Back of the Bus
I was about 12 years old and my mom and dad had organized a trip to New York City for the Polish-American Club in San Antonio, Texas.
In those days, we celebrated our heritage and I am very proud of mine. Poland is the most resilient country in the world. They have been invaded by wicked superpowers, yet their spirit could never been extinguished.
We stopped at several states along the way before finally reaching the big Apple. It was amazing. It seemed there were more people there than in the entire state of Texas.
I had a crush on this 14 year old girl, and while trying to impress her I received a life changing lesson in respect.
My mom and dad were the tour guides on this trip so the front seat was reserved for them. My little girlfriend ( I wish) got on the bus prior to my parents. While trying to be gallant I offered her a seat in the front of the bus. We sat down, and I of course gave her the window as I sat in the isle seat.
My mom entered the bus and had a bewildered look on her face. She asked where she was going to sit? I jumped to my feet, puffed out my chest, and was feeling manly in my reply. “You can sit in the back!”
As the “k” sound rolled off my tongue this incredible stinging sensation along with the burning heat was radiating on the left side of my face. Moreover, my head jerked violently to the right as I was quickly humbled. Man it would have been a great slow motion video; similar to Rocky hitting the canvas after the victorious blow from Apollo Creed. (Well, not quite that bad, but you get the picture.)
“I don’t think so!” came my mother’s reproof.
Time seemed to stop. Then I had to do the “walk of shame” to the back of the bus.
Luckily, everyone was aboard and watched the slap “heard round the world.” I moved slowly and deliberately through the narrow passageway feeling every eyeball staring at me. I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders, depressing me to the little strip of black rubber running down the aisle.
Every step, every eyeball, every breath in and out. I was so happy to reach the back seat, yet somehow the girl was there with a warm considerate smile for my damaged young male ego.
“Well, we are a lot closer to the bathroom” I said, and we both smiled.
Do I think children should be disciplined? Of course, I learned an important lesson that day and it prepared me for real tragedies that lie in my future.
Thank you Mom!
Even by today’s standards and legal guidelines, my mom did not break the law. I am not advocating corporal punishment is the ultimate answer. It’s a technique for modifying behavior similar to time out or standing in the corner. We have many options to help our children today, and these options work best when children are young to give them the greatest benefit.
Clara Mae (my mom) grew up during the depression and had even picked cotton. It doesn’t seem like a big deal unless you have done it. A cotton sack it’s about four-feet in diameter and about ten feet long. They would fill several of those in a day. Yeah, this is before minimum wage and welfare. You worked or you didn’t eat. I know it’s a strange concept, but it made people resilient and strong.
We beat the superpowers that were trying to take over the world during World War II, people that believed hatred and murder were the answer for world domination. Our resilience was our resolve.
Back then, this was how they put the United in the United States! This is the solution to our violence pollution!
Our country has lost respect for our law enforcement officers who are present to protect and serve. We uphold the law to protect the innocent, yet we are regarded as the enemy. If you don’t run from the police then people would not be killed in traffic crashes. If you break the law there are consequences and the person committing the crime is responsible, not the ones holding them accountable.
America, I’m begging you to bring back the ideals that saved us and get back to the basics of the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do onto you.”
Sgt Frank, founder, Adopt a Cop USA