A Tale of Two Brothers . . . and an Evil Government

I first met Dutch in a difficult situation, in a room full of unhappy people.  Let me explain.  Dutch was an electrical sub-contractor on a large project I was overseeing for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  On the First Draw, Dutch had submitted a very large bill to the Contractor, and the Contractor had passed that cost along in his Draw request. This was immediately viewed as price gouging . . .and perhaps even fraud.  It required looking into, so a meeting was called.

The Contract Documents for the project called for the Contractor to “test and repair/replace any electrical devises found faulty,” and to provide a cost breakdown for each electrical device that might need to be replaced. There was no way the contractor could know the number of items that would need to be replaced prior to bidding the job, so the Architects and Engineers set it up like this. Then, there was a maximum number of devices that could be installed . . . without prior written consent of the approving Architect.

Everything was pretty clear, until the Contractor hired Dutch to do the electrical work and left town. Dutch went to work immediately and skipped the step of “Testing” and went to work “replacing.”  He also skipped the step of using the devices scheduled in the Contract Documents and instead used heavy-duty industrial electrical devices that were like triple the cost for what was required for residential use.

The meeting time arrived and everyone was assembled . . . everyone except Dutch (I didn’t even know Dutch existed or that he had been invited by the Contractor).  I called the meeting to order and identified the problem for the group.  Immediately the Contractor and his attorney began to argue and complain that we simply didn’t want to pay for the work in place . . . and things were getting pretty tense.  Then, the back door opened, and a very short (5’2” in elevated shoes), chubby, and quite homely, little man walked into the room whistling a really bad tune, and doing so quite loudly.  He was wearing a brown wool suit and a black bow tie (in July—in South Texas) and he was wearing a small-brimmed round hat. His clothes were about 40 years out of style, but he was convinced he was well-dressed. Under his arm he carried a large white box, which I assumed was filled with documents and invoices that would be used to support the contractor’s claim.  Boy, was I wrong.  Dutch walked up to the head table and began to jabber 90 miles per hour.  I didn’t understand one word he said, and didn’t have a clue what language he was speaking.  I tried to explain to him that we were having a rather important meeting and he was obviously in the wrong place.  The Contractor stood and identified his as “Dutch, the electrical sub.”  Dutch plopped the box down on the table, opened it, and reached down and pulled out a day-old glazed donut, took a big bite with the sugar glazing falling all over the place, and with that glazing all over his lips announced in the worst English I had ever hear, “I brought the Sinkers” and he then asked who had made the coffee. We all busted out in laughter and everyone settled down and we go to work. We resolved the problem rather quickly.  I loved old Dutch Trier immediately.

In the months and years ahead, Dutch became my friend, and I learned his story, and quite a story it is.

He was born “Alowishes John Trieweiler,” in the municipality of Triesweiler, located in the Trier-Saarburg District, in Rhineland – Palatinate, Germany.  It was all named for his family.  My friend Dutch came from an affluent family who had long been amongst the upper-crust of German society.  Dutch had one brother.

When Hitler took control of Germany, Dutch’s father acted on his fears and concerns.  He arranged passage for his young sons to escape Germany . . . but the time for first class, luxury liners, was past . . . these boys had to be smuggled out in the dark of night and hidden in the bottom of freighters ships.  The boys were provided certain assets that could be easily concealed and later sold when it became necessary.  The father placed some currency in each of their shoes, hugged and kissed them good bye, and then sent them off separately with those who had been hired to assist in their escape.  The boys were put on separate vessels . . . neither knowing where the other was going.  Dutch said he asked his dad why they could not go together.  He said his dad simply told him, “If one of you is captured and murdered by these thugs, perhaps the other will escape to carry on the family name.”

Dutch ultimately landed in the USA . . . a 12-year-old, with no skills, no records, no employment experience, limited resources, and unable to speak one word of English; yet, he survived.  He rambled around the United States. He would find a place he liked and stay for a while. He would find work as a dishwasher, janitor, and such. After a bit he would move on to some other place. Sometimes, he would find other German-speaking people and stay around them for a while.  He told me that it was pretty common that he encountered people who knew of his family name and history.

Ultimately, he found the woman who would become his wife. I always saw it as a marriage of convenience . . . two people who simply needed each other.  She was much taller than Dutch and I never thought they were able to communicate very well as she was also an immigrant with limited English, but they did manage to produce a son.  By the time I met Dutch, his wife was in poor health and required a wheel-chair to get around.  Sandy and I were taking Dutch out to dinner one evening, and Sandy was wearing high heels. Dutch scolded her and told her to never wear those shoes. As best as we could understand it seemed that he was telling us that his wife was wearing high heels and fell . . . and that had started her health problems. 

I never knew the son. He had moved away by the time I met Dutch. All the years I knew Dutch I never knew of him coming to see Dutch or his wife or even calling.  Dutch told me that he did come to see him once.  Dutch had a heart attack and was lying in a hospital.  He said the son came into his hospital room. He had some documents in his hand and a lady at his side. Dutch said the boy told him, “I have a Power of Attorney form and I need you to sign it, and this lady will notarize it.” Dutch was well at the time he told me about this.  I asked him, “What did you do?” He smiled and said that he had motioned for the boy to lean down close and whispered to him, “Gou miss understood da doctors . . . it es my heart dat es sick . . . my head it es still ok.” He said the boy left in a huff.

For 50 years Dutch had no contact with his family in Germany . . . and knew nothing about any of them.  Finally, at 70 years-of-age, Dutch decided it was safe to return to Germany and try to locate his family.  I drove him to the airport and I wondered if he would even return . . . he had only purchased a one-way ticket.

A few weeks later, he called and told me he was coming home. I agreed to pick him up at the airport in San Antonio. On the drive back home he told me about his experience.  He said that when he walked into the terminal after de-boarding the airplane in Germany, he instantly discovered he had a serious problem . . . no one could understand his German . . . it got even worse because anyone who could speak English could not understand Dutch’s English.  Over the years, he has meshed the two languages to the point that it took a long time for another person to make any sense of what out what he was trying to say – in either language. He was finally able to hire an interpreter who could (with great struggle) semi-understand him.  The interpreter was able to locate his brother.  This took several days.

When the interpreter called his brother, the brother refused to meet Dutch . . . all the while insisting that his brother had been captured by the Nazi’s and executed for “desertion.”  Dutch said that he managed to recall the name of a small dog the family had at the time the boys had been sent away. That satisfied his brother to agree to at least meet Dutch, but he made it clear that he would need much more to ever be able to acknowledge Dutch as his brother.  A meeting was set for lunch in a pub the following day.

The interpreter proved invaluable for the brother’s meeting.  Dutch learned that his parents had been killed by the Nazi’s and the family’s wealth had been confiscated.  The brother told them that upon his return to Germany, family friends had told him that prior to their execution, the parents were told that both boys had been captured and had been executed as deserters.

Dutch managed to convince his brother and was invited to spend a few days with him in his home.  Dutch and his brother were a real mess. The brother had landed in Spain and lived there for 30 years. He had learned to speak a really bad Spanish, but had returned to Germany some 20 years ahead of Dutch. Communication was practically non-existent between these brothers, but they talked constantly anyway. Several times throughout the day, these old men would grab each other in a bear hug and giggle like school girls . . . both talking up a storm and not understanding one word the other said.

A couple of years later, Dutch’s brother came to visit him in South Texas. I took the two brother’s fishing. It was a great day and a great experience. I loved watching them together and I laughed all day watching them try to communicate. I don’t know why, but Dutch’s English seemed even worse when his brother was here . . . and it was already so bad I could only get about one word out of five anyway.  We caught a lot of fish and those old guys laughed, ate, and hugged all day.

I moved away . . . and lost contact with Dutch.  A couple of years later while I was in town, I went by Dutch’s old house.  The lady who lived there didn’t know anything about what had become of Dutch.

That thing with Hitler really hurt a lot of people . . .



Stepping Down . . . to be able to Step up . . .

My favorite basketball team is the San Antonio Spurs (NBA) . . . my second favorite teams is whoever beats the L. A. Lakers!

I like the Spurs for a variety of reasons, some of which are:

Their game . . . they are a very solid team. They stick with the fundamentals and make them work, but they do have occasions when they show some flare . . . jazz it up some . . . and even show off a bit (Thank you, Manu!) They are the best defensive team in the NBA . . . but sometimes they do slack off a bit. Then, Pop cracks the whip, and they step back up.

Determination . . . They want to win every game, and their determination is obvious about 90% of the time.

 Explosiveness . . . They can make up a 20-point deficit in a few minutes when they get rolling. They can go on some great runs and make their opponent look like a high school team.

Shooting Ability . . . They are great shooters and more often than not are in the range of 55 – 60% in shooting. They shoot the 3 better than any team in the NBA, year after year. But they sometimes prove the old adage: “Live by the sword, and Die by the Sword.” Sometimes they just don’t hit the 3’s and it causes them to lose . . . simply because they continue shooting the 3, always convinced they will start to fall in any minute.

Integrity . . . I love the things that make them win games and always in line for a Championship . . . but I really love the things that make them Winners . . . on the court . . . and off the court. These guys are unlike any professional athletes anywhere in the world. There are never any negatives about any one of them; never a news report of a DUI, spousal abuse, any sexual scandals, or failure to meet obligations and pay taxes and other debts. These good guys are family men . . . and that do what is right. Of course, a bunch of that is Pop’s influence . . . but you can bet that a large measure of it is David Robinson’s legacy and his long-lasting influence. He is a great role model, and is a really good man. These guys are active in their community and are stars who truly give back (Silver and Black … Give Back). They do a great deal for charities.

I must confess I did worry about that integrity level when Dennis Rodman joined the team several years back. They really needed a rebounder and he was the best ever . . . and he was available. He was a terrific player . . . he just had a lot of baggage that caused him to be cut by a series of teams. It wasn’t ever really a problem with his on-court behavior . . . but he sure did a bunch of crazy things off-court.

 I know this is a rabbit trail, but since I have already started down it, I will go a bit further. Over the years, I did several seminars in Chicago. I always had those seminars at the Ambassador West Hotel on State Street . . . down by the Lake. It was one of only 6 “Grand Hotels” in the world at that time. It was truly a grand hotel; I loved that place.

On one occasion, I did a week-long (Monday – Friday) seminar there. It was at the time Rodman was playing for the Bulls.  Mid-week, the Hotel Manager came to see me during a break in the seminar and said that he needed to relocate me to another room, on a lower floor. I asked why and he replied, “We have a celebrity coming in and he demands the entire floor for himself. To compensate you, he will pick up the tab for your room and all your dining room charges for your entire stay. Our staff will move all of your belongings to your new room.” That blew me away! As I checked out on Friday afternoon I asked the clerk, “Are my charges for the week really covered?” He assured me they were and said, “Mr. Rodman always does this.” I asked if that was the Dennis Rodman who played for the Bulls. He said it was, indeed, and went on to say, “Frankly, I am always amazed that Management allows him to come back. The last time he stayed here, the police were called out several times, and his damage bill was over $200K.”

Amazingly, Rodman played for the Spurs for a while and the only incident I really ever heard about involved him having a motorcycle accident that kept him out of a few games. Whew

Sorry for the distraction; now, back to the issue of the Spur’s integrity.

 I recently heard about a behind-the-scenes incident that reflects the integrity of this great team and what it is made of . . . but it is not the sort of thing you read about in the newspaper; nevertheless, it is the stuff that leads to greatness.

The incident involves a young man named Cory Joseph. Joseph is the Spur’s first-round draft selection who had been assigned to the Spur’s D-league in Austin. He was selected by the Spurs after having played only one season at UT. But he had made the Big 12 All- Rookie team and caught the eyes of the Spur’s scouts and coaches.

Rather than having an inflated ego, Joseph knew he needed to improve his game before he could be effective at the next level of the game. In January, the day before the Spurs were to play the Mav’s, he got a call to come to San Antonio and suit up. The call every kid dreams about getting.

But in his heart he knew he wasn’t ready for that big step, and he knew going to San Antonio to sit on the bench wasn’t going to get him ready either. That brave and honest young man called Pop (you know he was really apprehensive) and said, “Coach, I am not ready, I need to stay here a while longer and get better.” 

Amazing . . . a 21-year-old kid . . . a first-round draft pick . . . playing in the D-League . . . having the integrity and character needed to pass up the glory and the money . . . in order to improve his game and prepare to better contribute to his team.  When asked about it, he simply said, “it wasn’t easy, but you just have to put your pride aside to get better.”

When Pop was asked about it, he said, “You always worry about the kid’s self-image and confidence, but in this case it was simply not an issue.”

Then in February, Tony Parker had an on-court accident and limped off the court with a badly sprained ankle. He would miss several weeks . . . at an important point in the season.

Once again, Pop called Joseph. This time he stepped up and answered the call, and he has not disappointing. In five starts, he has averaged 8.8 points, 2.6 assists, and has played 22 minutes per game, and he is getting better every game. He was terrific in the Thunder game and didn’t have a single turn-over!

Pop’s assessment: “He is just solid, and he plays good Defense. He is scrappy and aggressive and he’s doing exactly what we asked him to do.” That is high praise for a rookie from a coach of Pop’s caliber.

My assessment: That is the vision, sacrifice, integrity, and commitment that leads to greatness.  I believe the Spur’s future is pretty bright . . . if Mr. Joseph is an example of their draft selections. I would hate to ever see the Spurs lower the bar and select players like Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, and a number of other tattooed NBA wonders.

Good Job, Cory Joseph! Good job, Spurs! Go Spurs Go . . .


Sometimes, Things Do Work out Right . . .

Sometimes, when we survey the landscape of our lives, it just seems like things are not going to work out . . . we have all experienced this . . . it is part of life and goes with the life experience.

I am referring to that place where our liabilities out-distance our assets . . . our problems overwhelm our proficiencies . . . our past seems to out-shine our potential . . . and it just seems like things will not work out as we had planned and hoped.

An important truth about life is that sometimes things just don’t turn out as we had hoped . . . in spite of our best efforts . . .

Businesses go bankrupt . . . employees get laid off . . . people get sick . . . relationships end . . . children go astray . . . people get accused of things they did not do . . . and friends move away.  

And the most throbbing questions are, “What do you do when things happen? How do you hang in there when things don’t appear to be working out? How do you push forward when disappointment becomes your constant companion . . . when disenchantment becomes your song . . . when hope seems to be away on vacation? What do you do . . . when things just don’t seem to be working out?

 It is in such times that we need a real friend . . . a true friend . . . a strong friend . . . a friend we can go to who will love us and seek our best interest . . . a friend who will walk through the dark valley with us, comfort us, and helps us hang on and find our way; a friend who will stand in the gap for us and urge us forward.

I have just emerged from a terrible experience . . . and it seems that things are going to be ok.

My friend who has stood with me through dark, troubling, and stressful days is Jesus. It is one thing to read His promises to us . . . but it is another thing to actually see Him at work in our lives. He is an amazing friend!

When life hurts . . . we can turn to Him. He sees possibilities and potential when we only see trouble.  When life is confusion . . . we can turn to Him . . . He can bring order, direction, and purpose to life.

When it looks like it just ain’t gonna work out . . . we can throw ourselves on Him . . . and He will reveal some of His plans for our lives and provide us with the strength to accomplish it and press on.

Perhaps that is what the song-writer had learned that motivated him to take pen in hand and write the old song, “What a Friend we have in Jesus.”  I am very thankful that Jesus is my Friend! I really want Him to be glad to call me His friend too . . .  


Are you a Game-Changer?

On February 3, 2013, people gathered round TV’s to watch Super Bowl XLVII, being played in New Orleans. Everyone had selected the team he or she hoped would win the game. This Super Bowl had a new level of interest and fun . . . the head coaches were brothers. The teams playing were the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens.

The Baltimore Ravens quickly went up and at half-time led 21 to 6, leaving many to think the 49ers had not even shown up. After half time, the Ravens continued their march into the NFL history book with a 108 yard kick-off touchdown return by Jacoby Jones. That return extended the Raven’s lead 28 to 6.

Just as everyone began to think it was over for the 49ers, the unthinkable happened . . . the lights went out! For more than 30 minutes the play was suspended and players, coaches, and spectators sat in the dark, and folks watching by TV wondered what was going on.

After the power was restored and play resumed, it became obvious something had happened . . . things had changed . . . the momentum had shifted! By the end of the 3rd quarter the 49ers had trimmed the lead to 28 to 23, and a comeback looked very possible.

Many speculated that the power outage had been a game-changer.


Ultimately, the Ravens won the game 34 to 31.

It has been a month since, and we still don’t have a clear explanation why the lights went out . . . or if the event really had an impact on the game. But you can bet if the 49ers had won, odds-makers, critics, and pundits all over the world would have been in an uproar . . . declaring that the electric failure was the single event that had made the difference.

In truth, we don’t know if the power outage really had an impact on the game . . . in one way or the other, but we do know one thing that is certain about life is that every life can make a difference . . . every life can become a game changer. Every person can have a lasting impact on someone . . . or something . . . it is simply a question of how and in what way, and if the change is good or bad.

God constructed us in such a way that every single life can, indeed, make a difference. In fact, each of us have been impacted, changed, and influenced by a relative, a friend, a teacher, a parent, a spouse, or perhaps a neighbor. Hopefully, those who have impacted us have been people who loved us and cared enough to invest in our lives and their impact and influence produced good changes in us.

Are you a game-changer? Whose life are you helping to change? Is the change you are helping bring about in someone’s life a change that will be good for the person?  Or is it a change that will leave him or her scarred for life?

I have begun a new study of I Timothy. In chapter 1, some were discovered in the Church at Ephesus working hard on being game-changers . . . but tragically the changes they were working on making were changes that would hurt and confuse people. What they were teaching was based on myths and fables and far from Biblical truth. Some in Ephesus may have found their teachings profound . . . but their teachings left people empty, and provided no source of spiritual nourishment. Their teachings only led to speculation and debate . . .

The Apostle Paul wrote to timid young Timothy and encouraged him to get in the game and make a difference . . . to become a game-changer for the good of the Church. The people’s spiritual well-being depended on it . . . the wise man that he was, Paul knew that people simply cannot continue to do right, if their thinking is wrong and confused.


Public Education

My wife is a school teacher . . . she is also a student working on her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction. Public education is a topic of considerable interest and is discussed frequently in my home. We spend some time with her teacher friends and education is often discussed then, too. I read the papers and articles she writes for her classes and sends off to be considered for publication. I think an important part of marriage is to develop an interest in your spouse’s interests and be knowledgeable about them so that they can be discussed. I do that by reading her work, as well as her textbooks.

I also have a good friend, Bill Strong, who spent many years in education. Bill worked at many different levels in the educational food chain, including the University level. It is interesting that Bill’s field was psychology and he does not considered himself as an educator. He insists his work was aimed at trying to influence and trying to fix what he viewed as a broken system. He has a website named bstrongoneducation. Bill is a double PhD, and when we have lunch, he wants talks about public education. I am willing to listen to the thoughts of anyone with two PhD’s.

Honestly, my interest in public education sort of tends to come and go. Yet, there are certain times that I do have a greater interest in the subject. I just paid my real estate taxes across the State of Texas. A large part of the bill was for school taxes; thus, for the moment I am in the posture of having a greater interest in public education.

One thing I find of considerable interest is that there are a number of leaders in public education who believe, teach, lecture, publish articles, and publicly declare that the current system of public education is seriously broken and out-dated. Their claim is that the system perpetuates itself, resists change, and thus fails to meet the needs of today’s society. Many of those critics say that public education in the USA is falling behind that of other nations around the world and they have some facts and figures to support their claims.

I have been looking at the history of public education, and was surprised to learn that public education in the USA really wasn’t much until the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. In fact, in 1870 less that 50% of the children in the USA received any formal education at all. There were a few states that offered free education for children between the ages of 5 and 21, but the economic realities of that era prevented most kids from going to school. Most of them worked in mines, factories, or farms to help the family earn a living. At that time, only six states had compulsory education laws, and those laws only required school attendance a few weeks during the year.  As an example, Massachusetts was the leader in tightening those laws, and by 1890 all children living in Massachusetts between the ages of 6 and 10 were required to attend school at least 20 weeks during the year. But, it was soon discovered that those laws were easier enacted than enforced.

Despite resistance, acceptance of mandatory elementary education began to spread and by 1900 such laws were in place across most of the North and West – yet the South lagged behind. Even when the South did begin to follow suit, there was the issue of Jim Crow laws that negatively impacted them.

There were other issues as well. In the early 1900’s, only 20% of the public school teachers had a degree.

Between 1870 and 1900 only 4% of the children between 14 and 17 years of age were enrolled in school. Employers began making demands for a better educated work-force. Church leaders and modern liberals, concerned for the welfare of children, pushed for a strong education system. They insisted that an education was not only appropriate but was also an inalienable right for all children. Critics of child-labor practices jumped on board and demanded longer mandatory school years (e.g. children in school could not be pressed into service in the mines, factories, and farms).

As I look at public education, it seems to me . . . that one failing in the system today is that it’s being geared toward the notion that every student should go to college. I believe that notion is silly and only creates other problems. Such a notion sets the system up for failure (e.g. that will never happen in the real world), but even more damaging to society is its impact on many of the students under that system. A student who knows that he lacks the interest, drive, ability, ambition, and family encouragement to go to college feels like a failure at a time in his life when he needs to be confident; he forms an impression of his ability and limits himself through the life process by that impression.   

The reality of life is that only a percentage of public education students will go to college, or for that matter even need to go to college. Failure to recognize that reality and adjust to it can only result in the appearance of failure for the system and leave students ill prepared for life, and feeling bad about themselves.

I think by the 9th grade, the school system has recognized and identified the students who have the intellect, motivation, and discipline to be successful at the college level. Rather than trying to force the others into that mold, the system should focus on trying to prepare them for life with skills and things of interest to them. I think a school system should have a strong vocational program and offer classes such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical, welding, and metal smith, auto-mechanics, cosmetology, culinary arts, and office education to include computers and shorthand. Those are things many students would enjoy studying and do well with. Those classes would also help prepare them for employment.

A couple of examples:

#1.  I personally know a young guy who lived in assisted-housing and his family depended on food stamps to eat. He was not a very strong student and never particularly liked school. I doubted he would even graduate and figured by age 17 he would be a deck-hand on a shrimp boat.  Then, in his sophomore year, he was able to take a welding class. In that welding class it seems he had found direction and developed an interest. Actually, he spent every moment he could in the welding shop over the rest of his high school years. I believe that welding class kept him in school, and he did ultimately graduate. After high school, he joined the army and today he is doing well. He delights in getting to weld things in the motor pool and use his skill. Using a skill which most other soldiers don’t have makes him feel like he stands a little taller within the group.  Since joining the army, he has been able to come home for a couple of visits. I have been surprised on those visits that he has actually spent more time with his welding teacher than he has with his parents . . . but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by that . . . all things considered.

#2. Last week I spent the day with a now-retired “Progressive Farmer” (I think the term means he did well financially while farming). This man and his wife have a beautiful home which is well decorated. The man told me about the 9’ tall and wall-length entertainment center in the family room. He beamed as he told me that the entertainment center (a real work of art) had been built by his grandson.  I was impressed and asked how the grandson had become such a gifted cabinet maker, seeing as how he grew up in a family of farmers. He laughed and said that he grandson had taken a wood-working class in high school and really enjoyed it. When it came time for the grandson to graduate, he announced that he did not want to go to college and that he did not want to work on the farm. When asked what he would do he simply said, “I don’t know.”  His wise Grandfather (who just happened to be the President of the School Board), put his arm around the boy’s shoulders and said, “Find something you enjoy and do it.” The young graduate soon went to work in a cabinet shop and a few years later had become a master cabinet-maker. I would argue (1) that being a master cabinet maker is an honorable vocation; (2) that a happy cabinet maker is better off than being an embarrassed, unhappy college dropout; and (3) the school district did a good thing in offering that wood-working class.

It just seems to me . . . these two young men found some direction for their lives in a vocational program  . . . and there ought to be more of those available. It seems unfortunate to me to require a future carpenter, plumber, electrician, or auto mechanic to sit in a Chemistry class along with other students who will ultimately become Doctors, Pharmacist, or Chemists and have to struggle along, all the while feeling inferior because he just doesn’t get it. The reality is that he would do much better in a vocational class developing skills and interest in what may well become his trade . . . one day, he just might build a house for the Doctor, or he may repair his Mercedes.  

That is how a society works, and it is how a society’s education system ought to work.

History is full of stories of mediocre students who discovered their talent in a music class, an art class, an athletic program, a drama class, or a vocational program. Many of them became brilliant and some even became famous!

The objective should never be to mold students into something they simply are not designed to be . . . the objective should be to assist the student in developing into his or her potential, calling, and place in life. Just imagine the possibilities . . . of a generation who collectively said, “I believe that I can . . .” What a change that would be for a Nation that currently has 50% of its citizens frustrated, without direction, and living on a food-stamp program . . . those citizens who are now adults and the product of a misdirected educational system!