THE FOLLOWING ESSAY was written by David Weatherford and is titled “When Children Learn.” It has been hiding in my files for more than 19 years. I think it is time to share it with you.

“When children learn that happiness is not found in what a person has, but in who that person is;

“When they learn that giving and forgiving are more rewarding than taking and avenging;

“When they learn that suffering is not eased by self-pity, but overcome by inner resolve and spiritual strength;

“When they learn that they can’t control the world around them, but they are the masters of their own souls;

“When they learn that relationships will prosper if they value friendship over ego, compromise over pride and listening over advising;

“When they learn not to hate a person whose difference they fear, but to fear that kind of hate;

“When they learn that there is pleasure in the power of lifting others up, not in the pseudo-power of pushing them down;

“When they learn that praise from others is flattering, but meaningless if it is not matched by self-respect;

“When they learn that the value of life is best measured not by the years spent accumulating possessions, but by the moments spent giving of one’s self in sharing wisdom, inspiring hope, wiping tears and touching hearts;

“When they learn that a person’s beauty is seen not with the eyes, but with the heart and that even though time and hardships may ravage one’s outer shell, they can enhance one’s character and perspective;

“When they learn to withhold judgment of people, knowing everyone is blessed with good and bad qualities, and that the emergence of either often depends on the help given or hurt inflicted by others;

“When they learn that every person has been given the gift of a unique self and the purpose of life is to share the very best of that gift with the world;

“When children learn these ideals and how to practice them in the art of good living, they will be blessings to those who know them and worthy models for all the world.”

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JUST ABOUT everybody you and I know has acted really dumb at one time or another. Maybe it was because they’d become overly tired or perhaps they were out of their comfort zone.

Whatever the reason, you suddenly wished you didn’t know them, but don’t laugh. The chances are pretty good your best friends have gone through the same exasperating experience with you.

Then, there are those people who seem to act dumb all the time. They always seem to be on a previous page when everybody else in the room is talking about the start of a new chapter.

You love ’em, laugh with them and enjoy being with them, but you got to wonder how they ever got through school or managed to keep a job. You know they aren’t dumb. So here are a few politically-correct alternatives collected by newspaper consultant Peter Wagner you can use the next time somebody spills their plate of soup all over you.

1. That guy is absolutely a few clowns short of a circus. 

2. Boy, that person has his cellphone turned off. 

3. Did you see that? That woman is a few peas short of a casserole.

4. Wow, her sewing machine is out of thread. 

5. His belt doesn’t go through all the loops. 

6. Here’s a triple threat. He’s about as smart as bait. He has no grain in his silo. It looks like the skylight leaks a little.

7. Hey, that child is a few fries short of a Happy Meal®. 

8. You know what I think? The wheel’s spinning, but the hamster is dead. 

9. His antenna doesn’t pick up all the channels. 

10. He’s the kind of person who would plan a vacation surfing in Nebraska.

11. Warning: Objects in the mirror are dumber than they appear. 

12. Do you know her problem? She forgot to pay her brain bill. 

13. Another triple punch. His chimney’s clogged. If he had another brain, it would be lonely. He’s one Fruit Loops™ shy of a full bowl.

14. He fell out of the “stupid tree” and hit every single branch on the way down to the ground. 

15. That person has too much yardage between the goalposts. 

16. She has a body by Fisher, but brains by Mattel.

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WHEN WILL otherwise intelligent people realize posting opinions on social media such as Facebook and Twitter can have very serious consequences affecting lives and careers?

President Donald Trump is one that should know better. While Twitter is a powerful tool to connect and share thoughts with his base, his daily morning tweets are cannon fodder for the opposition who are obsessed with taking him down and creating a political firestorm.

On nearly every topic an army of partisan media operatives have made a sport of second-guessing, mind-reading and spinning narratives to advance their preconceived biases to their tribes.