Archive for Thursday, April 28, 2011

Smith: A ‘potpourri’ of opinions

April 28, 2011

In the old days, I would have titled this column “Potpourri” or a combination of thoughts, ideas and opinions. Who knows? You might even agree with some of the ideas.

I have been very, very impressed with how thoughtful and kind people are to those of us who walk with canes, walkers, crutches, etc. People go out of their way to open doors or to offer help. I certainly appreciate the kindness and concern. I know that when I kick the cane out of my life, I will do whatever I can to return the kindness to others. Incidentally, the cane won’t be around much longer.

Does anyone pay attention to “yield the right of way” signs? To me the sign means you wait until there is an opening to enter the highway. Sadly, most people roar through the sign and bully their way onto the highway.

Another of my pet driving frustrations is the driver who insists on being just a couple inches off your back bumper. You are driving along at the speed limit in heavy traffic and this clown wants around you. I’ve even seen people passing on the shoulder just to get a car length ahead. How about some common courtesy when driving?

With all that’s been written and said about the dangers of texting while driving, I have no idea why anyone still does it. There is nothing that is so important that it can’t wait until you park the car. No, I don’t text while sitting at home, let alone driving.

Teenagers certainly get a bad rap and it is unfortunate that a small minority damage the image of all youth. Young people today face far more challenges than we did in the 1950’s when I was growing up. School is a lot harder now and it takes more education to succeed. When I graduated, anyone with a college degree got a job; however, now there are no guarantees.

If you want a glimpse at the quality of young people we have locally, attend the honors night program next year. There are a lot of highly-motivated, hard-working young people.

I have tremendous respect for those who lost good careers and have returned to school for re-training. It takes courage to take a leap of faith in today’s job market. I really hope that it isn’t long before we see an unemployment rate below five percent.

One of my favorite Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Chamber of Commerce events is the National Honor Society luncheon. Chamber members take NHS members as their guests to a nice luncheon and the young people are recognized for their achievements. Garnett High School, where I graduated, didn’t have a National Honor Society at that time. Of course, if they did have a society, I probably wouldn’t have been a member. Yes, I could have worked harder on my grades, but I enjoyed high school.

A young person asked me if I would like to be a teenager again and my answer was a firm “no.” I loved playing high school football, and there aren’t many 155-pound starting offensive centers and defensive linebackers these days.

I’ve said this before, but the greatest joy is having a wonderful family. We had fun raising our daughters, and grandchildren are even more fun.

There is one thing I would change: I would never have started smoking. Well, yes, I would have studied harder at an earlier age. I was fortunate to become interested in academics when I still had time to take an advantage of education. I doubt I could afford college now. It is unfortunate that young people start their careers owing multi-thousands of dollars for their education.

I really don’t know why there are some people who enjoy complaining about everything. I would urge them to look on the bright side of things and I believe everyone should work to make the world a better place to live.

People asked me if I was mad about suffering a stroke last year. My answer is “no” because there is nothing I can do about the past. I can only change the future through hard work and prayer. Yes, there are some things I don’t do as well as I would like, but just give me some time and I’ll get there. I will make the best of all situations and be thankful for what I can do. I won’t be angry about what I can’t do.

Besides, it’s a lot more fun to be happy and sit back and enjoy life. There is so much to enjoy and I plan to live every moment of every day. No, I won’t sit around and rust out — I plan on wearing out.

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