The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

March 9, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Saturday, March 9, 2013


Choice of clothes can influence behavior

Clothes do not make the man any more than the man makes the clothes. The man has already decided to make the clothes in China or Taiwan. That way the man makes more money, but that is not my point.

I saw in the Charleston Daily Mail that a bar is posting a dress code to deter a rougher crowd. Scott Miller, the owner of Bar 101 on Capitol Street, says, “I think the way you dress influences the way you act.” I also see our football and basketball coaches celebrated for putting their kids in a shirt and tie for road games. I suppose they see value in the discipline that will translate into making winning more likely.

We followed the county dress code in the schools where I was the principal. There were a few awkward moments like when Mary Ann Bozeman became the self-proclaimed hoochie mama dress dance boss (Her words not mine). Betty Hughes told me not to handle cleavage, that she would do it. That seemed like very sound advice.

So what is my point? We must have standards. Without standards we do not have standards. Yes, I do see the danger in focusing on the small things over the big things, but the small things matter. There are no small things. I read an old book once that said before a man would be trusted with big things he would have to be trusted with small things. I think that is true.

There is far more danger in having no standards than trying to set a standard. Compare what we were with what we are. Think about what we will be if we do not try to be better than we are.

When I retire, I think I will burn every tie I own but one. That one is my Winnie the Pooh tie. It has sentimental value. Until then I plan to suit up on a regular basis for work. That suit will not overcome every obstacle to helping my young’uns, but it may give me a little edge. A lotta littles make a big. Considering all the challenges we face in education, I need every edge I can get.

As a basketball coach I was encouraged to look for every edge I could find. It seems to me I should be able to do the same thing for math, English, science, social studies, and welding class. I’ll just have to remember not to suit up when I weld.

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