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Everyone who’s in business for himself knows that you can go from feast to famine in very short order.  That’s why it’s important to save your money and never stop looking for more work.  My schedule goes from incredibly tight to pretty durn loose periodically because, drat it, my clients just keep getting better.

Just this last week I cut a bunch of them loose.  They were good clients.  They showed up on time and did the work I assigned to them.  An unscrupulous counselor might have let them drag on a few more months since they were coming and their insurance was paying, knowing that people have a hard time telling an “authority figure” that they want to discontinue services.  (And I have to keep reminding my kids that OTHER people see me as an authority, even if they don’t.)

That’s why I let my clients off the hook and suggest termination myself.  When I feel like we’ve reached the end, I do a little summation of what the problems were, the actions the client took, and the changes that have been made.  Then I ask if “maybe we’re done for now”.  The look of relief on their faces is both encouraging and disheartening. 

First, it tells me that they’re ready to be done and that they’re grateful to me for bringing it up so they didn’t have to.  Second, it lets me know, once again, that if I do everything right, I will always be working myself out of a job.  Now in a lot of companies, the person who WORKS the jobs and the person who FINDS the jobs are different.  In my little company, it’s just me.

So how do you find clients?  Well, as a professional, you’re really not supposed to put up billboards and run noisy TV commercials where you “hammer” those pesky mental disorders into submission.  People do it, but it’s considered unseemly.  So I list myself (for a fee) on sites where people look for therapists and I hand out a lot of cards.

Those cards have an incredible shelf life.  I swear I can leave off a little bundle at some doctor’s office I just happen to be passing and three years later I’ll get a call.  I also know that those cards can ride around in someone’s purse or wallet for a long, long time before someone has the courage to dial my number.  It’s hard admitting that you need help.  A lot of my first conversations with a prospective client begin with “My wife is making me call.”

I know no one really wants to have to go to therapy.  But then no one really wants to have to call the plumber, either.  My services are at least as important.  The plumber cleans out your pipes, I clean out your mind.  The difference is that I can only educate, suggest and, possibly, implore.  You have to slog out all that dysfunctional mental gunk yourself. 

The most important book in the psych world is the DSM, which stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and which contains all the diagnoses insurance companies need to judge you.  Not many people own a copy.  Maybe because a print version will run you $8,000!  I think it’s actually around $600, but that’s still a whole lot for a book that’s a whole lot of boring. 

Thanks to the internet, most of it’s now available free online and that means a lot of my clients have diagnosed themselves before we ever meet.  Certain labels fall in and out of fashion.  For a while there everyone had Borderline Personality Disorder.  But then it became painfully clear that the symptoms of BPD were basically just being immature and selfish with a propensity to see things as strictly all-or-none.

PTSD is still having a good run, maybe for the medical marijuana.  But Adult ADHD is what’s really sexy now.  Nobody wants to have just plain ol’ depression anymore, much less one of those phobias everyone else has.  Afraid of snakes and spiders?  Just suck it up!  But there’s one phobia that’s making a comeback – mysophobia.  The fear of germs.

Maybe it’s the long flu season and maybe it’s all those zombie movies, but people are beginning to really believe that a catastrophic pandemic is inevitable.  It scares the hell out of them.  But we shouldn’t fear the germs.  Truth is we need germs and if we ever got around to totally eradicating them, we’d die, too.

Germs are one of the earliest forms of life.  For a long, long time, there wasn’t much else.  And even when more complex creatures arose, they had a tendency to incorporate some of those germs into their bodies for various reasons.  A perfect example is our digestive system.  Probiotics?  Just another name for germs.  They live on us and in us at astounding numbers. 

People didn’t use to worry about germs.  They worried about sorcery and evil spirits.  And they came up with thousands of remedies when all they really needed to do was wash up more often and stop empyting their chamber pots into the streets.  Today the bulk of our good health comes from just having fresh food and clean water and not inhaling a wood fire 365 days a year.

But I think we’ve taken it a little too far with all our sanitizers, gloves and masks.  If we aren’t exposed to common germs we lose our immunity to them.  Besides all that sanitation is illusionary.  Go into the kitchen of any restaurant and you’ll see people preparing food with their bare hands.  Go into any factory and see where your foam cups and plastic wear are manufactured.  Don’t get me started about slaughter houses.

Of course even normally harmless germs like staph can become a problem under the right circumstances.  But if you wash your hands several times a day, especially after, I think you’re pretty safe.   

In the Bible, someone will occasionally opine that the road to hell is straight and wide, but the road to heaven is narrow and difficult.  The road to hell is also supposed to be paved with good intentions, something I’ve never really understood.  But I tend to think there’s way more than just two roads and that they all have varying degrees of difficulty and width.

Now that narrowest of paths is for the holy men and women.  Those who have been “touched” by God.  John the Baptist living in the wilderness and eating locusts.  (Ick!)  Buddha wandering the world with a begging bowl and a walking stick.  Monks with vows of silence and nuns with vows of poverty.  That’s some serious godliness right there.

I think there’s another road for the truly evil.  Those who lie, steal, murder and somehow justify it all to themselves and end up playing the victim.  Unfortunately, you’ve also got some who pretend to be holy and they can be the nastiest of all.  But I don’t see this road as particularly easy.  Criminals usually lead pretty uncomfortable lives.  Still it’s probably a wide and well-marked thoroughfare.

Branching from all these roads are others leading in slightly different directions.  There may even be a road for each of us.  And maybe our individual paths sort of wander between the holy and evil sides depending on our circumstances.  Sometimes we’re pulled toward greed, wrath or sloth, and other times we struggle toward charity, love and strength. 

I like to take a middle path.  I’m not tough enough to be a religious aesthetic, but I can’t abide wicked people, either.  So I just slog along with my eyes on the brightness of God, but occasionally straying into the nettles of sin.  (I’m particularly fond of pride and sloth.)

So where are we all going?  Good question.  It’s sort of THE question.  What’s it all mean?  What’s it all for?  We tend to think about this more when we’re young and when we’re old.  In between, we’re usually too busy to give it much thought.  There are schools to finish, jobs to hold, families to raise.  We trot down our roads confident we know where we’re going.

But eventually we all stop and ask ourselves, “What the heck am I doing with my life?”  It’s a dangerous time and many people are overcome by regrets and despair.  It’s a time when a lot of old trauma can resurface, bringing anxiety and depression.  People always ask me why they’ve all the sudden having trouble with things they thought they’d forgotten.  “Because it’s time,” I reply.  Not a satisfying answer.

No one wants to stop, turn around and face all the things he’s been running from.  Not fun.  But that’s what you have to do if you want to keep going.  In the end, you get to drop burdens you probably didn’t even realize you were still carrying.  All the better for moving on down the road

Many of my “court-ordered” referrals involve domestic violence.  I really should put together an anger management class.  God knows the demand is out there.  And when my anger clients tell me about the lousy groups they’re forced to attend, I know I could do better.  Probably won’t happen.  I’m essentially lazy and I get tired enough after a week of individual sessions. 

I wanted to write about domestic violence and how it’s almost never punished because it’s almost never reported.  But it is oh, so common.  Thankfully, I grew up without slaps, punches, or beatings, so I have a very low threshold for family violence.  My heart breaks for the children who lived in dread of those even more imaginative, cruel and truly monstrous punishments I’ve heard about in my sessions. 

The school system does a pretty good job of reporting child abuse, but it’s harder to screen adults.  Since the abuser’s mantra is “Don’t you dare tell anyone or you’ll regret it,” many victims just endure the violence, too terrified to speak out.  And, sadly, even when abuse is discovered and the perpetrator accused, fast talk and expensive lawyers can blunt the punishment. 

That’s why I have my own mantra – Report physical abuse first time, every time.  Get to a safe place and dial 911.  Don’t think about it, just do it.  When you’ve finally had enough and want to prosecute, you’re going to need evidence – police reports, ER paperwork, official pictures of the injuries.  Unfortunately most people don’t report.  They’re in shock and denial. 

First, they don’t think the police will help and they’ll just get some version of “Well what did you do to make him mad?”  Second, they hesitate to betray a person they love.  There’s still a strong taboo against calling the Po-Po on your family.  Third, they’re afraid of things getting even worse once he gets out of jail.  And they often do.

The best advice is to not get with an abuser in the first place.  They can be very clever and charming, but if you’re observant, you’ll catch their masks slipping.  They begin by isolating you, move on to verbal abuse and increasing control and escalate to violence.  You need to stop it with the isolation.  As romantic as it can be to nest with your lover, you shouldn’t have to give up friendships, jobs or family to do it. 

Once the verbal abuse starts, it’s time to leave.  If only people would.  I know that every family fights from time to time and angry people say mean things.  That’s not really abuse.  True abuse is targeted and unrelenting.  It’s designed to destroy your self-esteem thus making you easier to control so that by the time the beatings start, you already feel like you deserve them.

If you’re in a relationship with someone who tries to control you and berates you constantly, it’s time to put a stop to it.  If your partner doesn’t shape up, leave.

The first time I visited my future husband in Forney, I stood in the middle of his yard and scanned the horizon.  It curved around 270 beautiful degrees with a straight shot to the sunrise and another to the sunset.  Directly across the street were three wheat fields intersected by tree lines.  I heard nothing but wind and birdsong.  I fell in love, effortlessly, completely.  It’s a joke between us that I had to LEARN to love my husband. 

He has had to accept my longing to turn places “fair”.  I stole this idea from Tolkien and his description of elf habitations.  The elves were minimalists, creating beauty not by altering nature, but by enhancing it.  A standing rock became a carved pillar.  A grove of trees became the poles for a tent.  Tolkien said that even when the elves left, their lands remained blessed for long after. 

So when I stood in Dan’s (quite empty) yard, that land called out to me and I ached to turn it fair.  In my mind, rude cyclone fencing was clothed in flowering vines.  A sluggish, shallow creek held the promise of a lovely pond, ringed by willows, a home to turtles.  The leaning grayish deck was swept away and replaced by a patio of fitted river stones.  Everywhere there was peace and beauty.

And that’s pretty much what happened.  Though it took another two years for me to agree to marry Dan and move in.  And I had to pay for most of the “enhancements” on my own and only after protracted “discussions” with him about how “he wouldn’t put any money into this place because he’d never get it back out” and “you say WE’RE going to do it, but you mean I’M going to do it”.

I loved my yard, especially the quiet.  Used to be all we heard was the dull whine of Highway 20 when the wind was out of the south and the overly-enthusiastic train horns when it was out of the north.  Now, I hear the rumbling and blaring of heavy construction equipment.  And I watch as workmen mound up the dirt, tear down the tree rows and set out the plot lines for one thousand new houses. 

One thousand houses on 300 acres.  It boggled my mind.  I paced it out near my outer fence and tried to imagine what kind of house could possibly fit.  Piles of bricks with zero-lot lines.  My beautiful field that for decades had brought forth wheat will now yield a crop of noise and trash.  It’s already started.  On my daily walk I see the remains fast-food meals, a lonely glove, a gimme cap.

Soon, instead of the horizon I’ll see the tops of houses stretching away to join the tops of more houses.  Traffic, already increased by the proximity of two schools, will become locked.  How soon before they put up a light?  Now I know how the coyotes and raccoons feel when the trucks start rolling in.


I tread lightly when it comes to religion in therapy.  As part of taking a patient history, I usually ask the client where he stands on “the whole God thing”.   I respect his beliefs, or lack thereof and let them guide me as I try to help him pursue his highly individual path to healing. 

Some people are immensely relieved to learn I’m a Christian.  (They were afraid to ask.)  But while faith can be a powerful tool in therapy, it’s not the only one and it’s not strictly necessary.  Sometimes I find myself at odds with a client’s beliefs, even if we’re both Christian.  One common point of departure deals with forgiveness. 

Many of my clients have been massively injured by people they should have been able to trust.  They’re grappling with hurt, anger and shame.  Most of the harm was done long ago, often during childhood.  So the adult in my office has usually been told, more than once, by more than one person, that he should have been able to “just get over it” by now. 

Some of them are also told that they simply must forgive their abusers or they aren’t good Christians.  So here we have a wounded soul, desperately trying to navigate his conflicting emotions about past abuse.  But as if that wasn’t bad enough, he now has to magically summon forgiveness for the ones who hurt him or he’s worse than Satan himself.  Talk about blaming the victim!

People who spout this belief usually have no comparable emotional damage to deal with.  They come from the “Holier Than Thou” school of religion and consider themselves to be THE authority on what God wants.  They’ve got the Bible down pat, except for that pesky little part about not judging lest thee be judged.  And they’ve also managed to zero in on the motes in their neighbor’s eyes, while totally ignoring the logs in their own. 

Now don’t get me wrong.  I think forgiveness is a beautiful thing.  But like a lot of beautiful things, it takes time to develop its full loveliness.  I tell clients that it’s more important to first process their feelings of rage, betrayal and guilt before worrying about forgiveness.  But if the day comes when they can forgive their abusers, they will finally be putting down a load that was never really theirs to carry. 

What I would NEVER tell anyone is that he is not a good Christian because of what he’s feeling.  I don’t have a direct line into the mind of God and I never trust anyone who acts like he does, even if he is the preacher.  And while I try to live a righteous life, I fully admit that I fall short, consistently and sometimes spectacularly. 

But guess what, all those “holy” people thumping their Bibles and shaking their fingers are sinners, too.  Add to that the sin of pride for ever thinking any different.  Oh well.  To err is human.

Since shortly after I got my license at 16, I’ve always had a car.  A used car that I bought with my own money.  You see, I grew up in the days before conspicuous consumption when high school grads didn’t expect a brand new car from their parents.  (And then a $100,000 wedding later on in life.)  Being a good kid then just meant your parents trusted you with THEIR car from time to time.  If you wanted more than that you needed to get a job and look for a junker.

I never really had a junker.  I’ve had extremely good luck buying used cars.  And after I was done with them I was always able to sell or trade them for a good price.  While my cars had the usual assortment of mechanical problems over the years, they never spent a minute in a body shop.  In fact, I never had a serious wreck until just last month.  And that one was a doozy.  First, a little background.

Four years ago, my auto mechanic (my beloved husband) decided that I needed a new car.  And he wanted me to get a brand new car because he believes that if you buy a used one, you’re just getting someone else’s problems.  I agreed on the new car deal but only if he paid half.  So we went shopping and I decided on a sky blue 2014 Chevy Impala.

Of course I had to have full coverage insurance on the car while I was paying for it.  But I kept that insurance even after it was paid off.  And it’s a darned good thing!  In the four years I’ve had that beast, it has been in the body shop four times!  And only two of them were my fault.

First I scraped up the door on our fence trying to block a wayward donkey (Susie) from getting out.  A year later my husband did exactly the same thing during one of the rare times he was driving my car.  A year after that, someone backed into me in a parking lot.  And finally, this year I really screwed the pooch by hitting a patch of gravel, fishtailing off the road and plowing through a barbed wired fence.

The good news is that no one was hurt, including me.  And the car had nothing but “cosmetic” damages.  But oh, what damages!  That barbed wire wrapped around my car and I drug it halfway across the field.  There isn’t a panel or piece of chrome that wasn’t scratched at least a little bit.  And some of it was scratched all to heck!

So I took it back to Gary’s.  This will be the third time he’s pounded out and repainted my car.  (The other guy’s insurance insisted on another shop when he hit me.)  He thought it was going to be totaled, but the insurance company agreed to have it fixed.  Now it’s for sale!  Anyone interested?

Deep in our hearts, we all cherish a vision of the perfect childhood.  Parents who were wise and loving.  Siblings who were fun and supportive.  A community dedicated to preserving our safety and offering us opportunity.  The only problem is that no one actually HAS that childhood.  It’s a sepia-tinted fantasy cooked up by the Hallmark Corporation.

Almost all the clients I see had it pretty rough coming up.  But many of them note that everything looked perfect from the outside.  In other words, someone looking in would see a happy, functional family, working in the yard, going off to church, gathering for carols around the Christmas tree, enjoying a Disney vacation. 

What outsiders didn’t see were father’s drunken rages, mother’s preference for one favored child to the detriment of all the others, siblings locked in an unending battle for too few resources, tearing each other apart for a few scraps of love and attention.  There’s often violence and abuse from verbal to physical to sexual.  All of it carefully concealed behind endless posts of smiling faces.

This is exactly what came to light in what the media are calling “The California Torture House”.  For at least 30 years, two very sick people kept creating children just to deny them even the smallest bit of nurturing or dignity.  The 13 siblings rescued from that filthy hell were so malnourished, they appeared to be half their ages.  Everyone is asking how it could have gone on for so long undetected.

Well, the “Torture House” is just an extreme example of the suffering I hear about day after day in my office.  And trust me, it goes on in every part of the USA, in every part of the world.  It could be going on right next door.  You don’t know about it because the perpetrators – and the victims – are desperate to keep you from knowing.  And therein lies the problem.

Let’s say a well-meaning neighbor had asked those lunatic parents why their children were marching around all night.  At best they’d have gotten some nonsense about exercise and discipline.  More likely they’d have been told to mind their own darned business.  And in pretty short order, the family would be gone – moved away to someplace more secluded.

Let’s say you notice a local kid who’s always hungry and underdressed.  You kindly ask what’s going on and despite the kid’s stone-walling, you decide to notify the authorities.  Congratulations!  You just signed that kid’s death warrant.  Or, more probably, a fate worse than death, once the parents figure out who snitched.  And you can bet that kid will never ask for help again.

Ferreting out the particulars of child abuse is a difficult and dangerous task.  And once kids are “rescued”, their lives don’t necessarily get any better.  Many languish in abusive group homes until they age out then face the world alone, with little training and no support.  There’s simply got to be a better way.  But what?

In my life I’ve owned and loved several dogs.  Any animal I take in gets a cradle-to-grave assurance of food, water, medical care, affection and respect.  That being said, I really don’t like dogs much.  This should come as no surprise to my sons, both of whom insist on owning large canines.  Most of the time I’m at their houses, I’m saying things like “Out of the way, dog!” and “Stop licking me!”

I’ll admit that dogs make good companions.  Just try getting an iguana to hop up on the car seat beside you for a ride to the grocery store.  And dogs will fend off intruders, but only at the price of barking like idiots any time something moves outside.  Living next door to a pack of hounds or a herd of little yappers can quickly cause you to lose your sanity. 

No matter how much I may love a dog, it is not allowed to sleep in bed with me.  It is not allowed to lick my face and certainly not inside my mouth.  (Ew!)  Videos of people online “kissing” their dogs make me want to vomit.  You DO realize that tongue has just been licking its butt, right!?

So I’m a cat person.  Cats are clean, quiet and self-absorbed.  Unlike the needy dog that rushes you (barking insanely) the minute you come home, a cat will look up slowly, yawn and blink a few times, as if to say, “Oh, you’re back,” before resuming the snooze.  I’m often heartened by the Cat Philosophy of Life.  “When faced with adversity, take a nap.”

But I’m not a crazy cat lady.  I like to keep one cat at a time.  And I won’t make my cat a prisoner in the house.  Aside from not wanting to deal with the smell of a cat box, I believe cats are only semi-domesticated and I’m lucky enough to live on a property big enough to allow my cat, Shadow, to roam a bit.  Though, like all cats, she spends most of her time asleep.

She’s more standoffish than most, but she lives like a queen.  She has multiple snooze spots all over the house which I have made more comfortable with the addition of old towels.  She also has a cat flap at both the front and back doors.  She expresses gratitude for her freedom by bringing home the occasional mouse or bird (or parts thereof). 

Another good thing about cats is that they’re all about the same size.  You can get a collar or bed that will work for any of them.  Which brings us back to abnormally large and powerful dogs.  For me, a collie is the perfect size for a pet.  Not so small as to be ridiculous.  Not big enough to tear your kid’s head off, like a pit bull, which no one should be allowed to own.  That would be like me keeping a cougar as a pet.  Just plain wrong.

Donald Trump wasn’t my first choice for president.  Or my second.  In fact, the only reason I voted for him was because I simply refused to accept Elitist Hillary Clinton as my queen.  Like all men, Mr. Trump is flawed, but I’m starting to like him.  I like the way he isn’t a political insider, he isn’t taking a salary, and he says what he thinks, come what may.

So last week when news broke about him calling some countries “s**t-holes” my heart sank.  “Please,” I silently prayed, “don’t let him have put it in a tweet.”  Turns out he didn’t.  He said it in a private (and probably pretty heated) discussion with our “representatives” about our messed up immigration policies. 

Of course the Elitists in Washington, Hollywood and the media went ballistic.  Never mind that Robert De Niro had just publicly f-bombed Trump - repeatedly.  It’s okay when THEY do it.  And that’s what I dislike about them - their hypocrisy.

Let’s just look at one of the allegedly “s***hole” countries – Haiti.  Our Washington elites visit Haiti (in their private jets) and their hearts break over the conditions there.  Our Hollywood elites might even document the suffering on film – the disease, hunger, over-population and corruption.  They’ll edit it down and distribute it.

When it comes out, Hollywood’s collective mass will weep huge tears and proceed to give the filmmakers awards.  Okay so far.  But then Mr. and Ms. American Public go to see that film and, as they’re walking out of the theatre, they might comment that Haiti sure is a “s**t-hole country.

And the Elitists go ballistic again.  How dare those deplorables condemn Haiti as a “s**t-hole”!  But didn’t they just spend a whole lot of time and money creating a piece of “art” designed to show us exactly that?  Again, it’s okay when THEY say it.

Elitists seldom do any real work to make life in “s**t-hole” countries more tolerable.  (That’s for church mission groups to handle!)  They just go back to their mansions in their exclusive, gated communities because it’s okay for THEM to build a wall to keep out the riff-raff.  It’s just not okay to protect ordinary citizens from a wholesale invasion of crime and poverty.

So what’s the solution for the “s**t-hole” countries?  Well it isn’t for corrupt rulers to keep taking everything while exporting their excess population to the USA.  Giving them money won’t help, either, because the rulers always find a way to keep most of it.  The citizens of those countries need to stay where they are and fight to make things better. 

Not surprisingly, our Elitists love to import poverty.  (Poor people are SO much easier to control.)  Secretly, they’d love to be like the rulers of those “s**t-hole” countries and be able to rob us all blind without any pesky Constitutional rights getting in the way.  And none of them, from Washington to Hollywood, wants to be anywhere near a Haitian refugee, unless he’s busing their tables.

Over the holidays I went to visit some dear friends who not only don’t have the TV on all the time, they don’t even OWN a TV.  It’s so peaceful to be without the constant screeching of that idiot box.  I can focus, come up with new ideas and refine existing ones.  Every time I come away from there I’m determined to end my dependence on TV.  And for a few days, I do.

But gradually I begin to stray.  It starts with watching a single program or checking the weather on the news.  Before I know it I’m inert in front of the set, binge-watching Forensic Files or Futurama.  I tell myself I’ll stop after the episode is over, but the TV programmers have figured out that dodge.  They don’t let you wander off during the break, but start up the next program while the credits of the first one are still running.

A lot of people who have the TV on all the time aren’t really watching it.  They say they just like the background noise. My treasured stepmother is one of these.  She has a TV in each room of her house playing CNN non-stop.  (Now tell me THAT’S not depressing!)  She says it’s comforting to have voices in the house.  She doesn’t really hear them, but I do.

My problem is that I can’t NOT hear that TV.  If the thing is on, I’m attending to it and find it difficult to concentrate on anything else.  I can’t keep up my end of the conversation or even work on a project.  But when I ask people if they’d mind turning off the TV while we work or talk, they look at me like I’d just asked them to strip naked and sing the Star-Spangled Banner while hopping on one foot.

Most of the week, I’m working and my attention is focused on my clients and the ever-increasing mounds of paperwork the government demands.  So it’s only on weekends or holidays that I succumb to the siren song of televised entertainment.  Saturday I was thus hunkered down in front of the set when an awful wave of depression ran through me.  This was no way to spend my precious free time!

Instead I turned off the TV and made up a list of things I really needed to get done.  Then I started on the list.  Instead of being depressed, I felt good that I was accomplishing something.  And accomplish I did.  Projects that I had been sitting in piles, shaming me for months were suddenly gone, finished.  My mood was definitely better.

I always tell my clients that watching TV all day is a sure way to get and stay depressed.  You aren’t moving and you aren’t engaged in anything productive.  So when watching TV seems more enjoyable than pursuing your real life, it’s time to turn off that boob tube and get to work making your actual life really great.

Like all old coots, I have deep concerns about the up-and-coming generation.  I worry that, by spending the bulk of their days pushing buttons and watching “content” on a screen, they’ve become so disconnected from reality that they can’t function in the natural world.  To them, all knowledge is instantly accessible, so there is no reason to actually learn how to do anything. 

The bulk of them have no idea how to build, repair or maintain any of the hundreds of machines they take for granted.  Ask for a show of hands in a high school classroom and how many would know how to change a tire?  Or how to change the oil?  How many would even know that you HAVE to change the oil?

How many know where all the food they eat comes from?  Most of them couldn’t execute an acceptable grilled cheese sandwich without a quick check on You Tube.  How many could get a fire started without matches and then keep it going long enough to cook that sandwich?

How many could fix a leaky pipe?  More importantly, how many know how to turn the water off at the main before they start trying to fix that leaky pipe?  At the office building where I work, I’m the only one of five women who knows how the flapper assembly works in the toilet tank or how to release the stopper plug in the sink so you can fish out all the hair. 

I’m also the only one who isn’t terrified (to the point of hysteria) by bugs and rodents.  These young, strapping women, who would take on a man in a fist fight, dissolve into shrieking, quivering wretches at the mere sight of a mouse weighing no more than five ounces.  Can you imagine how they’d respond if they had to field-dress a deer?  

Heck, I can’t even get them to let me SHOW them how to get out the hair that’s clogging up the sink.  And it’s THEIR hair!  I’m totally bald, remember?  Their solution is to call in a plumber and so I guess they deserve being overcharged.  (Maybe I should start charging them?)

So why does any of this matter?  Well, I have a theory that the further you stray from the fundamentals of existence, the more dependent and depressed you become.  I truly believe that what ails our young people more than anything is that they don’t do enough real work, with real things.  It’s the kind of activity that builds character!

For example, before he became a king, David was sent out to watch the sheep.  I image him being a mouthy little brat who was then just learning to play the lute.  I’ll bet no one missed him much while he was out in the fields.  But that’s where he learned to spy out the land, be vigilant and bring down wild animals with nothing but a sling.  How many kids today could do that?