Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothin’ Left to Lose…

By Gayle Plato-Besley
(degree from name removed out of  respect to Bobby.  
 I am all about tolerance and making sure I keep all readers happy!!)
While discussing totally irrelevant things, over a cup of overpriced Starbucks, a few friends came together, debating a quintessential friend dilemma.  No political railing or rants, just the polarized chatter about our pick of “The Best…”.  Doesn’t every good friendship or relationship of any matter boil down to this conversation of favorite literature, film, music– even pizza topping?  You gotta do it sometime and face the plank walk of personal tests to see if you are seeing eye-to-eye.

Cultural tastes also group us into demographic ploppings of people. Our friends quote a line from  Caddyshack, or The Godfather, and we can finish it together.  Ahh– it’s a brotherhood.  Love grows from moments as such, and good times become frightenly nostalgic. But then, what is better than realizing you belong, and those people over there are weird!  So much for teaching of tolerance and singing Kumbaya; this is the happy hour of our life and today either tastes great or is less filling.

In the scope of political correctness comes the reality check that we are not supposed to tolerate everyone or everything.  We do not think alike; our closest friends line up either with us or against us. 

Mockery?  Maybe. But there is a real need to bond based on personal valuations. It’s who we are and how we find out who is going to be there for us. It is how we play nicely with others.  If we keep denying that factions happen, we truly begin to think that there is only one right way.  Diversity is rooted in the reality check that differences are only recognizable as a result of cultural bias and personal judgment. We are free to choose for ourselves, and still get along with others who are really different.

 As a certified teacher and counselor, with many clock hours from oodles of vapid workshops about equality, self-efficacy, social platitudes, moral edification, and homogenization of all learning, I can tell you that we are all one mission statement and action plan away from a major cheese moving reality:  NO ONE will have an opinion about anything without obtaining tolerance screening.  

While tolerence and conflict resolution are corner stones of my beliefs as a counselor, I start to wince when tolerence moves from curricula designed to break prejudice and violence cycles, becoming universal precautions for all thoughts.   Children are now pushed to “think outside of a box”, as long as they think inside of the  sharing circle next door. 

So before we allow the dumbing down of our young and the goose stepping tribal drum beats of change. Before we lackadaisically sideline the vote while the Democratic party brings us new hope in the snake oil salesmen frocked candidate called Barack Obama, please actively participate at the grass roots.  Learn about local governmental issues.  Read the school board’s minutes and vote in elections.  Find out what is being taught in schools near you.  Before all of the kids are pushed to a  seasick shade of green, or forced to calculate carbon credits while flunking math, let us make sure we define freedom, individualism, independence of thought, and the costs of all of the above.  Happy Independence Day. 


  1. Bobby Hyams says

    Said with fewer words: Bird of a feather should flock together.

  2. Bobby Hyams says

    It would read better as “birds,” but I’m not an M.Ed.

    Bobby Hyams

  3. Iris Lynch says

    So true and even more. Thinking alike and behaving alike and everyone loving the same person is absolutely not the road to happiness. We are being programmed to be a bunch of robots off an assembly line. The corporate/industrial complex has the money to do it and has been doing it for many, many decades. It may be a slow process, but it works..for the most part.

    It started by taking away the children. First the children had to be available, so they put the mothers to work. Then they taught ‘morality’ in the schools. And continued to introduce more and more family breakdown concepts.

    It was a long and still not completed process and most of the people who read these blogs can figure out the details if they search their memories of life as it has evolved in the good old US of A over that period of time.

    It was done quite easily with first, taking us off the gold standard and the silver standard and then simply printing more and more money so that inflation required we work more for the same benefits (food, shelter, transportation) while we gave up training our children to be what we were.

    We are coming to the end time now. When a state can peremptorily round up 400+ children and no posse shows up to interrupt the illegal taking, you can be sure that no one will help when they come for you.

    Please note that the huge influx of illegals are all just as dumb as we are and THEY no more want them to learn anything, nevermind our language, than they want YOU to learn anything.

    So be good little or big children and do what you are told…but there is just a glimmer of hope. If their calculations backfire and we have another bigtime depression..all bets are off.

  4. Bobby,

    Remember that M.Ed. ( or as I like to think of it- Mister Ed) only means that I took a bunch of those homogenizing classes as I dozed off, leaning on my arm. I wince when I re-read a piece I wrote, poorly, and now uploaded for a few days– only to see a bunch of typos or something. Kinda nullifies the M. Ed. thing. LOL

  5. Bobby Hyams says

    I’m certain, Gayle, that you are a very kind person with the best intentions, but, putting your degree after your name in this type of situation seems about as pretentious as some of your writing.

    Thus, my comment about birds – which is essentially what you are suggesting – I think. I just wanted to be a little less sententious.

    Despite that, your message that we should cling to our beliefs and use reason and study to understand the world around us is great.

  6. Wow Bobby, how rude. It was always standard practice to include one’s degree with all education writing I did. I didn’t think about it. I will consider your point. Rude v. pretentious…hmm, I’ll stick to being pretentious.

  7. Gayle is unique to this venue in that she uses her true name; which not only brings much more realism to her posts but allows her to tell the full story of who she is. Her educational accomplishments are a part of that.

    Whether it is relevant information to the reader or not and how it frames the perception is her risk to take.

    You go girl!

  8. Bobby Hyams says

    Let’s see. I complimented your message, expressed how it was important to us, suggested that you were a kind person, and said you had good intentions. I also noted that you were overly wordy and pretentious – that, I believe was the rudeness to which you refer.

    So, I apologize for the rude tone my comments had. I think neither rudeness nor pretentiousnuess is good writing. I’ll watch my words more carefully.

  9. Bob–It’s all good everybody to each his own, and thanks Ann for that kind comment! I write because I love it and felt it was important to put a name on it all. I tend to miss the trends or style of the group around me!!! I gotta get out more.

  10. You are so right. It doesn’t matter if you are moving cheese or getting on the bus….the buzz words of organizational “change” and buy in, are predicated on the unspoken knowledge that it can only be as effective as the end user allows.

    In public education, as much as we hear the repetitive cries of complaints how many parents attend a board meeting? How many understand what the school elections really mean? Once the parent-teacher conference phase ended, how many teachers did you meet beyond Open House? What is your district’s attendance policy? Do you know the difference between a standardized test and a norm-referenced test, what a cohort group is, and how to measure your child’s growth? There is so much more than the publicized scores and averages.

    But, let Suzie get cut from the cheerleading squad, Billie denied first chair in performance orchestra, or Joey not get the “A” he surely deserved on the paper you wrote because he had club soccer practice and it is a beeline to the principal’s office and a phone call to the Board president. Someone will pay for your child’s disappointment, just not you.

    I have previously written about the role of the teachers’ union and the attempted limitation placed on administrators and school boards by the state leadership and local reps. The role of primary educational advocate, with the central focus being the child and not the union member, should be the parent.

    However, it is illustrative of the attitudes toward government. Give me what I want, when I want it, don’t bother me, and please…do not ask me to adjust my life or schedule. After all, this is a free country. And I am free to be apathetic and egocentric until I am so uncomfortable and distracted by a random issue that I complain…loudly….so someone else can make a difference and I can return to my blissful ignorance.

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