<![CDATA[Margie Harding - Home]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:59:16 -0700Weebly<![CDATA["I Like When People Die"]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:43:18 GMThttp://margieharding.com/home/i-like-when-people-diePicture
​            I heard the most peculiar comment recently, and I can’t get it out of my mind!  “I like when people die,” said an acquaintance, after attending a funeral.  “That’s the time when their virtues, kindness, personality and anything of worth is extolled and lauded.”
            The comment caught me off guard, but I remember watching a TV show recently, where this kind of thing happened.  The patriarch died, but during his fairly short lifetime, he was regarded with disdain, contempt and even condescension.  His wealth was discovered after he passed away, and suddenly all his “failings” were forgotten and forgiven!
            But even when no “material reason” is noted by the grieving community, people are often much more generous with their kind thoughts and comments, while petty quarrels, disagreements and even flaws are defended.  Odd behavior or even peculiar habits are brushed off, while humor is found in their unique personalities.
            As I considered the statement further, I found in an odd kind of way, she was right.  Funerals bring people together to grieve.  Love for one another overflows, differences between siblings or other family members are often set to rest (at least temporarily), and the best part about the person who has passed, is remembered.
            I’m not sure I’d go so far to say, “I like when people die,” but I do enjoy the much more pleasant behavior of those who attend the funeral.  The sad thing is, however, that rather than waiting until a person has passed to extend kindness and love to him/her or others, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could see past our personal smoke screens and extend the kind words and feelings when the person is with us?
            I’ve seen people with huge regrets when a death comes suddenly and they are unable to share with the person lost how much they cared about them.  Sometimes words are spoken in anger and there is never the opportunity to apologize, because life was snatched away without warning.
            I can’t help but think about children/teens who are angry with their parents and say awful things to them before stomping out of the house.  Life has a way of ending on short notice—on both sides – the parent or the teen.  Or the reverse, where an angry, broken parent says words they later regret, but due to circumstances they could never have imagined, they can never ask forgiveness.
            This scenario is not limited to parents and children, but spouses and friends.  We are none promised one more single breath.   Therefore, each word spoken, behavior exhibited or comment thought should be with the expectation, it could be the last time we are able to share our heart. 
            How would your world change if you were denied the chance to ask forgiveness, share your heart, a hug, kindness, love, pride, or any other unique pleasantry with someone you love?  Would it grieve your heart, for the rest of your life, if the one you love was snatched away without a moment’s notice and you were left with the reality forgiveness was needed or a relationship in some way needed mending?

<![CDATA[A Porch Perspective]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 18:25:13 GMThttp://margieharding.com/home/a-porch-perspectivePicture
    “I love that porch,” I tell my husband for the hundredth time, as we pass by a house we see often.

     “I know! I know!” he responds laughing at me.  

      And then I’ll see another and then repeat myself.  Or the opposite and comment with, “That house would look so much better with a porch!”

      I remember as a child, being at the house of one of my aunt’s, who had a screened in porch across the front.  There were several rockers, along with several hard backed chairs.  One of the chairs was reserved for her father-in-law who lived with them.  He’d spend hours in his chair reading his newspaper while having a fly swatter handy, to swat any flying critters that came along to pester him.  

    We children would play or follow this revered man’s lead, and sit and read.  What was even more fun was on those days when it rained — or better yet — stormed!  What joy of being “out in the rain” but safely away from getting wet!   I loved the sound of the crickets nearby or the croaking of the frogs from the pond down the way, or the lightening bugs that blinked brightly, as dusk fell on the area.  

    I haven’t spent much time on a porch like that since my childhood, but those memories remain….  and I dream!  We’ve had porches, certainly, but they were much smaller than the one at my aunt’s house and weren’t screened.  This allowed for those pesky flies, or mosquitoes, in the evening, to spoil time spent outdoors.  

    Still there’s another story, I can’t claim as mine, but fits well here.  It’s about a little boy who had a bad temper.  Little things would make him angry and he was quick to “vent.”  Finally the little boy’s dad gave him a bag of nails and told him whenever he lost his temper, to take one of the nails and hammer it in a board at the end and bottom of the porch.  

    The very first day the little boy had driven 28 nails into the porch!  As time passed, the number of nails being hammered into the board every day decreased.  The day came when they boy never once lost his temper!  The father instructed the boy to remove all the nails he had hammered in.  After finishing, the boy reflected on how different the board looked with all the nail holes.  The wise father agreed and said, "this board will never be the same.  Each nail left a scar.  The same is true when words are spoken in anger.  Those words leave a scar that can never be removed." 

    This story gives a whole new meaning to porches!  I am reminded how important it is to feel and accept the tranquility, and safety of sitting on a porch during a thunderstorm, or even protection from the hot summer sun.  But it is also a reminder that our behaviors, whether on a porch, in our homes, in our workplace or visiting with friends, neighbors or strangers, has the potential to build up or tear down and leave scars.  

    I encourage you to reflect on your perspective of porches.  Share a memory of a special time, or something that makes porches unique.

<![CDATA[A Balanced Life]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 02:00:06 GMThttp://margieharding.com/home/a-balanced-lifePicture
          I was talking with a friend recently about how, we as a culture, have the mentality that we have to have ‘more’ of everything!  Most families have a minimum of two cars, closets full of clothes, dozens of pairs of shoes, all the latest appliances and newest gadgets, every new video game (and the apparatus needed to operate it), all the newest videos and books, new cell phones as trends demand, and new furniture along with a garage full, to over flowing, of other ‘stuff’!  So massive are the ‘things’ we accumulate, we have to store part of it in storage units.  Studies indicate self-storage facilities have become a $22-billion dollar a year enterprise.

            We are driven to work as many hours as possible to have the money to buy all these “things,” along with bigger houses and even more things!  All this work is to attain what is known as “the good life.”  But I wonder, are we really?

            When we work ourselves into oblivion, is that good?  We are so caught up in making the next sale, getting more hours or making the biggest deal, we lose sight of what is important.  My friend and I were discussing a documentary called “The Minimalist” which he had watched.  He explained the concept is to live on the least possible, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  The documentary even includes topics like personal growth and relationships.

           We all face triumphs and tragedies, and the pioneers across the country were no different.  Generations past lived as indentured servants, felt great worry and fear as their loved ones left another country to come to the US, or sons left for a great Civil War that nearly ripped our nation apart.  Each of these actions was to further the “good life” for the generations to come.  Yet, history shows generations past and even our founding fathers relied heavily on their faith.  Documents indicate their fundamental belief in God.   

            Before the culture of enormous technology, most people read the Bible, largely because it was the ‘Literature’ available.  Video games, TV shows, internet and other such diversions were not yet invented, so they didn’t have those kinds of distractions.

            It’s all about having a balanced life.  When we get so involved in ‘getting to the top’ and focusing on how many material ‘things’ we can accumulate, we lose sight of what is important.  We risk our relationships with our families and ourselves, which includes quiet time and activities for our personal well-being; and strengthening our faith.

            There are times we are so focused on getting out of the house on time in the morning, we put off quiet time to grow and build our belief system.  When we are finally back home, domestic duties or other responsibilities press in and we put off stopping to take time for renewal again.  When we finally make it to bed at night, we are so tired, we are asleep as soon as our head hits the pillow!  This suggests our life may not be balanced. 

            I encourage you to re-evaluate your life.  Is it time to consider a less cluttered life that will likely offer more balance and happiness?

<![CDATA[Music, Music, Music!]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 20:28:22 GMThttp://margieharding.com/home/music-music-musicPicture
​            Music plays an important role in our lives.  This is undeniable considering the amount of music performers around the country (or world!), radio stations available, CD's that can be purchased or even the existing number of satellite stations that carry specific music genres, as well.  As I reflected on the different kinds of music over the last five decades or so, I was hit with some nostalgia, as I found myself missing some of the music that fed my formative years!
            If a person reflects on ‘50’s music, most will gravitate to stars like Frankie Avalon, The Big Bopper, The Platters, or Bobby Darin.  But it was Elvis who often tops the list, which is noted by the single use of his first name.  Of course, no one can forget Dick Clark and the American Bandstand show, that charted the rise and fall of all the popular songs of the era.  These were feel good, dancing songs, sad ballads or tender love songs.
            The 60’s brought in pop, ---even “bubblegum rock”-- as the rock and roll sounds of the 50's continued.  It was a time of rebellion in the United States, and around the world as the Viet Nam war drug on.  The Beatles and Rolling Stones emerged and rocked our world!  Music was changing.  Lyrics voiced opinions of what was happening in our world, but on the flip side, there were those who sang songs without any heavy message like the Beach Boys and The Monkees.
            During the 70’s, hard rock, and heavy metal took the front seat of the music world, which veered me into the direction of Country music, with a touch of Southern Rock and an even gentler touch of what was known as “soft rock.”  Dolly Parton, Ronnie Milsap, Loretta Lynn, George Jones and Tammy Wynette became the staple of my musical interest.  Later it was Alan Jackson and Vince Gill among others.  The lyrics told stories I could sing along with, while the melody delighted my ears.
            Along with country music, my other favorites included classical music which is great study and writing music, or even Christmas songs, which are my favorite any time of year!  These are the sounds which drew me into their world, keeping me spellbound and entertained for hours.
            Music continued to change as hard rock and heavy metal surged upward to become more and more dark with lyrics that chilled to the bone.  Changes continued even in the Country world, to where “Country” as we knew it in the ‘70’s is nearly unrecognizable in our music today.  The “stars” keep changing as they desire to stay “fresh” and “new,” changing the dynamics in every genre.
            Despite the various musical revolutions, clearly, music is still important, even when we don’t agree with the changes.  It defines us; our attitudes, perspective on our lives and the people who fill our world.  It molds our opinions, while we are entertained by the sounds that work around the lyrics. My favorite now, is Southern Gospel.  It is here I find inspiration, determination and courage to do things right, and deal with a world lost in the desire for more money and material goods with an economic crash that is sure to happen.

           I still enjoy classical, the '50's, occasional '60s, and a few '70's songs, as I have grown into the woman I have become.  Music makes a difference.  No doubt, I've missed a genre or two of music of which I wasn't enamored, or just not as familiar.  As you reflect on your personal preferences, have they changed from when you were young?  How are they different from those of your children?  Do you believe music changes our perspective of how we see the world?  Share your thoughts.

<![CDATA[Not Always Used For Good]]>Sun, 02 Jul 2017 20:12:32 GMThttp://margieharding.com/home/not-always-used-for-goodPicture
            As I reflect on our news media and culture of our world I am amazed at how we, here in the United States, seem to push the letter of the law regarding our “freedoms” to the utmost corners of the envelope.  There are all kinds of stories in the news about the rights of people to be able to say what they want, to whomever they want and even to the slant they want, to make a point.
            I’m not opposed to this. It’s a good thing and our Founding Fathers included this right as a law within the Bill of Rights.  I wonder, however, if they realized the depth and length people would take this gift.  It isn’t always done to the people’s good.
            Delaware recently voted to allow for abortions to be carried out legally.  While it’s legal to abort a perfectly viable unborn child, I also have the right to say how absolutely horrible I believe this law is.  I am a woman and value my rights, but for me, in this case, it’s not about me and my rights…..it’s about the little person who has no voice.  This small, live baby doesn’t get the chance to be born and grow into the person he was meant to be.  His life was stolen because the law says it’s okay.
            There are plenty of other points within our media and political system with which I completely disagree, and I can use my ‘political voice’ to share just how I feel about it.  Usually I stand quiet, but my point is, I have the right to voice my opinion.
            This is not true throughout our world.  We are a unique nation where the people have a voice (at least in theory) who can share that voice with those in leadership roles.  This is a remarkable gift many who choose to decry the wonders of our country, forget about. 
            We are far from perfect.  We make mistakes; and that includes everyone!  Each person in leadership roles, as well as, those who don’t, have an opinion about what is going on around them.  We are given the right to voice those opinions, even if they aren’t the same as our neighbor.  Are they right?  Maybe; maybe not.  But it’s our opinion!  Sharing that opinion without fear is a gift!  It is a freedom we often forget we have because it’s our lifestyle! 
            Those in leadership positions, however, do carry a heavier burden than those who are not in office.  Their decisions, based on their opinions (and in theory, their constituents) affect not only themselves but other people, whether we agree or not.  Even if it’s a bad decision (and sometimes it is), if it goes into law, we must obey.  But, we have the right to say it’s a bad choice and then use the legal means available, to try to change the vote.
            Are we always successful?  No.  Not even close!  But we have to try.  That’s my point.  When we disagree with a law that’s been enacted, we have the right and the freedom to attempt to change things.  I encourage you to search your conscience and your heart.  Do you see laws being enacted with which you disagree?  How do you respond?  Do you use your “freedom” as a Unites States citizen, to voice your opinion and then attempt to change something, if it’s not a good policy?

<![CDATA[Against Amazing Odds]]>Tue, 27 Jun 2017 19:23:05 GMThttp://margieharding.com/home/against-amazing-oddsPicture
​            I was reading recently, the story of Adolf Marx (also known as Arthur Marx), but greater known as Harpo Marx.  I was struck by how he rose above the bullying he endured as a child because he was Jew, had hardly any formal education, worked as a very young man to help his family, and finally rising above all the adversity, to find a unique place for himself within the family’s theater performances.  The story goes that during a production in Illinois, which was largely performed “ad-lib,” Harpo pantomimed his part.  A critic who reviewed the show commented the pantomime was awesome which was “ruined” whenever the young man spoke!  The silent routine was born!
            But this isn’t the only thing that formed and molded him into the person he would become.  Receiving a harp from his mother, Harpo set about learning how to play.  No one he knew, knew how to play the instrument, so after observing a picture of an angel holding one, he attempted to tune it himself, using a single basic note and working from there.  Years later he discovered he had not tuned it correctly.  He hired experienced musicians to teach him how to play the harp accurately, but instead of perfecting his craft in the accepted way, his style and music fascinated his teachers.  His approach, elegance and personal manner was actually preferred in movie performances when he played the harp.
            This story is remarkable. How many of us give up when we are up against insurmountable odds----  or even lightly challenging obstacles?  We choose to get angry, kick and scream, pound our fists and then walk away defeated!
            Life is full of challenges.  We all have them, that’s why there are experts!  People are trained in all sorts of professions, from financial, automotive, sewing, cooking, bookkeeping, farming, engineering, medicine, teaching and on and on with a nearly inexhaustible list!  Still, we are left to face tough challenges, those outside our home or immediate circle, don’t necessarily know anything about.
            As Harpo experienced in elementary school, there is bullying and that problem seems no better today than it was decades ago.  The only criteria is hatred toward someone’s size, faith, financial status, ethnicity, race or even intelligence (or lack of!)  The hatred boils over into meanness and aggression, causing some children to give up and commit suicide!  How positively tragic!  Other family’s hide secrets of abuse, or molestation; a family member in jail, huge medical issues, or a hundred other things!
            It’s how we deal with all these ‘challenges’ that matter.  I’m not suggesting we need to shrug them off and ignore what life throws at us.  But be inspired by the ‘Harpo Marx’s’ of the world.  We can't give up or give in when we are passionate about what we believe.  Sometimes it requires taking an alternate route to get where we are going, acquiring a new degree, learning a new trade, asking for help, walking away from a bad situation, taking the road less traveled, or other creative options, while stepping away from ourselves and seeing the whole picture.
            It’s not easy.  But it can be done and we can play “our” harp and make unique beautiful music right where we are.  Fascinate those around you with your resiliency.  Make your mark and follow your path, despite the odds.  You can do it!  I believe in you!

<![CDATA[Creating A Sustainable Life On Mars]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 16:22:20 GMThttp://margieharding.com/home/creating-a-sustainable-life-on-marsPicture
     We’ve been hearing for years about the over population problem the United States will likely be facing over the next decade or two.  What is interesting is how varied the population is from state to state, or even how populated the cities are, compared to outlying areas.  The cities are so congested, it causes crime to be high, parking spaces low, with homeless people living in hovels, garbage visible on the streets, poor air quality, along with concrete or asphalt everywhere with limited yard space.
            One of the options that has people talking, is creating a living environment on Mars.  I am not scientifically savvy and this very idea frightens me.  But according to an article I read, “Terraforming of Mars,” scientists believe they have the potential ability to work out the problems  through artificial means, so this might be a viable solution to overpopulation.
        There are lots of issues with the adventure of human colonization outside the atmosphere that currently sustains us.  Some of the challenges would include tapping into the water scientists are certain exists on Mars, and garnering required energy from the Solar System and other natural resources.  The low gravity found on Mars creates problems for retaining proper atmospheric pressure compatible for humans.  Solar radiation and space weather are more difficulties; yet there are those who believe the day will come when Mars could potentially be supportive of human occupants.
         The very idea of something so dramatic boggles my very un-scientific mind!  Of course, I’m sure the same thing was said when Thomas Edison introduced electricity, when the Wright Brothers proclaimed they would have a flying machine, and the computer gurus who insisted even ordinary families across the world would have a computer in their home.
        When I was a child, I remember a TV show called ‘The Jetson’s.”  It was a “comic strip” type of show where a family, including children and a dog, along with their robot who took care of the house, lived in outer space.  They traveled in space machines to and from work, and wherever else they needed to go.  That was fantasy; pure fantasy.  But here we are, decades later considering the possibility of a viable community on another planet.  Is it still fantasy?
         Our earth is placed in the solar system at the perfect degrees from the sun so we are not ‘over heated’ (even though there are days when some would disagree—especially when the humidity is very high, making the heat index intense!), and set so cooling can come to ease the heat of the day, at night.  Weather phenomenon happens all the time, but not where we have to create an artificial atmosphere of usable air for us to breathe.  Our soil is conducive to plant growth for both human and animal consumption and the oceans are teaming with aquatic animal life just right for their viability. 
         Who are we, mere humans, to think we have right, even if we have the ability, to create another habitat suitable for human sustainability on another planet?  Perhaps I am archaic, but I shudder at the thought, even though I have no issue with space exploration.  I realize that sounds like a contradiction since, my very un-scientific mind, has no idea what can be gained by doing so. 
         How do you feel about the possibility of creating a ‘world’ on another planet where humans can live productively?  Do you believe it is ethical?  In your view, is it even a likely scenario?

<![CDATA[Good Books Are Forever Friends]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 20:50:23 GMThttp://margieharding.com/home/good-books-are-forever-friendsPicture
​My son said once, “Everyone should have a good library.”  I’ve always agreed with this concept and love collecting books.  I have a variety of pleasure reading books, many classics, educational (I told my kids when they were in college, I didn’t want them to sell back their books!  I wanted to study!) writing books, encyclopedias, inspirational, and those I consider my favorites I read again and again.
Our family recently did some “room switching” and I found myself unloading all the books from the bookshelves in my den, to move them to another room.  I was astounded first, at the amount of books I own, and second, how quickly weight gets beyond my lifting, in boxes filled with books.
But as I re-placed my books on the shelves, each one had a peculiar way of drawing me into their company!  They are like my forever friends who are warm and comfortable no matter how long between visits.  My books are happy when I open their covers and sit down to visit a while.  They bring comfort, adventure, education, inspiration and a sense of companionship. 
I admit I don’t read nearly as much as I’d like…..at least in the sense of opening a book and sitting for any significant time span.  I read in fits and spurts, much like I write.  Much of what I read is either research or ‘how-to!”  Sometimes, however, I just need to remove myself from the daily grind, and busy schedule and allow myself to journey into another place, while joining the heart of the protagonist in the story. 
Books are a place of adventure without ever leaving my room.  To ride a train, or hot air balloon, experience a town in the Old West before it became “civilized” is invigorating and stimulating, when my own nature is afraid.  It’s even safe to say, after reading through a new adventure, it often raises the interest so that I contemplate experiencing something different, in spite of my fear.
Even as a little girl, I remember my favorite stories being about the pioneers and settling in an unknown land.  When I imagine what it might have been like to cross the country in a covered wagon, facing all the dangers from the elements, crossing rivers, foraging for food and yet keeping my sanity, it frightens me to the core, while at the same time, exhilarates me!  It is in books like these I can find encouragement and inspiration to face my fears, even if it has nothing to do with the actual content of the book. 
When reading a ‘how-to’ book I am grateful for the knowledge and help someone else was willing to put in print that I might learn and here again, face my fears. Learning should be a lifetime journey and books are an invaluable source.  They are non-judgmental when I fail, and allow me to pick them up and read them again. 
Books are always ready to reveal their wealth and allow my mind to wander where it will, with the descriptions given between their covers.  It’s up to me to choose to invite them into my world, just like I invite any human friend to share time with me.  
I encourage you, to choose to read a book!  Find an old friend, visit a while and be exhilarated, inspired or educated. 

<![CDATA[People Talk]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 20:14:22 GMThttp://margieharding.com/home/people-talkPicture
         I heard the story about a woman who had committed to baking a cake for her church fund raiser.  She forgot about it until the last minute and in haste found a cake mix in the cupboard to bake while doing other things.  When she went to check on the cake, it flopped.  Not having time to bake another cake she improvised and placed a roll of toilet paper into the center of the cake, put icing on it, was delighted with how it looked, and considered her effort finished! 

            Before dropping off the cake, she contacted her daughter to arrive at the fund raiser as soon as it opened, purchase the cake and bring it home. The daughter complied, but to her horror discovered she wasn’t first.  The cake had already been purchased!  Mortified she called her mom, who was horrified about the consequences of her “quick fix.” 

            The next few days the woman worried about the cake.  She agonized over what others would think, distressed and tormented over the likely ridicule, and conversations certain her friends would have over the ‘event.’  Sleep eluded her as the demons in her mind shouted demeaning phrases.

            As fate would have it, she was obliged to attend another church function where the hostess had more than once been unkind and reminded those around her of the status she held in the community.  The meal and company, however, was wonderful until to her horror, the cake she “created” was offered for dessert.  She got ready to explain her “creative ability” when another person commented on how beautiful it looked.  Before she could respond, the hostess gleaming with delight, said proudly, “Thanks!  I made it myself!” 

            We all have situations where we “improvise” and later regret our actions.   We then, like the lady in the anecdote, worry about the consequences.  We are concerned about what others think, afraid of the consequences if we get ‘found out,’ wonder how we’ll ever get past the embarrassment, and kick ourselves for not doing things right the first time!

            I had a situation similar to this, yet radically different.  I ran into a high school friend I hadn’t seen in years.  We were chatting in a store she worked when a lady walked up to us, clearly agitated and said, “Can you help me? I’ve been waiting long enough.  I know you (looking at me) saw me.”  I felt horrible.  I honestly hadn’t realized I even saw her or that she was waiting to be ‘served.’  I apologized and left.  Later I sent another message of apology. 

            I wondered if my friend thought I was a horrible person!  Certainly, the customer in the store did.  It bothered me for days, even though my friend said it was not an issue and not to give it any more thought.

            It’s human nature to wonder what other people think.  What makes this worse is when we have inadvertently (or deliberately) done something out of the ordinary or embarrassing!  When we’ve done something we’d rather not admit, and then get ‘found out’ – or think we’ve been found out, our stress level can get crazy!  This can even apply when we are wrestling with our choices, sometimes even down to what we are wearing or our latest hair cut!

            I encourage you to admit when you’ve made a mistake.  It happens to everyone.  But I also urge you understand that people are going to talk, speculate and even misinterpret!  Be yourself and let it go!  You are created uniquely you!  That makes you special and if that is going to make someone "talk," rather than looking at it as a bad thing, consider it a chance to give someone the opportunity to use their creative devices and imagination.   Perhaps your impact will be hugely positive rather than something unpleasant!

<![CDATA[Cursive--An Ancient Skill No Longer Necessary?]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 20:14:10 GMThttp://margieharding.com/home/cursive-an-ancient-skill-no-longer-necessary
​            I watch while my first-grade granddaughter slowly and deliberately copies the words from her cursive lesson.  It isn’t her favorite subject, but she does it well.  Her sister, in third grade does a remarkable job and over the past months has become fairly proficient in her technique.  As I marvel at their progress, I remember my own efforts when learning cursive in early elementary school.  There were some letters I struggled to write correctly.  Looking at my handwriting style now, it’s legible and some would say neat, even though I don’t slant the letters as taught, so many years ago. 
            A young mother recently posted a question on Facebook open to all teachers about why schools are deleting the lessons of cursive from our children’s education.  It’s a valid question.  Some responders were surprised to learn it was no longer being taught, but offered the idea to teach it at home if they felt the need for their child to learn it. 
            Our culture is changing.  One person who commented, was a student who changed school systems after moving to another county.  Her previous school used--even required, cursive.  In her new county, she had to re-write a paper and remove the cursive style of writing before it would be accepted.  Another person commented that her teenage daughter had to sign a legal form for a driving permit and signing her name, left her horribly embarrassed, because the writing looked like that of a pre-kindergartener. 
          One person went so far to say in an article, written for the Washington Post in April 2013, that cursive has become as “ foreign as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.”  That’s quite the statement!  But as technology continues to ramp forward, and students bring iPad’s, computers, iPhones and other technological equipment into the classroom (this is especially apparent in the college setting) hand writing as we know it, is changing!
         The loss of this skill is huge!  There are historical documents, those who do not learn cursive will never be able to read!  They can certainly resort to the computer to read what the documents contain, but they can never actually read the penned manuscripts.  That may sound petty, but consider the weight of the documents:  The Declaration of Independence and census records; Lincolns’ Gettysburg Address; Lewis and Clark’s Journals; a letter from Queen Elizabeth to President Eisenhower, or one from Elvis to President Nixon.  The letters you may think irrelevant, but they are history!
         Perhaps learning to write in cursive does seem like too much to learn to our young people!  But when you begin taking away those things that develop motor skills and even patience and discipline, a person can’t help but ask, what’s next?  We already don’t teach Home Economics in school anymore.  Why should we?  Anyone can go to the store and buy food readymade; simply throw it in the oven or microwave.  
        My point is this.  Perhaps those who fight so hard for removing cursive from the curriculum because typing on the computer has become the “new normal” in our lives are right, but only to a degree.  There is still something to be said for learning the “art” of cursive writing.  It not only carries on tradition, but it helps define who we are; teaching discipline and patience----and of course, we need it to write our signature.   
         How do you feel about children learning cursive in our schools?  Do you think it’s a valuable and viable skill or is it an ancient tradition no longer needed?