Published in the Rains County Leader on February 7, 2017:
It’s almost impossible to avoid politics in this day and time – especially on Facebook. Last week I saw a picture of cows standing behind a barbed-wire fence with a red arrow pointing to the fence post. The caption read “A non-political post. You’re welcome!” I thought it was cute, and it seemed innocuous enough, so I shared it. Several people “liked” it, and a few people shared it – but two of my friends actually made political comments about it.
I’m as political as anyone, but I have yet to see a political exchange in which one participant has influenced another participant to change his or her mind – at least about politics. I was, however, involved in an email exchange that changed someone’s opinion about me. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on December 20, 2016:
The Rains County Leader always closes for the last week of the year, so this will be the last issue of the paper until 2017. Following the example of many of news programs and talk shows, I did a quick review of my columns from the last year. Here is a brief overview of what I shared with your during 2016. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on December 6, 2016:
Perhaps it’s because of my limits as a writer, or perhaps it’s the ripe old age I have reached, but I seem to begin a lot of my recent articles with some version of the phrase “When I was growing up…” Regardless of the reason, I’m using that phrase again today.
When I was growing up, we were taught not only to be gracious winners but also to be good losers. In today’s society, instead of teaching our children how to win or lose with equal grace, we have shielded them completely from the experience of losing. In the name of building self-esteem, we allow our children and grandchildren to beat us in Chutes and Ladders or Candyland, and we enroll them in sports leagues where everyone receives a trophy or where they don’t even keep score. We pass students from one grade to the next, even when they cannot do the work, and I understand that there are some schools where there are no grades at all. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 15, 2016:
Two weeks ago when I went to visit my sixth-grade friend Julie (not her real name), the cafeteria stage at the Junior High School had been turned into a mock polling place. Several tables were set up, and each table held two open laptops. I didn’t get a look at the screens, but I’m sure they displayed some sort of mock ballot showing the presidential candidates. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 1, 2016:
I am not generally a political person, but it’s hard not to get caught up in the madness when it dominates every news program and talk show, the majority of print media articles, most Facebook posts, and a lot of conversations with friends. While I’m not usually a trend follower, it seems like I should at least acknowledge the subject that has dominated the consciousness of our country and a lot of the civilized world for the last year. So, here are a few thoughts – and remember, I’m not very political. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on March 1, 2016:
When I was growing up, I was taught that it isn’t polite to tell people how much you make, how much you paid for something, or who you voted for. Those rules have long since gone the way of a lot of the other customs and traditions of the pre-Sixties world. The one about sharing your candidate preferences is particularly outdated now. In fact, in the past weeks and months, the subject has dominated most polite, and lots of impolite, conversations. One of my favorite people to discuss politics with is my son, Christian Piatt. (more…)