Just a thought: The older I get, the more I am old school


Rick Kraft

I think it’s all right to begin a column with a confession. So here I go...I’m “old school.” Not only am I “old school,” regardless of what you think, I am proud of it!

So, what does that mean? It means different things to different people. My children might say, “Dad, it’s time to catch up with the times.” I would agree with them on technology, but disagree with them on other issues.

I deal with a lot of people who I believe are old school also. Many of them are still implementing the values their parents instilled in them when they were children. They were taught well and I tell them so even if they are in their 70’s or 80’s.

I still think agreements can be made with a handshake. Call me gullible, but if a stranger gives me his word he will do something and shakes my hand, I will trust he will do what he says. And if I shake hands with someone I know, I expect the words we shook on will be followed also.

I believe talking to a person over the phone is a better way of communicating than by numerous back and forth text messages. I’m sorry to those of you in the younger generation, but when I see someone going back and forth by text numerous times, I often suggest the person just call the other person. It doesn’t seem that complicated. I also like having a home phone connected to the wall. Call me old fashioned and I will accept your diagnosis.

I believe Sunday mornings are for church. It is a time for a family to visit a house of worship together and to recognize life does not happen randomly. I like returning home from church with the house smelling like Mom’s home cookin’.

I believe children should be raised by a father and a mother who love each child more than life itself. I think every family should come together daily at their dining room table and share life as a family. I believe the breaking down of this world is a result of not enough family time being spent at the dining room table. 

I believe in family vacations; a time when things go well and things don’t go well, but a time to make memories that will be remembered in the lifetime that follows.

I think that families should have one central television set that brings the family together rather than monitors in children’s bedrooms that take a child away from family. It seems these days there is so little time to spend together as a family. We need to take advantage of it. I like classic movies without cursing or risque scenes. What’s wrong with a plot where man meets woman, they fall in love, they sing and dance together, and then they get married and have a family?

I like board games or playing card games on a table better than video games with headsets on. There is something about carrying on a conversation while spending family time together. What’s wrong with Monopoly, Life, Risk, or a round of Hearts or Spades? Much can be learned spending time together separate from the game being played.

I still believe in common sense. I think most of life can be figured out by just applying basic principles that were taught to us in grade school. Speaking of school, I think education works best when the teacher and the students are in person in the same room. A lot more happens in the classroom than just what the curriculum teaches...things like manners and how to interact with others to solve problems. I believe students should be taught to respect their teachers.

I think men should open doors for ladies. Call me chauvinistic, I won’t change my mind. I taught my son this and his grandma still talks about how he does this.

I think we should respect the elderly. Everyone who lives long enough becomes an “elderly.” There is much wisdom from the years that can be shared if the younger generation will listen. They don’t have to agree, but listen first. There is no substitution for years of experience.

I believe everything in life should not be so political. It seems that in this new day whatever you do offends someone. I remember when life was simpler. There was a time when the news was simply the news. Walter Cronkite just told it as it was and no one worried about him trying to advance a political agenda. There was no spin and no name calling...just the news.

I like cursive hand written letters or cards. This practice is becoming a lost art and a thing of the past. I am not sure many of our youth even know how to write cursively. Handwritten notes are treasures that can be tucked away and re-read later at a different time in a different place.

I like it when someone says “thank you,” “please,” or “Sir” or “Mam.” Old schoolers give value when another holds a door open for them. Manners still exist, but they often seem to be dwindling.

I think America is a great country. I appreciate each life that has been lost or risked to create and maintain the freedoms I enjoy today. I think we have a lot of work to do to keep America a great country and that with time we can improve current systems. To do so I don’t believe we need to turn our back on symbols of those who have sacrificed to get us to where we are today.

I believe in God. I believe He has a purpose for my life. I believe through communication with Him He will reveal this purpose. I believe God wants to bless me...and I want Him to bless me. And I want to share His blessings with others.

My challenge to you today is to recognize that “old schoolers” exist. It’s all right. Some of you are already part of the club, others may become one of us over time. We have an open membership!

Much to the chagrin of my children, it is very unlikely that I will ever not be an “old schooler.” I recognize the world around me is rapidly changing and I need to understand that some of me must change with it, but in the process I can still maintain within me what my parents taught me as a child. It’s a tricky balance being an old schooler in a changing world.

I understand that each day more “old schoolers” are dying and others who see the world as we do are being replaced by generations with different views behind me. I will work on loving them and hope they work on loving me. We can coexist, you see. Each of us will leave a different world than the one we were was born into.

And by the way, if you choose to attack me by calling me “old school” you will hear me respond with a smile, “Thank you.”

Just a thought...

Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a syndicated columnist, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to rkraft@kraftlawfirm.org or write to P.O. Box 850, Roswell, New Mexico, 88202 - 0850.

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