I speak for Democracy – Roman and Texas viewpoints on “Lines in the sand!”

Our Democracy of the United Sates in America as of yesterday, 6 January 2021, been brought on the sudden realization of how we have slipped into enabling bad behaviors and the acceptance of inflammatory remarks and falsehoods in only four years. These behaviors are bringing dire consequences for our nation, they bring out the worst in all of us, and they threaten our Democratic form of government by the people and for the people. We are standing at a Line in the Sand! See how our law enforcement views what happened.: https://www.yahoo.com/news/hogan-feds-delayed-maryland-national-231416221.html

We didn’t have to be here! I’ve written to the President several times during his term and received acknowledgement: 8/18.2017, 8/23/2017 and 12/26/2018. Each time I tried to give positive suggestions that would help him do his job better. I hope you have written with suggestions as to what he could do for America

The Line in the Sand phrase comes from 168 BC, when a Roman Consul named Gaius Popillius Laenas drew a circular line in the sand around King Antiochus IV of the Seleucid Empire. The intent of the line being that Antiochus needed to make up his mind whether to depart from Egypt or go to war with Rome before stepping over the line and out of the circle. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_in_the_sand_

I personally have known for a longtime that there are forks in the road of life which require decisions that cannot be then backed away from without consequences. My enlistment in the military, my volunteering for Peace Corps, my volunteering to be a Missionary, and my signing of numerous contracts for teaching and administrative assignments were all commitments with obligations.

In Texas where my sister lives, a line in the sand has lead some Texans to immortality as seen in the 1969 John Wayne film “The Alamo.” The film reenacts the choice Heroes of Texas made after being given an ultimatum by General Santa Anna. According to legend, on March 5, 1836, Col. William Barrett Travis drew a line in the sand and the Heroes of Texas step across it knowing that a fight to the death will follow. http://www.texasescapes.com/MikeCoxTexasTales/Line-in-the-Sand-Alamo-History.htm

But by the same token, crossing the line in Texas can lead down the road to infamy. This path is the insidious tral we are tending towards in our nation. On this trail we tend to slip unconsciously towards a hell on earth as seen in the western “Lonesome Dove.” Here, crossing of the line between good and evil becomes figurative as Jake Spoon who joins up with a gang for security, but then gradually becomes complicit in crimes until he helps massacre a frontier family. When captured, Jake pleads for his life, but his friend and former Texas Ranger, Gus, says “You know how it works, Jake. You ride with the outlaw, you die with the outlaw. Sorry, you crossed the line.” https://www.texasstandard.org/stories/the-top-12-lonesome-dove-quotes/

This almost imperceptible insidious line to infamy is the one the United States has been flirting with for the past 4 years as President Donald Trump has sown messages and publicly approved of acts of violence, bullying racism, and religious intolerance, while venting anger publicly to a group of Americans who at the beginning of the Presidential road believed that he would truly “Make America Great!”

The effect of mob violence on a Democratic form of government is no different in the U.S.A. than anywhere else. What I saw in the bombings and “Paro Armadas” during Sendero luminos’s failed attempt to take over Peru; what I saw in the mobs that supported the rise and maintenance of power for Hugo Chavez’s dictatorship in Venezuela; and what I saw in the actions of the Terr’s who roamed Zimbabwe-Rhodesia during the attempts to foil the elections of a legitimate representative government were all the same vicious uncontrolled anger of humans directed by presumed higher authorities to attack peaceful persons of their own nation. None of these countries were any different in their display of directed anger which caused a failed government than our mobs, orchestrated by Mr. Trump in the past 48 hours.

History and experience show that mob violence always ends up the same if not stopped in its tracks. The radicalized Left or Right Wings (it doesn’t matter which tribe or political party you belong to) will continue to push the limits of violence further and further. Eventually the majority in the middle decide to will give control to some one single person or one single political group whom they feel will stop the chaos and bring control, or peace, or food, or greatness or wealth ….. It doesn’t matter what the lie is, the people will buy into it because they don’t realize that the person taking control is the one who orchestrated the violence and chaos in the first place.

Whether the government then ends up being a Dictator like Chavez in Venezuela or Mugabe in Zimbabwe, or a one party system similar to that of left wing Communist China or Socialist/Communist Russia, or is a right wing Fascist group as in Hitler’s Germany, or a particular sect of a religious group like in Iran, the result is immaterial. The ultimate power placed in the hands of a few will bring total control over the lives of all the people. We will lose freedom of the press, speech, guns, … unless we are in the favored power group. Then, in order to keep those guns, orthe right to speak, or the right to publish we will have to show full obedience to the will ofwhiome ever in the Supreme Leader. This won’t be the freedom we thought we were going to get. It will be coerced Slavery and Misery which we brought down upon ourselves.

There is only one way out for the United States. We need to agree that a strong two or three party political system is always more important than going for one party. The parties must agrees to disagree at times but agree to compromise and share power always.They cannot pander to the radical fringes of the left or right, they cannot allow outright lies and twisting of the truth to propagandize one side or the other. They can’t blame the nation’s problems on the other guy. It’s all our nation, it’s all our government, it’s all fault! The parties are going to have to figure out how to communicate a very strong centralist viewpoint while working on a broad spectrum of Infrastructure improvements, economic, social, and political compromises for all Humans.

We must select out leaders for political wisdom, experience and the ability to work with one another and make compromises for the best of the Social Contract written in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.The goals of our nation and political; leaders must be broad enough for the majority of Humans, not for special interest groups, not for a wealthy minority of humans or for large multinational corporations who have fabricated some kind of Person-hood. If we can’t control our communication of falsehoods on the internet, then we will certainly go down the path of infamy and failed Democracy. The goals must include figuring out how to have and maintain fair elections and how to communicate those results to all with an understanding that we must learn to accept the winner of elections because that is the Social Contract!

I can only pray that our two major political parties can see a shared middle road that lies ahead clearly enough to realize that we are standing at the “line in the sand” right now. Every additional step over that line means a descent away from Democracy, a failure of a system that should give voice to truth and a voice by the people and for the people in the governance of this country.


I tried Three Times: I wrote to the president – 18 August 2017

Dear Mr. President, 18 August 2017

Thank you for the letter you sent acknowledging my previous letters.

        I note that you continue to tweet on topics which are best to ignore, thus creating an appearance of chaos in your office.  This is building your stress levels to a point that is unsustainable and not good for the country.  Thus, I hope that in order to get a handle on this tendency for outbursts, you simply cut yourself off from all internet activity for a month or two.

Take only meetings on specific topics relevant to national priorities as set by your very competent Chief of Staff. Let your press secretary handle the daily press conferences, to explain to the media what the President is concentrating on today with names of persons and the points of discussion.  Start a weekly cycle, one topic a day,  of presentations about your highest 5 priorities of government, which I am presuming include:

  1. Improving the Affordable Care Act,
  2. Improving the infrastructure of our roads, railways and electrical grid, International affairs,
  3. National Security and:
  4. National Budget, Economy and Tax Code. 

Stay away from watching the TV specials or from unscripted talks on the teleprompter and have each of your secretaries of commanders write you a couple of short paragraphs that you can quickly edit and read about the day’s progress on the topic at hand. This will then give your communication more flow from day to day.

Then on a daily basis write a two to five sentence hand-written memo to each of the main staff members you work with that day. Have your Chief of Staff let them know they are moving forward now in a planned operation to, “make America great again.” 

Don’t deviate from the plan. Trust your chief of staff and the other professionals, and make them present “best practice evidence and recommendations” even if these seem counter to your current thinking.  Use the term “best practices” when describing how you want to accomplish anything and have your staff call on experts, regardless of ideology who know these things.

Make Congress use “best practices” recommendations in writing their laws. Then do everything in your power to always look calm, in control and unruffled and be a happy family man. If you do this, you will be able to regain control of the helm of the nation and move it forward with an approval rating that will soar rather than sour in the next 12 months. 

Sincerely, Richard McBee

I Tried Twice: I wrote to the President – 26 December 2018

Dear Mr. President,                                                                26 December 2018

Sir, on this day nearing the end of the holiest month of the year for followers of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Wicca, Pagan, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, to name a few of the world’s great religions,  I would like you to take the time to briefly consider your own as well as the entire world’s children and possible great-grandchildren, as you read my letter on the subject of climate change.  I hope you will listen and then have the courage to speak out forcibly to correct our country’s current misdirection in this global concern.  

Climate change is the largest threat to humanity and is looming on our future. No wall or army will stop the predicted consequences for humanity and our nation if you fail to act. As a leader of the world, you need to stand up and begin to lead the world in this most problematic of situations so that we may still have a possibility of alleviating so of the predicted dire consequences, some of which we are already beginning to see.

 I know that a large number of Americans have chosen to not listen to the scientific community and seem to have your ear. As amateurs, they are cherry-picking science for unknown reasons in an attempt to undermine your taking any concrete action towards alleviating impending consequences of climate change. These persons presently have a lot of influence on the Political community which is resulting in inaction on your part and that of Congress. Thus, we who should be leading, have removed ourselves from the stage in solving a worldwide problem that will affect agriculture, health care, and very likely our great-grandchildren’s survival on this planet.

Climatologists who are doing solid science by taking the best climate data and finding the main culprit as well as some solutions for climate change say that we can still have an effect if we act now! It is a proven fact that climate change is caused by humans spewing trillions of tons of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere annually. We see the effects of the changes in our daily weather and in the extremes of weather that are beginning to occur on our planet and in our nation, costing us billions and eventually trillions of dollars to try to fix after the fact. The scientific explanations verifying this climate change are significant, meaning they are correct over 95% of the time and independently verifiable by others willing to do the research, not just rumor-monger. All their work is being done openly in the gigantic world-wide scientific realm.

Climate studies have found 7 ways to best remove excessive CO2 emissions, but these solutions need government support to begin immediate implementation. They also have given excellent suggestions of ways to bring the business community on board with profit motivated solutions for removing Carbon Dioxide and utilizing it. I suggest you immediately appoint a task force of the best economists and climatologists to help bring into reality all seven of the best solutions which are outlined in the new January 2019 Scientific American article, “The Last Resort”. 

Mr. President, it is time for the USA to act boldly. You must begin to be a leader in the world community. If our nation remains in the current climate change denial and analysis paralysis mode, we threaten the living conditions and economy of our own country as well as all other countries in the world. Climatic change is occurring. Our generation, yes, I am over 70, needs to be remembered as a generation that took on a massive challenge to make our world less hostile and insecure for the sake of our children and great-grandchildren.

Mr. President, your action is imperative. I hope I can count on you as a man motivated towards improving the future of humanity. As we depart the stage in active public and political life, both you and we need to leave a legacy that is greater than: “The President Who Led a Generation That Failed to Act.”

Sincerely,

Richard H. McBee Jr. 

I tried Once: I wrote to the President 8/23/2017

Dear Mr. President,

    I am sure you want to be an excellent president and hope that my recommendations can help you pass through and beyond this tough time and do some things in the final 7/8ths of your presidency that will leave a lasting memory of your having done something to build America and make her greater. These are my recommendations:

1. Forget about tweeting. Let all of your comments come from your press secretary and office personnel and spend your night time working on the plans for the few great things you can accomplish in office.

2. Forget about Russia and any part of the investigations and innuendo circling about that whole situation and concentrate on only your official work on your major goals.

3. Forget about tax cuts for the rich. They already have so much money that they can give up their salaries the way you are ding and still pay taxes and still have so much left over that they will never be able to spend it in their entire lives. This will be a great improvement to your standing immediately and America’s little people will applaud you.

4. Forget about the Affordable Care Act which the House Republicans have spent 8 years trashing and now can’t come up with anything even as good. Just tell them to fix needs to be fixed and get on with working with the Democrats to do so. This will be  your first improvement to America and her people and you will be remembered as the man who fixed the ACA rather than wasted his whole time in office on something that isn’t going to ever make your or the people who voted for you happy.  The biggest improvement will be to allow larger area coverage and then even a single payer plan which will cut an amazing amount of cost. See the Rand Corp study of Oregon as a model fir what should be done.

5. Now get on to the big things that America needs that you can really do something about.

  a. Infrastructure: America needs Roads, Rails, Bridges, and all our infrastructure reworked after over 50 years of patchwork. Get this through Congress immediately and then put all those out of work coal miners and other workers to work on construction with government subsidized training of those people to get them prepared to be flaggers, machine operators and shovel men.  Also put in a subsidized training program for technology to move those unemployed into the computer tech areas that our country so badly needs so that we don’t have to keep bringing in more foreign trained workers for areas we should be able to fill from within our own educated population.

   b. Tax Codes: Cut the taxes of the lower class people, those who individually make under $50,000 per year or couples who make under $100,000 per year. Then cut out the capitol gains and loss exemptions for everyone who is above $150,000 in income and use that for your programs of education and putting people to work on the infrastructure. Give the small businesses (under $1,000,000 profit) a bunch of tax breaks to build this sector of the economy. Keep the money comeing out of the pockets of the big boys who can afford it.

6. In doing all of these things you will have to forget about all of the lobbies from all the big boys who want to influence you. 

Sir, if you do all of these things, you will walk out of 4 years of office with a clear ticket into the Whitehouse for another 4 years and a legacy that no-one can match.

Trust me.

Yours sincerely,

Richard H. McBee Jr.

A new Year’s Special Sale: African Adventure Novel for Africans! “Ukuthula!” =’s “Peace!”

Straight out of Africa comes “The Ghosts of Ukuthula!” in E-book Format!

On sale Dec. 29 – Jan. 5, 2021: For 99 Cents beginning 12 noon PST from the USA: http://amazon.com

Buy it Now! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GNGCKHK#SalesRank

OR You can get it Dec. 29 – Jan 5,2021: For 99 Pence starts 12 noon GMT Britain: http://amazon.co.uk

Buy it Now! https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=The+Ghosts+of+Ukuthula&ref=nb_sb_noss

100% African! Jacob Nkwe, the man named for the leopards of the Okavango in Botswana! The man who has discovered the Devil’s own pact between the Russians and the White Apartheid Government of The Republic of South Africa in 1989. A plot to continue the domination of Africans and prevent the wave of Black African rule from coming to power in South Africa.

Only Nkwe knows the key people behind the plot now that his Jo’burg office has been blown to smitherines. Jacob’s on the run, and the only way he’ will stop massive bloodshed break is to get back to The Republic and confront the mastermind of the scheme, his nemesis, Col. Petrov of the Russian SVR.

Here’s what some reviewers have said about the book on Amazon!

An African Hero in Action!

1, DwenAdventure and Intrigue – 5 Star: I just finished the book The Ghosts of Ukuthula and really enjoyed it. I read the last 1/3rd or so in 2 days as I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. A good story with an interesting array of characters. I am now eagerly waiting for the next one by Rick McBee

2. Richard LangIntervention – 4 Star: Jacob Nkwe, aka Zulu, was CIA and worked for Jim Collins, a director in the State Department. Zulu’s mission was to collect intel on Colonel Petrov, a Russian who led a force trying to prevent a black coalition government in South Africa. Petrov was going to put his own people in power and steal the county’s resources. When Zulu’s office building in Pretoria was bombed, he went ghost and got a job at a game park in Namibia. He also got in a gang smuggling weapons for diamonds with half brother, Bakai. Debbie Kotzee, the park manager, had an affair with Zulu, but was linked to the South African Secret Police. At this point McBee ups the plot’s intensity as his characters escape danger and save South Africa’s future.

3. Amazon CustomerThis book is a great read and a great thriller! – 5 Star: I couldn’t put this book down! From the opening pages, dramatic events unfurled at blinding speed. This is historical fiction at its best that demonstrated an intimate knowledge of the people and places of southern Africa while blending in espionage, love and the journey of nation to shared rule. I enjoyed every page.

4. Audrey BentzBravo – 5 Star: I was totally amazed at the knowledge of culture, geography, politics, personalities and history that Rick McBee blended into such an authentic description of Southern Africa. What an entertaining way to learn about this traumatic historical period of African history!

Get your copy now! During the New Year’s Sale! Enjoy the great read before the holiday ends!

Happy New Year to all of my Readers! at Rickmcbee.me

Book Review: one for the blackbird one for the crow by olivia hawker



My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Here’s a great book that demonstrates the Author’s amazing ability to write from different perspectives.

Every chapter is done from the standpoint of one of the four protagonists: Beulah, Cora, Nettie Mae, and Clyde as they live and work together after a tragedy that places each one in a particular position of dealing with their past, grief, anger, love, hopes, and survival in the wilderness of Wyoming in 1872.

I was absorbed by the idea that author Olivia Hawker could get herself around each of the personalities so completely that they come to life as different persons in every chapter.

As the tale unfolds, it is often told two or three times but each time through immersion into the personality of the particular person whose mind we are reading. So in each case, the story takes on more life and depth rather than feeling like a repetition. Woven into the quartet of personalities who are thrown together by chance, infidelity, murder, and the needs to simply survive through a desperate winter, are the accidents, emergencies, floods, fires and chores that any farm person will understand and empathize with completely.

The underlying love/hate triangles are always changing in the book and are modified by the relationships that develop day by day, week by week in grueling situations and ordinary life patterns with which we can all empathize. The subtle undertow of the latent personality of the murdered husband, Substance, lies beneath this tale reappearing in a refusal to depart to the peace and quiet of Death. His memories are a rift between Cora and Nettie Mae. The maturing teenagers test the boundaries set by their parents and gradually form their own bonds. In the end, the realization by all that their lives are inseparably intertwined grows on each individual throughout the book. Excellent reading at bedtime. I would have given it 5 stars except for the author’s placement of the book in 1872 on the edge of the Bighorn Mountains which at that time would have been Cheyenne and Sioux controlled territory.

Enjoy!
View all my reviews

40 Shots across the Bow! Our Constitution still holds together!

Our Constitution of the United States of America has just withstood some forty shots across the bow of Democracy.

Fortunately, like its namesake, The USS Constitution, which in the War of 1812 defeated five British warships, our paper document, The Constitution, took some nasty hits yet survived.

It took the “Rule of Law” of our Court System to hold the Ship of State together and keep The United States Democracy afloat in 2020 as many Americans fell for euphoric belief in ONE PARTY RULE.

We have now had fair warning that we are skirting a dangerous “Dead End” if we don’t fix the Constitutional and State’s Rights for everyone to vote and be counted in our National Elections.

The Democracy of The United States of America can be subverted! It can be done through propaganda and lies spread through our media, It can be done through the viral infection of voting machines which have no paper back-ups to show voters and auditors exactly what a machine supposedly did. It can be done through political and monetary pressures placed on the supervisors and proctors of our state, national and local elections, and it can be subverted through our current Electoral College system which was conceived before even the Pony Express and has not been updated to deal with modern technology, legal precedents, and new laws that allow vast sums of money, and corporate power to enter into and influence each and every voting situation we now have.

It is now obvious that the subversion can more easily came from within our country, mediated by citizens of our country, rather than from outside our country. It will happen in exactly the same manner as as we have seen the democracies in Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Venezuela, and many other democratic nations fail in the past 50 years. The results of these internal “Takeovers” are clearly seen in their results which brought about One Party Rule, which will broke no deviation from the One Party Line of Thought. The results also bring in the Installation of Demagogic Leaders, such as: Robert Mugabe, Military Juntas, Hugo Chavez, General Pinochet to name a few in recent memory. These are leaders whose goal starts with an apparent justifiable cause and ends with them being Rulers for Life once we let them in the door. Once the Takeover is affected, all those dreams of freedom and rights go out the window subjugated by POWER.

The rents in the fabric of U.S. and holes in our American Democratic voting system for Presidents and other officials have been revealed to us! They have allowed flagrant attacks on our Democracy from within our own government.They need to be plugged immediately. Unless we shore up our 200+ year old Constitution and democratic election process, we are a stone’s throw away from descending into the same chaos of the countries we used to look down our noses at and call “Banana Republics.”

Write or forward this to your congressional leaders. It’s time for a Constitutional Convention to patch up the holes before the legal and technological worms invade again as you can bet they will, on or before 2024.

This is not about political parties, it’s about preserving our Multiparty Democratic Republic and all of our voting rights and freedoms before they are undermined further in a world where dictators always lurk in the wings. Long May She Wave!

pLANNING aHEAD FOR covid end! – tHE cARIBBEAN! 99 CENT sEA sHELL bOOK sALE!

I’m getting in line for my COVID-19 Vaccination! Yes, I’ve had them all….. Both Salk and Sabin Polio Vaccinations, Hepatitis, Shingles, Typhoid, Tetanus, Cholera, Yellow Fever, …. it goes on and on even when you’re 76 years of age!

Glad my dad was a Bacteriologist, a Medical Officer on Saipan in WW2 and worked at the CDC for a while! Because of this, I got every experimental shot in the Royal Butt from the late 1940’s onward as immunology got better and better over the years. His eyes would pop out to see what has happened in the past 20 years in this field!

But back to the Point of this Blog! — It may take you a 6 months to get your COVID-19 shots, but it’s going to happen and those of us who love to travel will be off and running around the world again!

So! Plan Ahead! Before all the plane seats and cheap fares disappear!

The Caribbean and the S. of Florida are great places to visit in March, April, May and then in Sept., Oct., Nov. for lowest rates on Hotels! Diving! Boating, Fishing, Food! Etc.!

Going to be on the Beach! You need a Seashell Book! And because of the holiday season, you can get the best e-book for identifying your seashells for only 99 Cents between Dec. 16 and Dec. 19, 2020 at https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B001K8HIXI

It’s not just any book, it’s the best and easiest E- Book to read and use to I.D. all those shells you kick up inthe sand whether on Sanibel or Curacao , or in Venezuela, The Bahamas, or Barbados ….!

If you miss the 99 Center, you can still get it for $1.99 from Dec. 19 – Dec. 22, 2020- Same Place: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B001K8HIXI before it goes back to the original price!

Hope you enjoy your holidays and have a great read!

See you on the beach in 2021!

Hands off State’s Rights! : Gaming Our Democracy!

Hands off our State’s Rights Mr. President! 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” You have not been given any rights here!

This and subsequent rulings and laws were put in precisely to prevent the kind of twisting of State’s elections for anything including and especially for the Presidency and Congress in order to prevent the return to Monarchy or a Dictatorship.

Note Mr. President: Since the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court both point to state law regarding voting rights, it is up to the individual state to determine how it wants to distribute those voting rights

Despite my continued angst about our country, I have learned some very important lessons about the Presidency, our Democracy and our Constitution during the past four years. None are infallibly perfect. Our system can be “Gamed” internally by using straight old school propaganda and modern technology. Basically, we know that humans can have their brains “Hacked” and “Malignant Viruses” inserted by “Tweeting” enough falsehoods so that we forget simple truths and believe the most outrageous lies. I call it “Gaming” because psychology tells us that “Name Calling”, “Scapegoating” and “Loaded Words” are like “Computer Viruses” in that they  “Manipulate” the normal programming of our brains and thus our behaviors. In adults, this types of gaming is a lot more serious than middle school bullying which we work hard to eliminate. Adult games can end up with split societies, increased violence and major bad consequences for a nation. We only need to look at many countries we used to call “Banana Republics” to see how badly it can end.  Our nation has just concluded the most secure election in history according to our government’s NSA and most national leaders. Unfortunately the results are being “Gamed” at time when a major transition in government in needed. Consequently we see a continuation of the breakdown in our national civil discourse and social contract relationships. As a nation of varied values, races, traditions and religions we need to get back on track. There is no conspiracy, it is not a battle between “Liberals and Conservatives,” (whatever those two words now stand for) or “Guns – No Guns”, it’s about living and working together. To quote Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and it is US.

Americans, we all have a lot of repair work to do to fix the “US” whether used as a pronoun or as U.S.

School Transitions : Leaving the place Prepared for the future, and better than you found it!

I can still remember in the summer of 1949, when Dad and I were driving to Montana from our place in Oakland, California, stopping at a gas station out on that long stretch of road running across the Club Foot of southern Idaho. It was hot as the Devil and we stopped for gas in the car, water for the water bag that hung out the window to cool, and a trip to the John. The John was about as filthy as you could find one in those days.

After using the facilities, Dad said, “Well I guess we better clean some of this up before we leave.”

My little brain clicked in and I blurted out something like, “Why would we want to clean it up? Somebody else made the mess.”

At that point, my Dad looked at me and said, “Ricky, when I was in the war, I saw an awful lot of stuff that was one big mess out in the Pacific. All the fellows in the unit, including myself vowed that after the war ended, we would always leave any place we went, better off than we found it.”

With that, he flushed the toilet about five times used the plunger and an old toilet brush to slop it out, cleaned and scrubbed the sink, and wiped everything down with the ragged greasy old towel that everyone must have wiped their hands on for the past week.

When he was finished, he stood back, looked at me and smiled.

“Now, that’s a lot better, isn’t it? You need to remember that no matter how bad a place is, we always leave it better for the next person than we found it.”

I had to agree. We left that old crapper a lot better than we had found it, gave the dirty towel to the attendant, and tooted the horn as we hauled our trailer with all the family belongings back out onto the road and headed on toward Montana.

We drove off both feeling happy that we had done a good turn. That one incident made a big impression on me!

As an adult school teacher and later a principal, I switched jobs a number of times during my 10+ different postings in some forty years of professional international work.

My Dad’s phrase has always come back to guide me when leaving one position and moving to another, “We always leave it better for the next person”.

Because of this one phrase, I have always prepared for any job transition by leaving behind good records of: materials, inventories, information, files, schedules and personnel records, so that everything is in the best possible condition for the next person to come in and take over smoothly.

Believe me, I have taken over schools in which it was obvious that the preceding person(s) didn’t give a rip about any Transition! No cares for what would happened to the place when they were gone: No files of records, No Student Handbooks, No Teacher or Curriculum Handbooks, No agreements and documents on how we do business or school discipline, No maintenance done to infrastructure, No positive working conditions with staff and co-workers etc., etc. etc.

Because of previous actions by the persons who should have been positive leaders in Transitioning schools to another leader, I’ve seen and had to clean up the virtual latrines left behind. I’ve followed my father’s advice and immediately gotten into it and cleaned up the graffiti, gangs and bad attitudes that can take over and control the running and education of an entire school.But it could have gone much more smoothly with some thought by the previous person about smooth Transitions.

Schools are Family. They are a small microcosm of a State, a Country or even the World. Leaving the place in the best possible shape means that when I depart, the new person coming in will be able to pick up and run with the ball instead of having to find and pick up the dropped baton in a race that never ends. I am leaving a blueprint of myself, my values, my personality and my hopes and desires for the future of that institution behind so that someone else can come in and make the Family even better.

Having good and excellent schools is the business of us all as communities, and GOOD TRANSITIONS are the Mark of Excellent Leaders and one of the keys to maintaining EXCELLENCE in any school!

FEEL FREE TO INSERT THE NAME OF ANY INSTITUTION FOR THE WORD SCHOOL!

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