Where are the Parents?

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Written by Gary Wonning

Every year there are fund raisers to buy school supplies for children returning to school.

The schools say they can’t affort it while paying school board member $200,00 a year plus, but that is another story.

When at school, many of the kids are not only given free lunches and in many cases free breakfast, now some schools are also providing free dinners because they come from single parent or low income homes.

Where are the parents, I think we  all know.

Many had kids before they could afford them, many children  are being raised in single parent homes, and many are laying in the corner drunk or on drugs.

Personal responsibility has become a thing of the past. In many instances, people have become so accustomed to letting the government solve all their problems they no  longer even consider the fact they may have a part in governing their own lives.

It has become fashionable to play the part of the victim, by becoming a victim in as many areas as they can, they believe it increases their importance to society and dissolves any responsibility they may have, it’s always someone else’s fault.

By becoming a victim, they draw a lot of attention to themselves in the same way some people are always late to a meeting, they get a lot of attention by making a grand entrance after everyone else is already there.

Many adults grew up in environments where there was no guidance in how to conduct their life and garner positive attention by doing positive deeds.

Kids have grown up being coddled with their every need supplied by someone else and sheltered from life’s hardships.  As a result when they grow up they are left with no coping skills and unable to function as they should. In turn they raise their kids the same way they were raised, only  coddling them more then they were while growing up. 

Each generation continues to buy into the victim mentality until very few actually know anything about personal responsibility and becoming self reliant. 

Many have forgotten what  Our Ancestors taught us.

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

If we don’t break the cycle, how many kids will there be needing support from government and society in the next generation?

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

While we have advanced technically far superior to those that came before us, we have lagged behind in spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

 

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Helping kids Who Are Returning To School

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Every year there are good intentioned people sponsoring fund raisers to buy school supplies for under privileged kids returning to school. This is a noble cause and it will help many kids who would otherwise not have the opportunity to have the items they need to succeed in school.

However noble the cause, I look at the reason schools say they can’t afford to buy the items needed in the classroom to enable a proper education.

It seems that daily there are news stories about how teachers and students themselves have to supply the things the schools should be providing. Obviously, teachers shouldn’t be required to purchase these items either. In many parts of the country, teachers are underpaid, and not allowed to discipline their students when they misbehave, some have even gotten thrown out of the class room by unruly students and weren’t even able to defend themselves.

For most of us, our property taxes have risen substantially over the years due to inflation and rising property values, and the schools keep complaining they are always needing more money.

We have school board members making over $200,000 dollars  per year and the schools can’t afford to buy supplies for the children, something is wrong here and it isn’t that the schools don’t have enough money.

Public schools are a government program, and I haven’t seen a government program that doesn’t always need more money, and regardless of how much is allotted to them, they always spend it and always complain they need more.

As the old adage proclaims, ” The easiest task in the world is to spend other peoples money.”

The school system is proving that, there is no accountability, all they need to do is complain to the taxpayers, and the money flows in and surprisingly, the money winds up in the school administrations pockets instead of where it actually needs to go, big surprise.

Meanwhile the students and teachers are once again left holding an empty bag.

When someone works for the government, they are supposed to be a public servant. While I don’t advocate someone working for peanuts, they should not be getting rich off the taxpayers.

Our present school board consists of five members,  the president makes almost $200,000 dollars a year, with the other four making around $40,000. Being a school board member should be voluntary, or at least their salaries should be cut in half, with the president being reduced by at least $150,000. How many school supplies would this one reduction pay for?

I’m not even getting into how much the rest of the administration receives, plus the perks.

By creating this environment, not only are we driving up the costs to the taxpayers, but we are teaching our kids the wrong values.

Kids aren’t learning  to be independent and to make it on their own, the cornerstone of the American way of life. By receiving this presumed “free stuff” , they are being taught to depend on government and others for their daily needs, instead of learning to rely on themselves and finding ways to improvise to make life work, and then and only then to look to others for help through the rough times in life.

If kids learn coping skills, they are then better able to function in the real world, and not become unglued when faced with the first crisis of their adult life.This problem, as well as many others will never be solved by throwing more money at a bad idea. It isn’t a problem of not having enough money, the problem is the priorities are no longer what they should be. 

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

.photo of ayres rock, "uluru" in central Australia

The life of the Australian Aborigine

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

While we have advanced technically far superior to those that came before us, we have lagged behind in spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

A Sobering Thought

Photography Prints

 

Written by Gary Wonning

A sobering thought: Back in the day, just a few short years ago, almost everyone opposed gay marriage. Every state the issue was put to a vote, it was turned down, The polls all were against supporting gay marriage, suddenly, one judge, struck down millions of votes and said it was unconstitutional to not allow gays to marry, suddenly the polls reversed and favored gay marriage, all in about two weeks. I don’t think so. Now if you oppose gay marriage you are deemed racist, a bigot, and many other unflattering terms. All for believing what millions of people believed just a few short years ago.

Regardless if you are for or against this issue, this shows what one unelected official can do to sway the opinions of a nation, not good.

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

While we have advanced technically far superior to those that came before us, we have lagged behind in spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

God Is the Conscious of the State

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

Writtten by Gary Wonning

“The church must be reminded that it is … the conscience of the state …” and “It must be the guide and the critic of the state. … If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.

Martin Luther King Jr.

So it is, the state is a form of government controlled by mortal men, and women, who often have a distorted view of right and wrong.

All humans need a moral compass to guide them along the path of life. Without that, many often sink into thoughts, words, and actions unbecoming of a leader.

Our founding fathers realized this, and even though they were by no means perfect in all their thoughts, words, and actions, they were all guided by a moral compass that eventually guided them on the correct path.

This is why they emphasized time and time again the importance of a spiritual leader in our countries founding and continued success.

They emphasized many times, the part God played in our country, they often said we would not survive if we abandoned God.

During the American Revolution, General George Washington prayed daily, and it is obvious to the student of history how many times, as the General himself stated, “the Divine Intervention of God”, aided us in winning our independence.

A country cannot survive without a spiritual leader. In the United States, we have no designated spiritual leader,   that choice is left up to the individual citizen, but almost all have some reference to God in their daily living.

Someone they look to for guidance when the going gets tough, and give thanks when life is good.

In this country, you can say the Freddie the rock is your God, and no one should question that. Maybe he is, that rock is a part of creation.

There is a duality to life, good/evil, night/day, darkness/light, male/female, etc.

There is also a duality to a nation, the physical leader, and the spiritual leader, we need both.

Once God is Abolished, The Government Becomes God.

Art Prints

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

While we have advanced technically far superior to those that came before us, we have lagged behind in spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

 

 

Morgan’s Civil War Raid

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

Morgan’s Raid

The raid took place from June 11-July 26,1863 and was named after the commander of the Confederate forces, General John Hunt Morgan.

Although it coincided with the battle of Gettysburg and Vicksburg it was not directly related to either campaign.

In fact, General Morgan ignored orders to not cross into the northern states by his commanding officer.

Crossing the Ohio River near Corydon Indiana, General Morgan raided the towns and villages along the route to northeastern Ohio where he was ultimately captured.   

While crossing southern Indiana, he raided, plundered and burned many small towns that crossed his path.

One such town was Versailles in southeastern Indiana, only about thirty miles from the Ohio border and about thirty miles north of the Ohio River.

 

His army completely destroyed the town, burning, stealing and plundering everything in sight.

In the process his men destroyed the Masonic Lodge and stole the officer’s jewels, thinking they may be valuable.

The next morning, before breaking camp, General Morgan discovered the jewels his men had stolen.

He immediately ordered the jewels returned to the lodge where they are proudly displayed in a beautiful case to this day.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

The Future Is Now

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

I remember standing out in my front yard as a child one evening, I was probably about five or six years old.

At the time I lived in southern Indiana and looking towards the east, I saw Washington D.C. going up in flames. I hardly knew what Washington D.C. was, I had heard it was our nation’s capital, but being as young as I was I didn’t realize what the city stood for.

I just knew our government was in trouble and it seemed as if it was a few years after the turn of the 21st century. It seemed to be really troubling times.

This was about 1950, so it seemed really far off, and I pretty much forgot about it.

Several years later, in the late 80s, I had an opportunity to speak with a very knowledgeable and intuitive lady. Someone who should have been famous, but wasn’t.

She gave me the same information about the coming turmoil, repeating what I had heard in my youth.

I listened to what she had said, but it never really registered how bad it could get, we had just survived the protests of the sixties, how much worse could it be?

She said there would be much rioting and discontent, but it would be confined to the major cities and if we stayed out of them we would be fine.

She said the problems would come from the way the majority of our children had been raised after the sixties, the permissiveness and lack of control many parents had over their kids, and the way American society had forgotten what had made us great.

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Soon after that, I went to a motivational seminar, where Zig Ziglar was speaking, he said the same things, I still didn’t heed the warnings.

Most of us were raised in a different world, we were busier than a one-armed monkey at a flea festival. We raised our kids in that world, but somehow things changed and people forgot or didn’t think it was important to remember any more.

This is how most cultures decline and finally disappear, being taken over by a more barbaric society, until they no longer exist.

I took it with a grain of salt and went about my way as many others had done who had heard the same warnings, after all, our parents and grandparents had been saying the same thing for years, the world was going to hell in a handbasket.

Soon it was the turn of the century, and suddenly, the things I had seen and was told about began coming true.

It seemed chaos was everywhere, no self-control or discipline, no respect for the law, or others, profanity, everything that was right was wrong, and everything that was wrong was right.

Bad behavior became condoned and accepted, anyone who disagreed and remembered the values taught them at a younger age, were condemned and ridiculed.

Suddenly changing things back seemed about as difficult as scratching your ear with your elbow.

The world had been turned upside down, and all the problems of the world somehow seemed to be the fault of the United States.

You hear constantly on the media and from some politicians how horrible a place the United States is, how cruel we are to minorities, the disabled, etc.

I found during my travels, this is not the way the average person across the globe feels, that is only media and political rhetoric, designed to sell ads and garner votes by pandering to humanity’s basic trait, fear.

While in the outback of Australia, I got into a conversation with a nineteen-year-old girl from Switzerland, she couldn’t understand why I would travel somewhere besides America, she made the statement that if she lived in America, she would never leave, in her words,”America has everything a person could ever want or need.”

A few days later, we entered the tiny town of Daly Waters in the Northern Territory. They were celebrating the 4th of July, being appreciative of how the yanks saved them from the Japanese during WW2.

I’ve been on an Italian cruise ship with about 4000 passengers and only about 20% Americans, they sang our national anthem and everyone stood up placed their hands over their heart and sang, giving us a two-minute standing ovation when the song was completed.

Art Prints

Most thinking people appreciate and respect what America has done over the last 200 hundred plus years.

America has endured a lot, and I believe it has a manifest destiny. We would have never become a nation or survived without what George Washington would call, Divine Providence and Divine Intervention.

Fighting against impossible odds, he often gave credit to Divine Intervention for his successes.

Adhering to the basic tenets of our country, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and the Ten Commandments we have weathered the many storms that have befallen us.

Now we face a new challenge, maybe the most critical challenge in our history.

Before, the threat to our country has come from without, now it comes from within.

Many have forgotten what made us great as a country or no longer seem to think it is important.

They seem to believe they can do and think as they please, without regard to anyone or anything else.

We have lost our way.

As I soon discovered in my travels, everyone worships God in their own way, that is what our founders wanted, we have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

We have the God-given right to express our religious beliefs in public or anywhere we chose, not to force them on anyone, but to express them as we see fit, as long as it doesn’t harm someone else, and we respect what others feel, and not infringe on their space.

The Maya, Egyptians, and Aborigines of Australia were more in tune with their creator than we are today.

Many of the aborigines still are, even though some of them have become radicalized and developed an entitlement attitude because of what the Australian government has done to try and help them.

All three cultures have regressed, the Egyptians went from calling their leaders, Gods, To Pharaohs, then kings, and now presidents.

The Maya have all but disappeared as a culture, and the aborigines are slowly dying off and trying to adapt, in the process turning to drugs and alcohol.

I see the same thing in the United States, many here are also turning to drugs and alcohol because they no longer have a spiritual foundation to rely on.

We have a drug epidemic stretching from Times Square to the cornfields of Indiana.

In an area where the Friday night entertainment was a basketball game, now several people wind up in the hospital from a drug overdose. It happens weekly.

It doesn’t even make the news anymore, it’s not uncommon for the emts to run out of narcon.

Earlier this year, the morgue in Dayton Ohio ran out of room, an airline pilot for a major airline overdosed with his wife while their young child watched.

The list goes on and on, there seems to be no end to it.

The bad behavior, lack of respect, a sense of entitlement, profanity, and people sit at home watching mindless TV while ignoring their churches, social, fraternal and civic organizations.

In spite of it all, I still believe there are many good people out there, I think the majority of Americans still have their heads on straight, their voices get silenced and their cause doesn’t get good TV ratings or sell ads in your local paper.

Many are worried, they see what is going on and feel as helpless as a cow in quicksand.

Over the last several years, America has been fundamentally changed, because of negative influences from many politicians and the media, we have forgotten where we came from and what America once stood for.

But we really can’t blame anyone but ourselves, we could not have been fundamentally transformed if we hadn’t let it happen.

We stood by silently as our country was changed from within, no one or not many even said a word, and few noticed.

Some thought it was wonderful, thinking the world has changed and we need to just go along with the flow.

Many no longer adhere to the Wisdom of Our Ancestors, that knowledge that was once passed down from generation to generation, from time immemorial.

The very things we got so tired of hearing and we swore to never repeat to our descendants, we never wanted to sound like our parents, how wrong we were.

This is how great cultures rise and fall, they become great through their deeds and beliefs, they then reach a pinnacle and begin enjoying the fruits of their labor, allowing decadence to overcome their common sense, becoming a victim of and falling to their own success.

They forget about God and become focused on their own self-importance, until they once again fall into subjugation and poverty, completing the cycle, waiting for someone to save them while forgetting no one will save them if they don’t save themselves.

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

They forget the spirit of self-sufficiency and self-reliance that enabled them to become successful.

It came upon us slowly, most never even noticed, the stark reality came back to me just a few days ago when a high school friend I hadn’t seen in years remarked that he had noticed it several years ago.

He joined to Air Force out of high school, after he was discharged military service, when at one time it was an honor to serve in the military, and rightfully so, having military experience opened many employment doors and opportunities, he found it hard to get a job in the post Vietnam era if you had served in the military, and once they found you had been to Vietnam, the door closed permanently.

For many, this was the final straw, after having valiantly served and being spit on when coming home, they could now not find a job, our country did a great disservice.

Having finally found employment in the DC area, he began to notice the same people who had lead all the protests in the 60s were now getting high positions in the federal government.

And so it goes today, where once, a military background provided good training, respect, and many essential job skills, they are now looked upon as a detriment, and those in our nation’s government are the very ones who not only then, but now continue to try and bring down our nation.

Today, many have it all wrong, they continuously work to bring down a great nation who has done so much for so many. They continuously look for the negatives brought on by their own personal bad attitudes and a chip on their shoulders.

Many are so mad they could swallow a horned toad backward, but they have no idea what they are mad about.

If you ask them what they are protesting, they can’t tell you. They are just protesting.

Many are looking for personal gain and wealth, siding with those of like mind with an attitude they will somehow rule the world or change things for the better. Little do they realize, that if they form the world and our nation into what they deem a perfect world, they will be the first ones to be killed, and if they live, the world will not be what they had envisioned.

We all know how to fix this, regardless of what we have been told by the media and the left, this is still the greatest nation to have existed on the planet. Americans are still great caring people. Most of us still have a remembrance of the common sense and core values we grew up with, those values taught to us by our parents and elders.

Those values that are despised by those in the media and extremist groups.

If you have forgotten, all you need to do to remember is to read the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the writings of our founding fathers.

Then look deep inside you, past all the things you have been lead to believe by others, look into your heart and you find your answer as to what you need to do,

All knowledge comes from within.

The future is now, it’s your decision as to how this all turns out.

Remember in 1960, Nikita Khrushchev stood before the UN, took off his shoe and beat it on the podium as he stated, ” your grandchildren will be raised as a communist. “

photo of nikita khrushchev at the United Nations

Nikita Khrushchev at the UN

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

Life Is All About Seventeen Inches

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

I found this somewhere, it’s a good read.

In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who the heck is John Scolinos, I wondered. Well, in 1996 Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948.  No matter, I was just happy to be there.

He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.  Pointed side down.

Seriously, I wondered, who in the hell is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.

Then, finally …

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.

“No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches,” more question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”

Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?”came a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.

“And what do they do with a a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over these seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Bobby. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of throwing the ball over it.  If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”

Pause.

“Coaches …”

Pause.

” … what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? What do we do if he violates curfew? What if he uses drugs? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.

Then he turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.

“This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful….to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside.

“… dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.

His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.

Photography Prints