Friday, July 5, 2013

July 2013


I didn’t expect to be in the middle of the war.
We sat out on the deck in our rocking chairs enjoying the warm summer evening with fudgesicles in hand. In the background we could hear the dogs calling to their masters, the children playing with friends. Behind the trees an eerie soft glow lit up the sky, momentarily.

To the south we heard the guns sounding, dull thuds as fire lit the sky. Streams of red and gold streaked into the atmosphere, stars twinkling as they fell towards the ground. The dogs sang their mournful, painful cry.

On the left branches of light bounced off the clouds to the dull thunderous roar. The war had begun.
Warm drops ran down our faces and splattered to the deck. We had been hit.
Fascinated, we couldn’t pull ourselves away from the sight. Green shards of light shot through the edges of red, gold, and blue. Sickles spun through the night, pop, pop, pop! With each explosion an answering roar came from the left, light dancing closer and closer to the crowd.
Finely silence! It was over.
The 4th of July celebrated.
Nature won.
Cleansing rain drenched
The earth.

Monday, July 1, 2013



How do you teach?
How do you learn?
Who do you reach?
 What’s your concern

I was listening to a talk show recently. The discussion was about parenting styles.
Are you an authoritarian parent? A permissive parent? An attached parent? An absentee parent? Do you want things done perfectly so you’d rather do them yourself? Do you instill your religious values on your children or let them grow up and form their own values? Parenthood is filled with pitfalls. Most of us get on the job training for parenthood and don’t know what the results will be till the children grow up.

My  mother heard of a book by William J. Bennett  called THE BOOK OF VIRTUES. I remember her saying that they should be taught in the home, schools and used by politicians. If we all followed them, the world would be a better place.
These virtues are:
Virtues of self control
Virtues of self-efficacy
  • Courage - willingness to do the right thing in the face of danger, pain, significant harm or risk
  • Patience - ability to delay or wait for what is desired
  • Perseverance - courageous patience, integrity
  • Persistence - ability to achieve objective regardless of obstacles
Virtues of regard
  • Fair-mindedness - concern that all get their due (including oneself) in cooperative arrangements of mutual benefit
  • Tolerance - willingness to allow others to lead a life based on a certain set of beliefs differing from ones own
  • Truthfulness/Honesty - telling someone what you believe to be true in the context of a direct inquiry
Virtues of respect

Virtues of respect
Virtues of kindness
  • Kindness - Regard for those who are within an individuals ability to help.
  • Generosity - Giving to those in need.
  • Forgiveness - Willingness to overlook transgressions made against you.
  • Compassion - Empathy and understanding for the suffering of other

I think, that in the world we live in today, we are missing many of these virtues. I don’t think people, as a whole would be willing to give up their own wants. They haven’t been taught to be polite, have respect, be kind, and forgive.
So how do we teach our families, students, friends, companion, and strangers?
I can only hope, by example.
Choose a virtue this month and entrench it into your life. Live it. Be an example. Be a teacher