High School Politics by "Rudy"

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

It was brought to my attention in another thread that some High School students in Ohio had been reading our political debates. I am honored that they had given me the nickname Rudy. I also thought all week of what you really ought to be saying to future leaders of this country. After all is said and done it is obvious that you can only teach a child so much and than they become what they are going to be regardless of anything else !

I guess what I would really like to say and point out is --YOU CAN ! I get so many negatives in my life and I know you young adults have heard them all. Joel, you cannot control government and yet, here in a small part of Virginia I do it. No man is an island unto himself, yet, I am. I want to use the story of Mr. Tanner to show you what can happen if you follow the "normal thinking" process of the world today.

Mr Tanner was a cleaner from a town in the midwest, and of all the cleaning shops around, he'd made his the best ! But, he also was a baritone, who sang while hanging clothes--he cracked the scales while pressing tails and sang in local shows. His friends and neighbors praised the voice that poured out of his throat, they said that he should use his gift instead of cleaning coats. His friends kept working on him to try music on full time, a big debut with rave reviews and big career to climb. Finally it got to him and he would take the fling--a concert agent in New York agreed to have him sing. Now there were plane tickets, phone calls, money spent to rent the hall--it took most of his savings but he would have gladly used them all ! Music was his life, nothing could hold light to it, and it made him feel so happy, and it made him feel so right ! And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul, he did not know how well he sang --it just made him whole !

The evening came, he took the stage -his face set in a smile and in a half filled hall the critics slept while sitting on the aisle. is concert was a blurr to him with spatters of applause, he did not hear how well he sang, he only heard the flaws. The critics were concise - it only took four lines, and no one could have accused them of being overkind. " Mr. Martin Tanner, baritone, of Dayton, Ohio made his town hall debut last night. He came well prepared but unfortunately his presentation was not up to the contempory and professional standards. His voice lacks the total range and color to make it consistently interesting. Full-time consideration of another endeaver, might be in order" !

He came home to Dayton and was questioned by his friends. But he smiled and just said nothing, and he never sang again. (except for very late at night when the shop was dark and cold, he sang softly to himself as he sorted out the clothes). You see, Music was his life, nothing could hold light to it, and it made him feel so happy, and it made him feel so right. And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul. He did not know how well he sang, it just made him whole !

It is my hope and wish that no one ever tries to squash your dream or that thing that makes you whole. I pray you never experience what happened to Mr. Tanner ! I want you to go out and make it a world that you can live in. Do not trample it but be not trampled by it and make me proud ! When they tell you --it cannot be done-- than tell there was a hillbilly in the mountains of Virginia that called them a liar !

The story of Mr. Tanner was written and performed by Harry Chapin aka the one man movement. Harry is gone now but he lives in anyone that wishes to pick up the torch and fight on !

-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), November 26, 2000


Joel -- another Harry Chapin fan!!! Wonderful stuff.

I think we are all guilty of allowing others, at one time or another, to have a negative effect on our dreams. Realizing that others have an invested interest in seeing you fail (being able to SAY they could have done better, fooling themselves into believing that failure is worse than not trying at all, or keeping loved ones close by encouraging failure). I myself am guilty of it, but many things, inlcuding reading certain "Rudy" posts!! have helped me along the way!

Thanks for another amazing post!

-- Tracy (trimmer@westzone.com), November 26, 2000.

Wow! Two other Harry Chapin fans on the forum. Outstanding!!!

And if you don't know who Harry Chapin was, well... The Last of the Protest Singers.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), November 26, 2000.

Inspiring post, Joel. How often I've been guilty of squashing one of my kids' great ideas, just because it didn't fit in with my plans. That's a good reminder to stop and really listen, first. It's great to see your posts again.

-- glynnis in KY (gabbycab@msn.com), November 26, 2000.

I think sometimes when we squash someone's "great idea" it's because we know from our own experiences that that particular idea isn't going to work. I know that it is good to experience some failures, as we learn from them, but it is also good to be able to learn from other people's failures, and avoid making the same mistakes! That said, I would agree with Joel that people, young or old, need encouragement rather than tearing down. We need to have dreams to work for. But even more important is to have a relationship, from the heart, with God. Without that it is difficult to have any real, lasting, purpose in life.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), November 27, 2000.

Great story, Joel, I may not agree with everthing you say, but would never want to hinder your ability to say it. Life is not simpily arriving at one's destination, but the journey getting there. Annie in SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (annie@1st.net), November 27, 2000.

When I was in the 5th or 6th grade (same teacher so don't remember) I had to do a science project. Don't remember exactly what it was, but I had cut out the continents from a large map to do something with them, such as glue them on a basketball. As they were laying there I noticed certain continents seemed to fit together. I overlapped them as necessary to form one continent and submitted it as the science project with that theory. Received an F since the fit was perfect. I'm always wondered what might have happened if the teacher has instead said, "Interesting concept, prove it." I might be have been the geologist who came up with drifting continential plate idea, now pretty well universally accepted.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), November 28, 2000.


Your post has been "posted" in the Cardinal High School American Government class. Someone took a hiliter and marked the paragraph that starts "It is my hope". The debate is dying down, but the students are hard at work on an action plan for the next presidential election. That's the first one they will be directly involved with, and they want to make sure their vote not only counts, but is counted.


-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), November 28, 2000.

I too am a Harry Chapin fan, and anytime I start thinking that my job is so important, I will listen to 'Cats in the Cradle' to help me regain my balance and remember what is really important in life, my family.

-- Tim in MO (tmillerick@earthlink.net), December 03, 2000.

Hey Ken, I don't agree that Harry Chapin was the last of the protest singers at all. Maybe you're just out of touch! :) True, they don't seem to be as numerous as they were in our day, but there are lots of wonderful young people out there ranting away and making sweet music about all sorts of political and social issues today. Give a listen to Ani DeFranco, Ellis, Rage Against the Machine, Tracey Chapman, REM, Beastie Boys (ok so its not so pretty, but the intent is there anyway), Indigo Girls,to name a few.

Beautiful story, Joel!

-- Earthmama (earthmama48@yahoo.com), December 03, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ