January 16, 2017, Prescott- I spent most of today just being here for my son and a friend of his, so that they got a good breakfast into themselves and didn’t forget any of their gear, from last night’s camp-out. The other act of service was a visit to my surrogate uncle, Henry “Hank” Alcott, whom I’ve mentioned here before. He told me I needed to cook for myself more, and so I have a sheet with some of his favourite New England recipes. He also reinforced my commitment to service, by telling me, again, about his daily regimen of getting up at dawn, making his own bed and going around the VA Hospital, and visiting those who are alone. Henry is 93, and regards everyone he knows as his family. I can’t think of a finer way to live fully.
This leads me to the next order of business: We hit rock bottom, during the last election cycle, in a variety of ways. Elections often produce winners who seem to be the opposite of what a country needs. There are eras, as with the presidency of Ronald Reagan, when the elected grows, marvelously, into the position and stands firm, in meeting the needs of the times.
Society could well stand a make-over or, at least, a cleansing. Here are some suggestions:
- Learning should not be limited to a prescribed pedagogy. I have a personal dedication to raising the bar for my students, to see knowledge as a tool for personal success- and for myself to not rely so much on cognitive material. People are embracing the process of learning, and its mastery, a lot more. Let’s place more stress on analysis, synthesis and application.
- Family, as Uncle Hank says, is unlimited. The possibilities of what can be achieved are limitless, when one does not constrict his/her circle of contacts and sources of ideas. I said, yesterday, on another medium, that people can be estimable, regardless of their personal politics. I have not restricted my “family” to the realms of close genealogy, regional neighbourship or even shared pigmentation, national origin or nationality at birth. It would be more than grand, if we were to value the lives of others, as if there were no “Other”.
- God is not a four-letter word. Most of the satisfaction I have had from life has come from a belief system. I believe each of us has to find our own spiritual center, and that, in doing so, we don’t cast aspersions on the beliefs of others. I speak of Baha’u’llah and study His Teachings. That does not mean I hold it against Christians, Muslims or followers of other Faiths, who wish to share their beliefs. Fullness of spiritual knowledge can only make us stronger.
- These are three areas, in which I believe the “bar” can be raised.