Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Twenty-two Commandments

   No doubt you've heard of the ten commandments, that set of rules that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai, but have you ever heard of the twenty- two commandments?  That is what is displayed in the picture above. This sign was hanging in room 405 at Hoonah City Schools some years back. I guess it was actually more of a request or pleading as opposed to a command. Some of the teachers at the time were hoping that a polite request would have the desired effect...ha,ha,ha... those silly people. What are the odds that any kid would actually listen to a polite request? It was always my experience that no middle or high school student was even remotely interested in doing what the teacher requested of them. It's just not in their nature. Of course when I was growing up, things were much different. We still didn't want to listen, but there was more of an incentive to follow the rules.Teachers were held in high esteem back then. Corporal punishment was an acceptable form of discipline at the time, back in the days of the barbarians. I recall, although not too fondly, of one time in junior high when I spit out the window in math class. The math teacher, an old bag named Mrs. Moore, happened to glance in my direction and WRONGLY assumed I was trying to spit on some students down below.Well, she gave me detention which I promptly forgot at the end of the day. I had the attention span of a fruit fly at the time, and since I never got in trouble anyway, I forgot about it. When I came to class the next day she sent me down to the principals office. I didn't have the slightest idea why, until I got there and he mentioned that I didn't show up for detention. Then he has me bend over the chair and proceeded to give me three whacks with a paddle that was about an inch thick and three feet long. Holy Toledo. I didn't know if he was trying out for major league baseball as a pinch hitter or if he wanted to remodel his office and was using my head as a battering ram to knock down the wall, but he darn near drove my head into it. I have to say, it took a bit before I could catch my breath. Needless to say, I immediately started planning my revenge on both the principal and the old bag. I knew that I would never get away with doing anything to them while I was still at home, I'd have to wait for about five years. By then they would both be old and feeble and I'd be in a much better position to strike fear in their hearts. I would go to their doors, ring the bell, and when they answered I'd pull a big paddle from behind my back and say, "remember this? Stand by to be paddled!" I revisited that fantasy for most of the remainder of that year, mainly when I was in math class. Fortunately life got in the way and I grew up and got interested in things more fruitful than revenge. Now I'm aware of that bible verse that says, "Vengeance is mine."says the Lord, "I will repay." Somehow I don't think that Mrs. Moore or the principal have to worry. In any event, in order to get along well with others who are involved in your life, please keep in mind these twenty-two commandments. You can substitute the teacher with, spouse, children, colleagues, grocery clerks, postal workers or anyone else you happen to come in contact with. It will make every one's day better, especially yours.

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