Saturday, June 30, 2018

“The child is in me still… and sometimes not so still.” – Fred Rogers

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
30 June
Little Johnny Stories V
Would you believe, little Johnny is NOT his teacher’s pet – he’s as full of life as any bull in a china shop, and his teacher is what you might call fussy. Even so, he can vividly imagine responding enthusiastically when his teacher asks the class, "I need to get this Very Important Message through to the principal right away, even though it is raining and sleeting and snowing. Who can I trust to carry out this important, dangerous mission?" and little Johnny, who is nearly jumping out of his skin, shouts out, "I'll go! I’ll go!"

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” – Adolf Hitler

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
June 30
‘The dream of the Confederacy started out with an expectation of nobility and ended cloaked in revisionist elitism. Both dreams contain fantastic, almost unbelievable, stories. But the story of what really happened is far more intriguing – and useful. If we are to learn from the history of men, we must be frank about their humanity. Those who led the Confederacy were not gods. They were men, sometimes bold and sometimes weak, sometimes hateful and sometimes grand, sometimes selfish, not always sober. Together they formed an imperfect union, and together they destroyed it.’
- David Eicher

‘We would like to live as we once lived, but history will not permit it.’
- John F. Kennedy

Friday, June 29, 2018

“A boy is a noise with dirt on it.” - Anonymous

“A boy is a noise with dirt on it.” - Anonymous
29 June
Little Johnny Stories IV
As any parent can attest, little Johnny, even at two years of age, can plot out a course of action to his maximum advantage just like you and I can. Yet he can sometimes make a startling mistake [just like you and I can]. For example, when he hasn't had his nap [translation: he's a little crabby], he just might shoot himself in the foot. Like, daddy lovingly says to him, "Johnny, how would you like to" - and before daddy can finish the part about going to the ice cream store Johnny blurts out  "NO!"
Just like you and I can.
Conclusion: a crabby kid can be as foolish as a crabby adult.

"Pooh was a bear of small brain, and big words bothered him." - Arnold Kunst

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
June 29
'May the Almighty grant that the cause of truth, justice, and humanity, shall in no wise suffer at my hands.'
- Abraham Lincoln

‘I believe the first test of a truly great man is humility.’
- John Ruskin

Thursday, June 28, 2018

“The Walking Academy is right next door to The Mommies & Daddies School on the campus of the College of Hard Knocks.” – Arnold Kunst

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
28 June
Little Johnny Stories III
For some time now little Johnny is happy to have the increased freedom of movement that thumping and bumping around on the floor offers him. Then gradually it dawns on his pre-speech mind that he needs to pass on imitating the cat and the dog [his first experience with time-and-motion]. He notices that cats and dogs are natural four-leggers, and it’s becoming clear that he’s not. After all, mommy and daddy and every other person in his world gets around on their back two, so he needs to matriculate from four to two.
It’s not a smooth, easy transition, of course. Consider the day that the whole family is there, sitting in a circle for THOSE FIRST FEW STEPS. Mommy’s holding Johnny’s little hands, and Daddy, a few feet away, says dramatically, “Ok, Johnny, come to Daddy! Come to Daddy!”
Mommy lets go, cameras are poised, everyone’s tingling with excitement. Then Johnny wobbles on his bow-legs, and… FALLS!
Does Daddy pick the kid up and throw him into his crib and say, “Ok, Johnny, you’ve had your chance to walk – that’s you finished”? No! Loving the child means they'll encourage him even when he fails in his attempts - they'll keep encouraging the child in his efforts to walk until the child learns to walk.
Is there a lesson here for you and me, or what?

“Great self-destruction follows upon unfounded fear.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
June 28
 Reports of the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 were highly partisan. Republican journalists, for their part, ridiculed Douglas's swagger, his dwarfish height, mammoth head, and duck-like walk, and described how he “foamed at the mouth” and dribbled “the saliva of incipient madness.” On the other side, Democratic journalists taunted Lincoln's gangly arms, clownish legs, and apelike gestures.

The search for someone to blame is always successful.' 
- Robert Half

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

“I must have been an annoying child.” - Chmamanda Ngozi Adiche

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
27 June
Little Johnny Stories II:
We only learn by making mistakes. Somewhere along the line little Johnny at 14 months bit into a strawberry. He found that it’s soft, and a little seedy, and has a subtle sweetness that he will eventually come to know as very distinctive. Then he happens on a rubber ball that’s the same color, and almost the same size, as a large strawberry. And since he’s teething he’s got a vested interest in biting down on everything in sight, so he goes to work on this thing with the vague notion that it will taste like a strawberry because it looks like a strawberry.
But it isn’t a strawberry. True, it “gives” when he bites down on it, but in just a little while he discovers that the flavor’s different. And when he chews the thing for long enough he ends up biting off some of the rubber. That’s when he finds out that it doesn’t taste anything like the strawberry. But then neither do all the cat- and dog-hairs the ball continuously picks up on the floor once the ball gets wet. In short, he will figure out the hard way that a red ball that looks like a strawberry is NOT a strawberry.
Hey, kid, welcome to the College of Hard Knocks. Stay at it long enough, take enough of the necessary courses, and eventually you’ll graduate, just like the rest of us – maybe even graduate with honors!