heart sometimes. Christians by their very nature try to look to Jesus Christ for examples.  Maybe I should start these types of posts out by first talking about the good they do (if I can find it). :)

I think what Will is trying to say is to find some common ground first and then gently point out the differences second….

Legislatures are like animals in a zoo. You can’t do anything about ‘em’. All you can do is to stand and watch ‘em’

About being a U.S. Senator, the only thing the law says you have to be is 30 years old. Not another single requirement. They just figure that a man that old got nobody to blame but himself is he gets caught there

— Will Rogers —

 

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A Fool’s Fool…..

January 25, 2014

2014-01-15_09-20-30“A fool that knows he is a fool is one that knows he don’t know all about anything, but the fool that don’t know he is a fool is the one that thinks he knows all about anything. Then he is a dam fool.” – Will Rogers, 7 August 1927

This is one of Will’s more philosophical quotes. Those who think they know everything are just damn fools. I have certainly run across my share of these folks. Many have even passed through this blog on occasion but thankfully they don’t stay long.