A Whirlwind Is Still A Force of Nature


November 16, 2022- There are two competing children in the class where I am working today, tomorrow and Monday. They don’t particularly like one another, the one being fun-loving, feisty and given to salty language and the other grasping, yet surly at the same time, and given to thought-salads, asking for one activity, then going on to another, and another, within a span of two minutes. Both are capable of mayhem, yet the first child will explode, execute the mischief and calm down within a 2-3 minute timeout. The other, in my opinion dangerously over-age for the classroom, does not struggle much, fortunately, but stores his insolence, taking it out on the teachers and classmates-at random moments.

We have a protocol that has one staff member sitting close to the second student and gently bringing him back to his seat when he gets up to see what mischief he can cause. The first child basically just wants to dance, fairly gracefully, and do the assignments given-but in her own way, Both could be nurtured in good work habits, if a 1:1 could be arranged for them. A whirlwind, as destructive as it tends to be, is still a force of nature, energy that could conceivably be turned into a beneficial power source-though admittedly, the technology that would make that feasible is a long way off. We are closer to harnessing the strengths of even the most unruly student, but we need to overcome a paralysis of will in education, especially in public education. It will take a massive amount of energy, from parents, educators and community-at-large, especially the business community, to replace the drive towards homogeneity with a culture that once again values innovation and individual initiative.

I will have more to say, after tomorrow’s events. Yet, a whirlwind is still a force of nature.

(In)tractible-Part II


February 14, 2021-

The earnest young man got ahead of himself, demanding that his financial problems be addressed, immediately, by those whom he saw as being well-off and comfortable in thier own lives. This went on, for nearly two years, as one potential benefactor, after another, turned away.

The imbalance between one group of people and another, whether it be a matter of money, food, water or, in this present environment, medical supplies to defeat COVID-19 is the single overarching matter facing humanity-and has been for several centuries now. It is viewed by many as a nuisance, a bore, something intractible.

It is my position that things become viewed as intractible largely because of the human impulse to want a matter resolved immediately, if not sooner, that one may move on to the next matter. I get this, very clearly. We are hard-wired as a species to move along and accomplish new and better. We are also, however, hard-wired to notice when others are left behind. This awareness rankles one’s conscience.

There is, simply put, nothing that nettles most people more than being asked for money. We are raised to share food, drink and even clothing with our siblings and those in our neighbourhoods. Money is an entirely different matter- perhaps because of insecurity, as to its possibly running out. So, the homeless, the destitute, the demanding are are seen as impediments, rather than as fellows.

The second seemingly intractible issue, from which many wish to turn away, is the continual persecution and conflict in certain parts of the world, particularly in west Asia. Religion is often blamed for this, but religion is simply a codification of man’s belief in a Higher Power. It has given us a single thread of rules for proper conduct, with the changes in social practice evolving as Mankind itself has evolved. That certain groups have continued to fight and contend with one another, in some cases for millennia on end, is not the fault of the Higher Power, but of the leadership and members of those groups. They are not, inherently, any more or less capable of getting along than are any other groups of people.

These two seemingly intractible issues reflect two phenomena: A lack of systematic process for equitable distribution of goods (food, clothing, water, medicine-and money) and a paralysis of the will to do the hard work, over time, that is needed to resolve deep-seated conflict. Fortunately, there is a shift in the consciousness of many on the planet-and an increase in the number of people in the process of finding and implementing solutions.

Nothing put before us needs to be seen as intractible.