It’s that time of year again. Untold numbers of children and young people are returning to the hallowed halls of public education. There are those, of course, with the means and/or opportunity to pursue another path; private or religious schools or home schooling. But the majority will trudge back to endure or enjoy the public school process, as my wife and I and our children did.
It seemed like a good time to write again about education as my younger grandson entered the “system” as a kindergarten student just yesterday. He was somewhat excited at the idea ahead of time which gave me pause as to whether we were actually related.
My public education years, which numbered only 12 since there was no mandated public kindergarten in those pre-historic days, would never be described with the words excited or eagerly anticipating. I have tried to find a suitable descriptive phrase and remembered a Paul Simon lyric from “Kodachrome.” It goes like this. “When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.” Now, admittedly that is not totally correct since I did have a wonderful English teacher my senior year whom I was privileged to get to know as a friend and neighbor. Alas, she was the exception.
Were I to divide my 12 years into 2 segments; one being elementary and the other combining junior and senior high; the former rates considerably higher than the latter but mainly by comparison. But, to close on a somewhat more positive note, the above referenced grandson now has three school days under his belt and still “loves” school and his teacher. That is the good news. The not so good news is that his bus riding experience has been utterly chaotic all three days and in a different way each day. Certainly hope that his school and who ever else is responsible for this gets their act together and soon! At this point, I will refrain from mentioning the names of the school or school system, with my hope being that things change for the better.
Mea culpa to my favorite high school teacher, Betty Barker, for my grammatical inconsistency in the title of this post. It just seemed so apropos given my topic. Normally the above phrase would read something like put your money where your mouth is. But not for Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey who has apparently put his mouth where his money isn’t. Seems that Mackey has issues with Obamacare and had the audacity to publish an op-ed to that effect in the Wall Street Journal. (Now, before we proceed, let me mention these tidbits. Whole Foods, a Fortune 500 company, has a very good health care plan for its own employees. For those 89% of their work force who work more than 30 hrs/wk, all of their health care premiums are paid.) Further he opined that many health problems are self-inflicted and could be alleviated by a better diet, etc. That would tie in very well with his own company’s organic food products, would it not?
Seems that Mackey has alienated a bit of his liberal base with many customers taking to the web to voice their displeasure. One comment in particular stood out to me. Christine Taylor, a New Jersey customer of Whole Foods said her shopping days there were over. She told ABC News this. “I think a CEO should take care that if he speaks about politics, that his beliefs reflect at least the majority of his clients.” Now I could say something like, if you eat like a liberal your should talk like a liberal . That might be a bit out of line since all people who eat healthy are not liberals. Anyway, does Ms Taylor have a valid point? What if the CEO has views that do not dovetail with his/her clientile? Should they just keep silent? Good question.
Some consultants say it is better if the CEO keeps a lower profile because his comments often become a two -edged sword with pros and cons. The question from a business perspective would then be which edge, the good or bad, will have more impact. Consultant Robert Passikoff is founder of Brand Keys, Inc., a New York based consulting firm. He advises clients to not speak out on polarizing issues such as health care. And in Mackey’s case, it could have a greater effect than say the CEO of Kellogg’s who hasa larger and broader based clientele. So says Lynn Upshaw of Upshaw Brand Consulting in Kentfield ,CA She says that Mackey’s customers tend to be more of the activist type who are already going out of their way to buy a more expensive product.
I wanted to compare this situation with that of outspoken celebrities and their politics and how it can affect them, but that
may be another day. There is just so much material there.
- Bible study
- Christian living
- Foreign Policy
- International politics
- Legal system
- Life and Death
- Local Politics
- State Politics