Lambs, Donkeys, and Border Collies

 

Baaaaaaaa!

In every organization, members seem to take on different roles. There are the lambs that follow, the border collies that guide and lead, and then there are the donkeys. I am purposely choosing the term donkeys as opposed to asses, although in some instances asses would be more apropos. But I’m going to try to be nice in this extended metaphor.

As a teacher, I’ve belonged to organizations (unions, PTOs, accreditation committees, etc.) where I was one of the lambs. I listened to the leaders who were well versed in the issues and followed their advice and direction. As an administrator, my role was more like that of a border collie, overseeing the running of both large and small schools. And I’ve been a donkey at times, both in the good and bad sense.

There is a farm near my home,at the University of Rhode Island, where they hold animal science and pre-veterinary classes. The

Momma and Baby Donkey

donkeys at Peckham Farm are there to guard the sheep in the field from predators. Bonnie, Rosie, Jennie and now Jennie’s baby are there to protect the animals out in the fields from other animals that may be looking to take advantage of their vulnerability. In this way they are a positive factor in the general scheme of things. But I’ve seen them dig in their heels and become very obstinate when the mood strikes them. They become obstructive. They become asses. If I search through my own behavioral history, I’m sure I could give you many instances of my being an ass, but suffice it to say; I’m familiar with and therefore, recognize this behavior.

 

I’ve been retired from education for almost twenty years, although I don’t think teachers ever stop teaching. I miss the kids. I miss my students. And so, when I see a leader, an ass, pretending to “know” the perfect solution to the intensely complicated problems we’ve created in this country through our complacency, I cringe.

For someone who publicly displays all of the bad connotations of the term ass, every time he  portends to have the solution to a problem, is yet another insult to all of us who have spent time in school with children. To tell teachers they should be armed; they should do the job of police, is ludicrous. But this bottom feeder, who has never spent time as an adult in a school; who has never trained with assault weapons or any kind of weapons, for that matter; (His father obtained five deferments for him during the Vietnam War when my friends were being sent to fight.) who has no idea what it is to be a patriot and doesn’t even know the words to our National Anthem – this excuse for a human being professes to have the answers and he actually expects us to follow along like lambs to the slaughter.

What he and his buddies, the snakes hiding inside the National Rifle Association (NRA), never expected was for the kids to become our defenders; our leaders; our border collies. So many of us here in the U.S. have felt disheartened by the results of our 2016 election. We have felt betrayed by the Republican “leaders” in Congress whom we expect to protect us and work for the common good. While we were sleeping, while we were complacent, a new brand of “leader” has taken the reins of our government. Leaders who believe their own welfare takes precedence over the common good. Many of these “leaders” are bought; made rich by donations from large corporations and personal interest groups. Their greed has put them far out of touch with the reality the rest of us deal with in our every-day lives. Their selfish priorities have obliterated any empathy they may have once had for their fellow Americans and for those who want to become citizens of our great country. Our founding fathers wrote rules and procedures geared toward protecting our freedoms. They never expected that snakes would infest the halls of government; that leaders with selfishly, bad intentions would dig in their heels and with every choice, take advantage of those rules and procedures.

But last week, the students came forward and all of us learned an important lesson. These young people have promised us they will ensure, through the power of their votes, the fetid morass in Washington, DC, finally will be cleaned out. And I have such hope they will accomplish whatever it is they set their minds to. I know. I worked with kids most of my life and they can be powerful engines to effect change.

I wrote in a previous post that I  was heartened by the Women’s March and their efforts. I was hopeful in that post but I wondered who would come forward to lead us out of the abyss. And now we have the kids. And they are calling “Bull Shit!” As a former English teacher, I can truly say I’ve never heard such beautiful words coming out of the mouths of babes.

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47 thoughts on “Lambs, Donkeys, and Border Collies

  1. Wow. You need to go to Washington with that letter and read it out loud for all to hear. Send it to the NYT. Well said Claremary. And you were never a donkey!!!!!.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I completely agree with you, ClareMary. In Scotland, we had one of the worst atrocities of gun violence against first graders and as a result of that one catastrophe, we changed the gun law. In America, we have twisted the original intention of the first settlers (of freedom from oppression) to one of greed and fear. Of course we need guns – farmers will always need a shotgun to save those precious lambs from stray dog. Police and military need to be armed. I don’t even worry about most of us having a single handgun but nobody should have access to AK 47s.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I honestly think that the NRA are evil. There seems to be some assumption that teachers are all mentally well and stable and fit to handle a gun. Can you imagine how easy it would be for a gang of youths to overpower a teacher and take their gun?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kerry – NRA – boys and their toys. I’ve written about this in a previous post. Yes, many teachers move from classroom to classroom. Do they even realize how hard it is carrying around papers and books and a pocketbook through the corridors of a school? And 73% of all teachers in the US are female! Idiosy in its most blatant form!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said! The comparison with lambs, border collies, and donkeys was very fitting. It is beyond belief that anyone can think arming teachers is a reasonable response to these horrible school shootings. And since that only “solves” the school problem, I guest we need to arm church-goers, concert attendees, and the guy selling popcorn at the concession stand to be prepared for shootings in churches, concerts, and theaters. But then everybody will be armed . . . oh, wait, that’s exactly what the NRA wants. We need to get these asses out of office. Like you, Clare, I am encouraged and inspired by the students from Parkland–and other high schools across the nation–who are taking a stand and speaking so articulately for positions that gutless legislators will not dare to consider. Also encouraged by how many companies have now parted ways with the NRA. Perhaps, at long last, we will see some changes. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, They think, because they’re surrounded by people who don’t think, other people will just go along with their rediculous rhetoric. It is all about money, not rights, and the kids are not buying it. I, too, am encouraged by the businesses who are backing these students and getting as far away from the NRA as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said, Clare. I’ve been so heartened by the response of the students to the donkey’s ‘solution’ to the problem. The man doesn’t have a working cell in his brain – other than the self-serving ones. What astounds me is hearing people – women – who still think the guy is wonderful. I met one over here who truly believed the donkey was creating jobs for people, making America great again. I had to walk away from the conversation because I felt that not being American I had no right to criticise her president or her political views.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mary, as a woman, you have every right to call this moron out. And yes, this type of woman in America who think this idiot is great, are the leftovers from yesteryear when we were a patriarchy. Those days are over and someone needs to explain to them that they’re allowed to think for themselves now. If we don’t call out ignorance when it confronts us, change will neve occur. So, feel free to telll these women they are full of Bull Shit just like the moron they’re following blindly. As always, Mary, I love hearing from you and look forward to seeing you in Scotland some day soon. Clare

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello, Mary. It will be Charley’s 70th birthday this year and I would love to take him to play at St. Andrews (one of his dreams). When we visit, I will definitely find you, no matter where you are in Scotland. The conversation will last for days! Love, Clare

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Eloquent, impassioned and absolutely on point. I wish I thought that someone in power would listen. And I don’t mean Trump – he was a lost cause before he even took office …. actually, I am convinced he is a marionette but that is another matter. But the evil surely is the NRA and until they are overturned, there seems no hope because they hold the power in the house. But these young people, these young may just be the key. If they can get enough traction behind their voices and if they can spread their reach far and deep into those young living in areas where the votes are swayed by the gun lobby then there is hope. And I, as you know, refuse to ever give up hope. I hear Joan Baez singing softly ‘we shall overcome’ … maybe this can be the hero generation that is so sorely needed. Thank you for this excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Osyth. I haven’t been posting very often because every time I write somethng, it seems trivial to the issues we are coping with every day here in the US. So, I’ve been losing myself in the world of murder mysteries. Writing them can be quite cathartic and as the author, one can always ensure that justice is done. Justice! What a concept! Yes, the moron-in-chief is a Russian puppet and I believe he and his cohorts are Russian operatives trying to destroy our democracy. So, Mueller and the kids are providing hope for us. Let’s just see what this country is truly made of! I think Spring will be beautiful for you in France this year. Love, Clare

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you have your writing to lose yourself in. But there is hope. I do believe this generation IS that hope. And as all around me starts to waken and stretch and slowly at first and then more and more ebulliently burst into life, my hope is that this movement will be taking its own strong root and blossoming with the support of the many. Take good care, Clare x

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As ever, The Bean feels Roxie’s pain …. she has had to share me for the last couple of weeks with my daughter who has been staying. Sharing is not something that comes naturally to some creatures, n’est-ce pas 😂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Anne, I must visit your blog and see your latest creations from your beautiful country. I always learn so much and enjoy your sweet voice narrating it all for me. “Snow in Kyiv” was enchanting. Warm greetings to you, too, as you watch your spring flowers burst into bloom. Love, Clare

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A powerful piece of common sense, beautifully written. I’ve commented before on how asinine (ass-inine?) the rest of the world believes US gun laws to be, but Numpty Trumpty plumbed new depths in suggesting that teachers should be armed. I would say that is incredibly stupid, but how can we judge what passes for normal thinking underneath the flying duck that sits atop his head? Like you, I hope the kids prevail – they seem to be the only ones capable of rational thought, unbought by self-interest. Great post, Clare.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Clive. Yes. the moron is idiocy at its worst. But the people who enable him by following along blindly ignoring his blatant lies, are what worry me the most. It is so hopeful to know there are young people who will become actual thinking voters someday soon. Although, right now, it doesn’t seem soon enough. Cheerio, my friend. I hope everything in your part of jolly old England is doing well. Love, Clare

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean – our only hope here is that the next generation of voters coming through will save us from the worst possible Brexit, and will give us a government more in touch with reality. It’s snowing here at present, and very cold. I trust conditions are more favourable for you! Take care x

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Marty, you’re welcome. I just realized I used snakes in my post. I impugned snakes! Some snakes are quite lovely.
      The day they take that idiot out in chains, I hope to hear a roar all over this country. A roar that says, “Justice has finally been done.” I think I’ll recognize your voice in the crowds. Clare

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No impugnment taken. My choice of the expression “snakes in the grass” was initially meant to convey the suspicion I had/have over concepts such as ex-wives, alimony, and a few other assorted entities. That pique has now passed fortunately. I’ve often thought of altering the title slightly to “Snacks in the Grass.” 🙂

        My pique has not, however, ebbed with the current occupant of the White House. I too hope for a similar resolution as yours. Let’s keep hope alive.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Marty, you’ve enlightened me and I feel better that you have taken no offence on my use of that term. Now, Snacks in the Grass is an incredibly attractive concept to me. I could get behind a movement for your title to morph or molt, as the case may be. I’ll be visiting often to see if changes have been made.(I had to change my blog’s subtitle during the second year.) Clare

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    1. Yvette, And your boys are a constant source of fresh perspective. I enjoy hearing about them in your newsletter. I did not have access to my laptop, so could only send out my condolences on your Face Book message. I’m home now and will be able to read your eulogy today. Your dad was a wonder and will be missed even by people who never net him, but saw him through your eyes. Love, Clare

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  7. Well said Clare. These young kids in Florida calling “Bullshit” have given us all hope all across America for a brighter future. If I was that loser or one of his followers I would be real worried about up coming elections when young adults across the nation can vote for change.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Clare, such an articulate and passionate post. I was horrified that the solution being offered for the failures of a gun society was ‘more guns’. And further, that it was expected that educators take up the arms???! Ludicrous doesn’t cover it so I revert to the words of those ‘border collies’ – the students – putting up their hands to lead others out of the wilderness – bull shit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robyn, There is a TED Talk by Naomi Klein in which she asks:”What if we used today’s shocks to push us to ceate the society we really want?” It’s what I contend, too. We can only hope this bull shit will end in a postive way.

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      1. Interesting perspective Clare. Revolutions are never orderly but swinging to the extreme before regaining balance. Perhaps that’s what we’re witnessing. I’ll seek that TED talk out.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. A democracy doesn’t exist unless it’s in place for everyone. It’s been disheartening to watch our country be hijacked by an ass supported by jackals. Two of the worst qualities of this miserable excuse of a leader are his lack of willingness to lift all the citizens of this country and his self promotion at the expense of the tenets that built our unique democracy. But wait – there aren’t just two – this ass has so many disgusting traits, beginning with a lack of moral fortitude. His foundation of indecency thrust the worst qualities of some people into the limelight where they congratulate themselves with their success at being bigots – “we live in a democracy but only for those who agree with us and share our religion, skin color, and ancestry.” It’s a focus on fear and elimination of “others.”

    When I see young people expressing cogent comprehension of the state of our country, I see future governors, congressmen, judges, presidents, and teachers. I see some hope in the younger generation but they must galvanize toward long term participation, not just a few well broadcast public marches. And we must have change sooner rather than later. It isn’t for me I worry – it’s for my grandchildren, for everyone’s grandchildren.

    Clare, thank you for a thoughtful assessment of a dire situation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We are definitely going through a cycle in our country – a difficult one. but it has been so interesting to see the ones stepping forward starting with the Women’s March and Sally Yates. I love Maxine Waters and of course Michael Avenati. And of course the amazing kids. And now Rosenstein is showing us how to do the right thing. And then there are the reporters – I don’t know how they were able to choose the Pulitzers this year. We are slowing coming out of this tunnel I wrote about in a past post. I’m reading Robert Reich’s The Common Good. I think you’d like it.

      Liked by 2 people

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