by Lawrence J. J. Leonard
. . . Stories for a stormy night . . .
I once knew a little boy who learned about fear at age 6 while having a fun conversation with his same-aged best friend. The young lads decided that they wanted nicknames and chose to call themselves by their favorite foods. The one laughed every time he called his friend – grits – and the other enjoyed calling out – toast – to alert his friend.
This didn’t set well with the teacher, and she decided that – grits – had to be punished for calling his friend – toast. The crime: “being discourteous.” The punishment: public humiliation through banishment to the hallway.
After the mothers of both friends insisted on a WTF teacher session, she changed her demeanor the rest of the year, but never returned to teach. Should boys fear expressing their joy through the use of accepted nicknames? They use fewer words than girls as it is.
I once knew a little girl whose fifth grade classmates enjoyed the opportunity to grumble loudly about the long the line to the water fountain one day. The young lass looked at the line and back at the complainers, then said, “Yes. It is a loooong line!”
For this her teacher accused her of co-conspiracy and ordered her to attend after-school detention. Oddly, none of the complainers were accountable for their loud complaints.
After the girl’s mother insisted on a WTF moment with that teacher, she did amend how she dispensed discipline. Should girls fear expressing their views in public? When they don’t they are labeled submissive. When they do they are regarded as troublemakers. Ridiculous.
I once knew a teacher who wielded her power over high school seniors at the awkward age of 18, not quite men, not quite women. It seems a young man who enjoyed learning was to graduate with honors. The teacher conceived of a plan to forbid the young man from receiving his hard earned honor cords.
The teacher told him that he must produce the letter to his parents from the district that had been delivered two months ago which qualified his status. You see, no one else in line to the graduation stage was required to do this.
Apparently, this young man had a fear of public humiliation, but determination and preparation helped to thwart the plans of that petty instructor.
The young man produced the letter. The teacher said WTF to herself. She begrudgingly dispensed the honor cords to our young hero. Should young men and women fear people in authority and think of ways to combat selfish intentions? No, but it doesn’t hurt to plan.
I once heard of an entire generation of children who were misdiagnosed as troublemakers, but their intelligence was quashed with Ritalin to make them quiet because the society feared disruptions in the classroom.
Should we fear smart children and make them pharmaceutical test monkeys or may we improve the way we evaluate intelligence? How’s your stock portfolio?
I knew of an earlier generation of children who were exposed to horror films, satanism, brutality, and deep abiding hate from humans and sub-humans alike.
Do they now fear werewolves and vampires and skeletons dancing in poorly written films? No, but they are afraid of the evil of others in today’s society.
There is a fear of the loss of loved ones
of our possessions
of our pride
even our dignity
but not a fear of the direction we are headed as a global community.
I? Yes. I did I learn to fear after reading these stories.
I fear selfish human beings.
They are the most dreadful of Earth’s creatures.
Some have claimed to be Christian and
others have even claimed to be Human.
There are so many pretenders.
No wonder we entertain fear.
Don’t let me scare you.
I am sure you are perfectly secure,
in your home,
where no electronic machine is demanding your attention and
no message is making you believe something which you should not.
Copyright © 1960-2015 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.