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J. D. Pendry


Are you ready for sweetheart day?Iím not taking a chance that I can get by on my charm so I spent a small fortune.But, thatís not why Iíll have a great day.My companion of 33 has ignored my warts, of which there are many, and made great effort to add quality to a relationship that could have easily ended up second to many other distractions.Many of those years, I was too involved with trying to succeed at other things, often taking the success of the relationship for granted.Fortunately, my combat buddy never did.Sheís the chief of joy in our household.She inserts the quality into the relationship that defines the quality both of us receive from it.Whether they succeed or fail, relationships define us.


Last week, a friend decided sheíd leave our safe, secure place of work for a new adventure.Itís a choice that requires courage.She brought a copy of The Three Meter Zone by and asked me to sign it.We had a conversation about the books we have read or are reading.She said she was choosy in that regard declaring garbage in, garbage out.I may have unleashed on the unsuspecting civilian world a determined woman armed with an old soldierís thoughts on values and leadership.I hope our professional relationship didnít cause her irreparable harm.


After our talk, garbage in, garbage out stuck in my mind.What goes into our minds determines what comes out of our minds.What we put into relationships (see above) determines what comes out of them.What we put into our work determines what comes of it.Our learned values determine our character.Our use of knowledge determines our wisdom Ė actual and that perceived by others.The 90 percent of us that's below the surface determines how the world sees the 10 percent thatís above it.What goes into our heads is our choice Ė or is it?


Mostly it is, but in some instances maybe not.Children come to mind.My definition for children is those not fully equipped to make well-informed and reasoned choices about life.They only acquire this ability after lifeís realities gives them a daily smack in the face for several years.At least thatís true for those who exist in the real world.Others (those with inherited wealth, movie stars, professional students, lifelong politicians, some teachers and many college professors come to mind) are maybe never fully equipped to choose.I think America as a parent is failing in its relationship with children.


Take Nutty Professor Churchill, for example.Subsidized by Colorado taxpayers and likely some federal tax dollars also, he offers nonsense to college students under the guise of teaching them.Please recall my definition for children.These students have little more to draw from than heads filled with MTV, beer and the opposite sex.Impressionable young minds tend to accept what a ďcollege professorĒ tells them.Churchill and too many others like him are supposed to be educating our young people not indoctrinating them.By not insisting that teachers teach rather than pontificate, we are holding up a failed relationship and letting down the children of this country.Itís time for our education system to wrap its Nutty Professors in old newspaper and leave them in the education dumpster.Garbage in, garbage out.


Education isnít the only place where we are failing in the relationship with our kids.Our kids are the worldís fattest.They spend their days eating junk food and slamming twenty-ounce soft drinks.The only thing they exercise is their jaws.As their butts grow wider and health problems increase, we canít seem to figure out why.Hereís your reason Ė garbage in, garbage out.


Have you watched television lately?If so, then youíll have no problem with JDís quiz.Why do 14-year-old girls think itís cool to let their belly buttons (and several inches skin below them) and thongs stick up out of their low riding jeans?When is the last time a young person who chose abstinence and heterosexuality was the hero in a television sitcom?


I donít know if Iíve made the point or not, but how we raise our kids determines the future of the country and the free world.Itís a relationship that we canít afford to let fail because we take it for granted that everything will turn out OK.If we donít get involved in the relationship, television scriptwriters and the Nutty Professors will.


Garbage In Ė Garbage Out.Happy Sweetheart Day.




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J.D. Pendry is author of The Three Meter Zone, Random House/Ballantine.

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