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"Use your words" and other proverbs

Marty Lich

“Use your words” proclaim our schools today.

I am OK with using words. I think the more time spent teaching about words and what they mean is a good investment, indeed. In fact, I believe we will all be better off for doing so. Educated people make sound decisions.

My thoughts today reflect on traditional days and bits of wisdom.

I have on occasion repeated age-old proverbs to children other than my own and they just look at me. No response, they have never heard them. Yet these wise proverbs contain valid information that is applicable in today’s modern world. Take the time to reflect on this proverb. “As you sow, so shall you reap.” True enough. What we put out is also what we get back. Sometimes ten-fold.

Or this one; “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” That’s the best policy here, although the credit card companies do not put it in so many words.

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” If something is not attempted, it is a virtual guarantee that it will not happen, even if it is a great idea.

“Experience is the best teacher.” It is. Listen to our seniors. They have a lot to teach us if we take the time to hear their words.

It is truly remarkable the influence adults can have on a child. I tell my own children about what I have done, what I was taught and what I have learned, just as my parents told me their childhood stories and their childhood experiences when I was growing up. One of my father’s stories that has been repeated to me was about the summer he was bored and so he decided to read all the books in the Pasadena city public library. That was a lot of books to tackle as a summer project, but he did it. My dad has learned a lot from reading and he continues to teach me. “Education is the key to success,” he states. My father is right. If a person can read, a person can self-educate. It is that simple.

I also remember my first grade teacher. Besides listening to her play the piano in class every day, she had a weekly activity titled ‘Current Events.’ We would bring a newspaper clipping that we had read during the week and then we told the class what it was saying. I liked current events a lot and that is something I have carried forward into adulthood. The news stories fascinated me back then and they continue to fascinate me now. Her piano playing also intrigued me, enough that I started taking lessons and have played ever since. And during the time I was reading the newspaper at home searching for a current event and practicing the piano, I also was being taught to read and to appreciate and value the proverbs told to me by my mother. I remember them and I apply them to my life today.

Our steadfast use of words, both written and verbal, while congruently creating a love of words will allow our children to “use their words” in earnest while teaching our children that education is the key to a successful life. If education is the key to success and being successful is the key to doing well in our world, then the use of words and the ability to comprehend what we have just read will secure our children’s future. Their future belongs to us.

“Education make a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive: easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.”

– Baron Henry Peter Brougham, 1778-1868

Wise words by Baron Brougham, very wise words indeed. VT

Marty Lich is a Gypsum resident and a regular columnist for The Vail Trail. E-mail comments about this column to editor@vailtrail.com.


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