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Kind, Necessary, Truthful

Mike Vidakovich
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Mike Vidakovich
ALL |

K.N.T.

I am still learning from teachers, each and every day.

I probably learn more from them than their students do because I pay more attention.

I’ve been surrounded by teachers my entire life, whether it be family members, as a student or working alongside of them as a colleague.

I wish I would have taken more time on this life’s journey to drink in every ounce of wisdom these wonderful people had for me.

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Many times, when I was younger, I simply chose not to listen.

Now that I’m old, I listen more. Much more.

There’s a third-grade teacher I know. She’s a good one.

When I’m in her class, I notice that the little brush fires that often accompany the social circles of the elementary child never get the added fuel needed for growth when she asks the combatants a simple question, “KNT?”

She is wondering out loud if what they are doing, or saying, is kind, necessary and truthful.

Her query elicits a dropping of the eyes to the floor, a noticeable drooping of the shoulders, and a sideways shake of the head. An admission by the parties involved that, no, it’s not a situation that warrants a K, an N or a T.

Impressed by what I was observing, I thought the letters KNT would be perfect for the lettered class, PE, to teach.

It worked well with the younger kids, but was met with indifference to the “are you serious?” glares from the older set. Dishonest play was almost entirely eliminated in the games involving the little ones, while the oldsters would still claim that they didn’t feel a thing when the ball would hit them squarely between the shoulder blades in a spirited game of dodge ball or human pinball.

Hmmm.

It must be a natural occurrence that, as we progress (or regress) in life, a wee bit of dishonesty, self-importance and general unsportsmanlike conduct creeps into our persona.

It shouldn’t be surprising. We see it every day in the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL or any other letters you want to string together that represent a professional sports league.

Wouldn’t it be great if the New York Knicks coach would say “KNT” to Carmelo Anthony the next time he whines at the officials and gets a technical foul for not getting the desired whistle and a free trip to the foul line?

How fun would it be if the new Rockies manager would ask “KNT” to his players as they were unabashedly spitting tobacco and sunflower seeds all over everything in plain sight of youth baseball players viewing on TV or at the ballpark?

A “KNT” would be the order of the day in all professional hockey games. Maybe it would stop the headhunting and gorilla-like play that takes away from these talented athletes. It’s more fun to watch the little Grizzly pee wee players practice at the Glenwood Springs Community Center rink. They just skate, pass the puck and play the game without worrying about who they can injure.

Finally, I would love to give a “KNT” to our nation’s most notorious sports teams – the Democrats and the Republicans.

Maybe my question would jolt them into actually doing what is right for the people rather than trying to win for their side and hurting all of us.

Most likely, it will take a load of TNT rather than KNT to have any affect on those characters in D.C.

Holiday thoughts

Following the Kansas City Chiefs game with Carolina and the recent suicide of a teammate, Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn turned the tables on members of the media by asking them a question rather than simply fielding their inquiries about the game.

Quinn said, “When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it and do you really care?”

At the Heisman Trophy awards ceremony in New York, Notre Dame linebacker Manti T’eo was asked what stood out about his senior season with the Irish.

His reply was simple: “The growth of my spiritual life and becoming a better person. When I decided to come back for my senior year, the main thing my parents told me, above all else, was to strengthen my spiritual life.”

Happy Christmas and KNT.

Mike Vidakovich is a freelance writer for the Post Independent.


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