Childhood Memories – The Black Belt


When I was a child, the world was different – not necessarily better, but definitely different.  We were taught there were winners and losers (and opportunities for losers to try again to become winners); there were doers and idlers (and doers were what made things better); and if you did wrong, there was a price to pay.

Some would say that there was a level of discipline then that is missing today and to a large degree, I agree with this.  At the same time, I also recognize that what was called discipline at the time could be taken to the extreme where it no longer had value.  I was lucky in that my parents never took things to that level.  They, along with other relatives, did however teach me right and wrong and made sure I knew there would be consequences if I moved to far to the wrong side.
My mother was a school teacher and before I started elementary school my days were spent with my grandmother who lived next door to us.  When I look back now, I can honestly say that my grandmother never raised a hand in anger.  I can also say that she made sure that I, and all of her other grandchildren, knew that she was in charge when we were in her home.  I don’t know if she did this with the others, but even to this day I can remember her saying to me, “If you do that (fill in the blank here with some misdeed), I’m going to get my black belt out (implied -and make you regret it).”
While I could never find that black belt (and believe me, I looked everywhere), the mere threat was enough to keep me relatively close to the straight and narrow.  I wasn’t an angel by any stretch, but I knew to never push the envelope too far.  I’m not sure this was a bad thing and I’m not sure if getting closer to that wouldn’t be a good thing even today.

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