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Your Views: Recess lessons teach us how to handle adversity
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Technicians kept testing the fire alarm and interrupting our quiet afternoons. Yet, overall, I was impressed with the newest addition to our local hospital. The view from the fifth floor has an unparalleled view of the mountains.

The view is worth the visit, but I didn't discover this view by taking the open house tour. My wife was having major surgery, and I was there for her. She received wonderful care, and I was so impressed with her faith and poise. She coped with whatever she had to cope with and returned to work in just a few days.

I was truly amazed and certain that her employers realized how lucky they were to have such a dedicated employee. I cannot begin to describe how shocked I was to learn that her position had been eliminated within days of her return. This brutal economic slowdown is affecting so many people and the economy seems to be spinning out of control.

I remember my dad telling me that this world just seems to be spinning faster and faster and only those who knew how to handle change would thrive. He taught me about change by relating it to something I knew.

He reminded me about recess and the beast of a machine that we had on our playground. It was open in the middle and only had a small seating area next to the outside. It was possible for a few guys to crawl into that middle area and spin that old merry go round completely out of control. If you were lucky, you held onto one of the support bars and outlasted those guys in the middle. If your luck changed, you slipped off the bars and spent part of the ride suspended in the air. The truly unfortunate found themselves sliding across the ground a little scratched up and feeling the pain.

I was very young when my dad pointed out this life lesson. As I grew up, he would remind me of it upon occasion. He taught me to look for understanding and eventually wisdom would follow.

Last year, my youngest son informed me that his new principal had eliminated recess. I explained to him that some decisions are incredibly short-sighted. I remember recess teaching me the most valuable lesson that I ever learned in school. When times are tough, I'll hang on. When times are bad, I'll hang on with everything I've got. When I've experienced loss, I'll get up, brush myself off and go on.

My dad is the greatest teacher that I have ever met. He can take everyday life and find meaningful, valuable life lessons. For him, all of life is an invitation to learn. Surely the hallmark of being a great dad is taking the time to invest in the future. Happy Father's Day.

Mickey Maddox

Businesses, individuals should display flag properly
On May 25, we celebrated Memorial Day. During our celebration we had a parade here in Gainesville. It was a grand event with military, emergency personnel, law enforcement and civilians.

Where I was standing along the parade route, I saw two U.S. flags that were not properly displayed. Two banks had their flags at full-staff. A civilian took it upon himself to lower one flag to half-staff. The other flag remained unchanged.

Both of these banks are part of our federal government (FDIC) system. I hope they will observe Memorial Day 2010 with the proper display of our flag.

\On Memorial Day, the U.S. flag is to be raised to full-staff when placing the flag on the pole for a new day of display at about 6 a.m. After that, the flag is to be lowered to half-staff and stay that way until noon, when it is raised back to full-staff.

This should be observed by all businesses and private residential property owners and government offices.

By the flag being displayed wrongly, are we disrespecting our veterans who have given all? I have served 22 years in the U.S. Army and I made many sacrifices being away from home stationed overseas on holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. If you have never sacrificed for your country and never lived outside of this area, you do not know what it means to a veteran to have his or her flag being disrespected. Your freedom and liberty came with a price.

Who in Gainesville business or government is responsible for seeing that our flag is properly displayed? Would the chamber, mayor or federal judge be in charge?

David M. Hall
U.S. Army retired, Gainesville