Dedicated to Bordentown MTIS
Schools are faced with budget shrinkage. Many axed programs are matched with terminated teachers. Perhaps the solution is gambling the entire school budget on a megaball lottery. Afterall, our habitual politicians have bet our future on gambling: Increasingly, more states having lotteries with bottomless pits of lottery variations. We are learning (despite the media-hype on lotteries paying money to school funds) that a nation cannot gamble its way to prosperity. The work ethic builds all great nations before the play pathos buries the nation. A simple, needed, solution can help in the short- and long-term based on two models.
Bordentown Manual Training and Industrial School in New Jersey was called the Tuskeegee of the North. Bordentown was a initially only a vocational program wherein live-in students worked part-time in needed services while learning academics in the classroom. Independent of the area of work was the students acquiring the work ethic in the only way possible: work.
Work is solving the real problems of "needs" rather than unreal problems of "wants." People who want something-for-nothing will say there is no difference. Mother Nature disagrees.
The cost of humanity to Mother Nature has two parts, the cost of needs and cost of wants. The former is the true cost of living which is the time one must spend each day in order to have the necessities to live. The cost of wants is also the cost of lying, that is, how we lie to ourselves about the importance of our wants. So true is "Beware of what you want because you just might get it."
While the needs of life are constant the wants of life are eviluting lies which humans over-emphasize with each passing year. Our attics, basements, garages and rentals are full of our past wants. The accumulated debris of past wants indexes not only how we lied to ourselves but enslaved ourselves to work many hours for our passing fancies. Every televised natural disaster has hungry victims bemoaning their misfortune as they stand in front of their useless wants--plasma screen tv's, NFL and NASCAR paraphenelia. Where is their food? Where are their necessities for life?
Worse than governent entitlements are wasteful self-entitlements of the "me-me'ism" wants. In recent decades Americans have obsessed on the play pathos over the work ethic to the point that athletes talk about having the "work ethic." Or, an Olympic gymnast brags about how her mother sacrificed everything, including bankruptcy, so she would play 24/7.
America does not work anymore because we are a nation of players who feel entitled to a good life and good government without working to pay for life and liberty. We play sports, stocks, lottery, and, with internet pornography, singularly. American's are learning (or igknowing) that all play and no politics makes Jack and Jill desperate, destitude and demised.
America is the only nation that integrates sports into its education system. We are paying the price as seen in declining knowledge for living in math and science. Can we really expect to compete when we distract our kids with sports, play and wants in the classroom?
Anyone who claims that sports builds character igknows the track record of sports: Who was the 2012 Psycho of the Year--Adam Lanza, Lance Armstrong, Meti T'eo, Joe Paterno, etc.? Drugs in sports has been so prevalent that more than one person has suggested that all records since 1970 be tossed out due to the use of performance enhancing drugs. Should Barry Bonds, Roger Clements, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGuire be in the Hall of Fame? Should they be held up as role models? Who were and are the bullies in school? The jocks or non-jocks?
No greater indictment of the play pathos exists than the 4000 former NFL players suing for head injuries. Included in the lawsuit should be the colleges, their high schools and their parent for not teaching them the obvious:
These players made millions ... otherwise they would not have been in the game long enough to bank their head so often as is the monopoly of high-paid starters. Where was the building of character? One baskeball player made $175 million in his career with bankruptcy and unemployment his final state. Professional sports advertises falsehoods to keep the gravy flowing for the new plantation masters ruling the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA.
While legal slavery was the cause of black impoverishment in the distant past, more recently, the cause is self-enslavement to the play ethic. The day labor pools are full of former high school standout players who can barely write their own names. Was Jackie Robinson a lasting curse on the black Americans worse than the legacy of slavery? If one looks at the ethnic group regarded as the richest, one sees little or no focus on sports as their members focus on education, medicine, law and politics. Up until the 1970's, Blacks and Jews not only walked hand-in-hand for civil rights but died together as Freedom Riders, e.g., Chaney et. al. Any person who feels entitled to pursue the play pathos instead of the work ethic should not be surprised when their wanting something-for-nothing gives them nothing.
Bordentown MTIS was an educational institution that imbued its students with the work ethic: If we don't teach the work ethic first and foremost then all other teaching is worthless and wasted. Sure, it had sports teams but education came first. American education suffers because the majority of teachers are playaholics who fail to grasp this point. They will pay: Spoil the student with play and you will spoil your career and retirement. Basic, common sense economics is obscured by glamerized, common sinful emotions.
While this vanilla writer is proud to have a chocolate family in America's White House,and proud to have a well-tanned man as head of state, he wishes that President Obama was not a playaholic. His policies will always be corrupted by his obsession with sports. America is the only nation in the world where sports is integrated into the educational setting as farm teams for habitual athletes.
Consider this question? In ten years would America be better off if organized sports were dropped from public education today? Economic considerations are forcing more and more schools to drop sports. Either we can drop sports to save education or we can let sports kill both education and sports. It is like the difference between Sherman's March to the Sea and Russia's Burned Earth response to Nazi invasion. The South fed the armies of its invaders while Russia starved its invaders--the South lost while Russia won. Likewise, we can either kill this cancer called education sports or we can let it kill education and sports.
If you want to see who is terminally ill with the play pathos, raise for discussion the above "In ten years ..." question. Prepare for some blind, rabid, gut reactions devoid of reason and reality. How did you react? Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?
Every elementary and high school can emulate Bordentown by implementing gardening programs as well as seeding bees to raise money like bake sales. Make sports an after-school second rate career choice.
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