Ricky Nelson May Have Been Right

Teenage heartthrob Ricky Nelson, later Rick Nelson, entertained many with the likes of Travelin’ Man, Hello Mary Lou, and Poor Little Fool, included in his many career performances, songs popular and often requested throughout his career, a career which spanned parts of the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and 80s.

In the early 1980s, before tragically dying in a 1985 plane crash, Nelson performed at New York’s Madison Square Garden. He sang some newer songs and some songs originally created and performed by other groups, whereby he was loudly booed by the audience for not performing older songs that many in the audience grew up listening to, and remembered, and wanted to hear that night. Apparently, Nelson became incensed at this and walked off the stage. Shortly after, he came out with a new song, one that became very popular, even though it was a new song created and sung by the performer. The title of that song was Garden Party.

The gist of the song, Garden Party, told of getting together with friends from the past and singing the old songs, and reminiscing and having a good time, just like what people seemed to have wanted at Madison Square Garden. Seems that, though, the Madison Square Garden event, in Nelson’s plans, was to play different songs, newer songs, songs done by other artists, songs that he wanted to do that night.

The chorus part of Garden Party included the lyrics “But it’s all right now, I learned my lesson well. You see, you can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself.” In effect Nelson may have been saying, no matter what you do, you can’t win, so make yourself happy.

We’ve had a very cold winter this year. It’s been unusually much colder across this entire country, forcing people to make certain adaptations that they may, or may not, have to make during “normal” winters, depending where they live. Some adaptations and decisions that had to be made give evidence to the lyric, “you can’t please everyone ” as Rick Nelson, sang in his song, though the reason for his song might have been different than the gist of this piece today, but the message is the same, you’re never going to please everyone.

During this unusually colder winter, school superintendents have had to make difficult decisions regarding closing schools, carefully picking and choosing which days they might have to close keeping an eye on how many days they’ve used, how many they have left, and what to do if they exceed the allotted number. So, there were days when it was cold, and schools did not close, and people were angry.

I believe in the safety of children, but I also believe that most schools would be properly heated, and that on days that it’s cold, people need to make arrangements to have rides for their child, or maybe form car pools, whatever it takes to get those children to and from school.

When they get to school, I believe the heat in the schools is about the same as the heat in their homes, I mean heat is pretty much heat, isn’t it?

As a teacher, I couldn’t make empty chairs/rooms learn anything, and the more days removed from that chair/room, the less information children could be subjected to educationally (pun indented). I didn’t like snow days as much as people think. Hey, it’s nice getting an unexpected day off from work, but being out of the classroom, for me, was more work at times, and more stressful at times. Believe it, or not, many teachers feel/felt that way. And also, if the district canceled school on more than the allotted number of days, and the days had to be made up later in the year, many might probably complain about that too. You can’t please everyone

I’ve also heard people bash educators with barrages of comments, one being, “You only work half a year, you should only be paid for half a year,” and then when school is canceled, the teachers get bashed for getting another day off with pay, but, again, if school wasn’t canceled, it’s too dangerous for the kids, so they complain about that.

And often times, I’ve seen many kids not properly dressed for the cold who may have to walk to school. Do we blame the weather for being cold, or ourselves for allowing our kids to walk to school in shorts and a hoodie in single digit to below zero temperatures? You can’t please everyone

Another no-win situation involves snowplowing. People want streets plowed, but then complain when they are and they push snow back into the bases of driveways.

It’s not feasible to think the plow driver is going to raise his blade at each driveway, and if he does, and doesn’t push snow back into the base of the driveway, the street is only going to be half plowed and how many are going to be happy with that? You can’t please everyone

I’ve been involved with athletics for much of my life, in officiating and coaching capacities and have seen and heard unbelievable fodder in both roles. People want their child to make a team. Some go to great lengths to make sure their child makes that team, but that’s not enough. After making the team, they want playing time, or more playing time. Just being a part of the team isn’t good enough. And during games, people want fouls called or traveling called, or interference called, and if the official or umpire doesn’t call it when it might happen to “their” team, the official cost the team, but if it’s called against the team people are rooting for, then their team got the shaft. You can’t please everyone

People complain about too much spending in schools today, but don’t want to see anything cut from budgets, or don’t want to see consolidation of services, teams, programs, or schools themselves. You can’t please everyone

People want taxes cut, or not raised, but want services maintained, or increased, which presents financial conundrums. You can’t please everyone

Perhaps Rick Nelson was right. Perhaps we need to learn our lesson well, “you see you can’t please everyone,” so you stop thinking you can, and make decisions from your gut, that you know are for the good of what you’re doing, and realize that there will always be critics.

I read a quote once that said, “If they’re shooting at you, you must be doing something right.”

Not sure if that’s always accurate, but it makes my decision making a whole lot easier.