Dimensions-Part 1

9

January 29, 2019-

As I regarded one of our young helpers this morning, I saw a physically lovely, highly intelligent, athletic and fairly industrious person, quietly reading a quality book on a rather deep subject.  It came to me that THIS is why I have devoted forty-two years of my life to the well-being of young people:  The development of the whole.

In the next few posts, I want to look at the concept of dimensionality.   We all know that there are three dimensions, of any physical object:  Height, length and width.  There are also six dimensions of wellness: “The Six Dimensions of Wellness include physical, social, emotional, intellectual, occupational/financial, and spiritual wellness.” https://www.nwmissourinews.com/opinion/article_aac31352-d4bb-11e0-a3d4-0019bb30f31a.html

My concern here is with dimensions, in how we view ourselves and other people.  Let us consider the idea of  unidimensionality, or seeing oneself, or another, as being one-dimensional.  We do this, all the time.  For example, have you ever looked at a member of the opposite gender, or your own gender, and “seen” only the comeliness, or homeliness, of the person’s face or physique?  Have you ever listened to a person speak, and heard only the cogency, or ignorance, of their remarks?  Have you encountered a person who thinks, behaves or believes differently than you, and experienced only their statements or immediate actions?   Have you viewed anyone as “strictly” or “only” an “jock”, a “nerd”, an “empty suit”, a “hottie”.   Unidimensionality is rife, in today’s world.  If it weren’t, people would not be so quick to judge one another.

Other people see humans as two-dimensional-either one thing or another.  Someone who shows two sides is often called “bipolar” (in the days of my youth, such a person would be called “manic-depressive”).  I have found few, if any, people who can be so easily typecast, in terms of fact.  There are too many mitigating factors that affect people’s behaviours.

The truth is, most of us are three-dimensional beings, and then only when life circumstances suppress the development of the other three dimensions of wellness.  Everyone is, at minimum, a physical, spiritual and emotional being.  Everyone is, potentially, an intellectual, a social or an occupational/financial being.  In fact, in both the physical and spiritual realms, there are many more dimensions- which the discipline of Quantum Mechanics lists, simply, as “infinite”.

In the next post, I will look further at the results of seeing self or others as one-, two- or three-dimensional beings and consider some of the possibilities for our species and our planet, of seeing people in a hexidimensional (6-dimensional) model.

 

Starting at Home

8

January 27, 2019- 

One of  my mother’s favourite sayings, “Charity begins at home”, was made a basis for many of my actions, as a child and as a teen.  Nothing was made, or done, that wasn’t shared with family, on some level.

So it is, also, with conservation- as the late John McCain was also fond of saying.  A few weeks ago, during the height of the ill-fated shutdown, I went up to Sunset Crater National Monument, to see if I might help with a clean-up.  It turned out not to be necessary, though there was a mess, on Federal land, some twenty miles west.  Others took care of that clean-up.

With the shutdown over, however temporarily, I decided to take some time, after a study session this afternoon, and check a popular local trail, Lynx Lake, for residual clean-up that might be needed.  I was thanked by a few other hikers, especially accepting three pooper bags in my larger trash bag.  It was rather cute, that a lone duck followed me in the water, as I walked along the north shore, collecting a few plastic bottles.  It was almost as if it knew that the toxic items were being removed.  Long story short, I put a half-filled trash bag in the dumpster of the  south beach.

It was a minor effort, in the scheme of millions of acres of Federal land needing attention, after the lengthy hiatus.  I can only hope that there were thousands of others stepping up and doing their part, with there being way too much to be done, as it is, by those returning to work.  I think of the first National Historic Site I ever visited:  Saugus Ironworks, of the most extensive I’ve ever seen:  Grand Canyon and of the park I visited most recently for the first time:  Valley Forge.  Then, there is Arlington National Cemetery; today would have been the 95th birthday of my father-in-law, who is interred there, along with his wife.

I can only hope there are no more shutdowns of government, but if there are, I know to be ready to help, as a citizen.

Graphics

10

January 24, 2019-

What may be discerned,

from a facial expression?

A smile may be loving,

condescending,

or masking anger.

Flashing eyes may

indicate contempt,

severe concern,

or exasperation.

A stare could

show boredom,

intense interest,

a desire to intimidate,

or confusion.

Only a focused conversation

can provide the clues

to deciphering a look.

Primacy

7

January 23, 2019-

I have watched the aftermath of this past weekend’s dustup, involving White, Red and Black activists, talking at, and over, each other- with only a smidgen of understanding, and that coming solely from the Native American elders, who thought drumming and singing a prayer would defuse tension.

The whites started out marching on behalf of banning abortion.  The blacks were mainly stating their beliefs about their being descended from the 12 Tribes of Israel.  The Native Americans were in a sanctioned march for Peace on Earth. The whites and blacks began berating one another, and it is academic as to who started what.  There have been all manner of comments, on all sides and from the sidelines, suggesting that, once again, no one was listening to the others- except the silent, grinning Nick Sandmann who, depending on who was watching, was either standing still out of respect to Nathan Phillips or was grinning in contempt of “an other”.

In reality, it IS disrespectful in Native American culture, to speak to someone who is chanting, praying or dancing in a spiritual manner.  Nick would know this, as, likewise, no  Catholic churchgoer engages a priest in conversation, when the prelate is saying Mass or giving a sermon.

It is also reality for some to stand, often with arms folded, grinning while their eyes flash hatred, as I have often seen when disparate groups of people confront one another.

I saw no hatred in the eyes of Nick Sandmann.  I saw a boy who didn’t want to speak, for whatever reason.  I saw his face momentarily turn serious, and what was going through his mind, at that moment, is known only to him.

Commentators have interpreted the behaviours of various people in the situation, according to what they, the commentators, have witnessed in the past.  I could do the same thing, and note that when I was a teen, my schoolmates and I poked fun at one another, sometimes to the point of invoking anger and tears.  We had one another’s backs when real adversaries attacked us.  Thus, the solidarity, the other day, when the whites, the reds and the  blacks felt threatened by one another.

Gradually, as will likely happen with the Covington kids, many of my contemporaries and I expanded our social circles, to include people of various groups.  Primacy of one group over another does not hold water.  Nick Sandmann, and those of his friends who join in, will start learning this WHEN they sit down with Nathan Phillips, and hear his story.  I hope they listen with both ears-and I hope Mr. Phillips remembers what it was like to be male and sixteen.  In answer to his question: “THIS is our future?”, I can only say:  Yes, sir, and it is also our past.  Intemperance and ignorance give way to open-mindedness and awareness, when the latter are brought to bear, in a loving way.  We are, in the end, one human race.

Certitude Wins, Here

9

January 18, 2019-

Seeing the flash of anger

in his eyes,

I made a mental note,

to not be a “traditionalist,

a disciplinarian”.

Something about standing too firm,

being hard,

triggers the man.

The past several days,

in particular,

have found him in

a bit of a lighter mood.

The flash of anger

still shows, yet,

every so often.

We will get through this,

though,

I know.

Gradually,

the certitude

of self-knowledge,

will help another,

essentially good soul,

recognize that he

has a good team

on his side.

Trust

10

January 17, 2019-

It’s been five years since someone, rightfully, questioned my level of trustworthiness.  He needn’t have worried- I apologized for the appearance of fecklessness.  We moved on and have remained on a friendly basis.

My overall record of trustworthiness is high, very high- so I expect the same from others.  Tomorrow, I will be asking some straight questions, relative to an “urgent” situation-which for some reason doesn’t need to be discussed until the end of next week. I will want to know what, if anything, should be done about this urgent matter, during the ensuing days before the meeting.

I’ve been here before and the scent is very familiar.  I will be asking, and keeping my senses very attuned to the response.    Then, I will do whatever is sincerely recommended, with regard to the urgent matter.

My Balderdash Meter is set very high.

Rainy Day Reflections

11

January 15, 2019-

Yesterday, I rushed about, in the morning, to get  an essential oil blend to a young friend suffering from a health ailment not normally associated with the young.  I hope the oil will help.  More potentially problematic was getting to my own appointment, halfway across the Salt River Valley.   I was twenty minutes late, but had been able to message the office, as to my predicament.  No worries and I emerged with a clean bill of dental health, for another four months.

On the way up to the cemetery where Penny is laid to rest, I was obliged to stop, as the funeral procession of another soul passed.  I could hear the proceedings of the person’s ceremony, as I communed with my beloved, some fifteen minutes later.  Each one of us ought to be able to expect a dignified send-off, and someone to keep us in loving memory.  Of course, what one gets in that regard, depends on what one has given.

I went up to Cave Creek, for lunch, with a trio of pleasant eateries on my short list:  Local Jonny’s, my favourite, was suitably packed; Big Earl’s, always offering a warm greeting, also offers food too heavy for my needs at that time; Divine Bakery was thus my choice, with no other customers when I walked in, but five people entering, as I left. In between, was the best quiche south of Rustic Pie Company (Prescott’s best) and a delectable cannoli.

Today the rain came down in buckets, as unusual as the snow that hit the central part of Arizona on Saturday night.  We can expect such moisture in July and August, but not so much in winter.  These are not “conventional” times, though.  Besides, there has been a lot of discussion about the fate of our larger reservoirs, with Lake Mead, which got a fair amount of rain today, also, being Ground Zero in the drought watch chronicles.

It mattered little to us, ensconced in the classroom and taking our post-lunch walk around the main building.  Our life today revolved around getting more familiar with talking electronic pads- giving voice to those without the  ability to speak, themselves.  I recognize the urgency of this, and am giving quick study to mastering the use of these devices.

My knee has been better, of late, with ongoing exercises and essential oil treatments. There are a few exercises in the adaptive P.E. class, to which we take our students, which will require more acclimating, but I am getting there.  Now it’s time to head over to Planet Fitness.

 

This Week’s Learnings

6

January 11, 2019-

With one day left to go, in the second week of 2019, I have learned (or re-learned):

  1. Youth of capacity are not impressed by kind behaviour or statements of support.  They need to see close attention to detail and consistent efforts at empowerment.
  2. A tight-knit group rises and fall together.  I knew this, whilst living in the Boston area, but there has been a lot of fragmentation in my life, since 1976, notwithstanding the tightness of my marriage.  Now, we on a professional team will stand as one-which is refreshing.
  3. Politics clouds good judgement, whilst demanding QUICK judgement, on the part of perceived adversaries.
  4. I made a commitment to helping clean up National Park properties, this weekend. Some of the parks closest to us are shut tight. Nonetheless, I am being watched, to see whether I keep my word.  So, tomorrow afternoon, I will be at Sunset Crater.

 

Facing Negative Energy

7

January 9, 2019-

The young boy reacted to a task that was beyond his scope of understanding,  in the only way he knew:  He threw a fit of self-harm and flailing rage.  Two women were able to guide him through the anger and calm him down, without any appreciable damage to himself or anyone else.  He spent the rest of the day in peace, and participated in afternoon activities.

The past forty-eight hours have seen a fair amount of negativity, in situations far and near:

A dear friend has seen the person closest to her have to be brought to hospital, in a life-threatening emergency.  My prayers, and those of dozens of others, have gone up, that he may survive the night and recover.  The spouse, or significant other, of a friend is as dear to my heart as the friend.

There was, yesterday, what turned out to be a minor hiccup, in my son’s and daughter-in-law’s planned ceremony to sanctify their civil wedding vows. We maintained patience and the right thing happened-hiccup cured.  Ceremony will proceed as planned, in two months’ time.

I had planned, with a group of co-workers and their friends/family, to conduct a clean-up of one of the National Park properties that is not far from here.  This morning, an alert, banning the public from said property during the current shutdown, was hastily posted on the park’s website.  While  I can see any number of concerns that would bring such a response to the offers of a clean-up, (Ours was not the only such offer.), the shutdown as a whole is extremely negative and counterproductive.  Our group could clean up any of the National Forest sites in this area, though the U.S. Forest Service is fully operational.  We could, as one person elsewhere told me, focus on local neighbourhoods and not worry about Federal land.   These two scenarios can, and should, be a regular part of civic life-above and beyond the present impasse. (More on “local vs. global”, in another post.)  Our point, though, in THIS situation, is that the National Park System is suffering, mightily, from  ongoing neglect during the present shutdown.  It needs its citizens to step up, more than ever.

Negative energy is always around, and as darkness is dispelled by light, it can be countered and neutralized by a stronger positive energy.  Fighting fire with fire, or mud with more mud, is a short-term strategy, which usually results in the perpetuation of the very iniquity that one seeks to remove.  I have found that either maintaining a stronger stance of love, in the face of hate, or cutting off the flow of negativity altogether, has brought the darkness to naught.

 

 

Trolling, or Triage?

19

January 7, 2019-

Last night, just before I signed off for the evening, I got a caustic response to a few suggestions I had made, to another blogger’s post.  This sort of thing is a risk that comes with being part of a public network.

While I took the liberty of “unfollowing” that person’s blog, as one should not intrude on another’s space without that person’s consent, I had to ponder her motivation for such an outburst.  She did, after all, ask for “ideas” about her particular dilemma.

There are a couple of possibilities-She may have been in the mood for a “game of gotcha”, though trolling, under the circumstances she described in the post to which I responded, seems rather far-fetched.  More likely, she is looking at the various suggestions made, and winnowing  them out, favouring those that are as close to her comfort zone as possible, while still entailing some effort on her part to solve the problem described therein.

That’s an understandable, human practice, and I daresay we all do that, with regard to some, if not most, issues in our lives.  She pointed out that I didn’t know her schedule, so how could my suggestions fit?  None of us can be inside another’s brain, or heart.  So, we do the best we can, when asked. If our ideas are wide of the mark, well, at least we made an effort.  I will continue to offer ideas to to others, when asked, and can only guarantee that I will be putting some thought and feeling into the process.

No pain, no gain.