Thinking about a Neil Young song

Bird Droppings April 28, 2010
(Got my dates mixed up yesterday)
Thinking about a Neil Young song

I often find myself listening to Neil Young; I even have a 1971 live CD on my blackberry. For nearly forty years I have been a fan and some time in May he is coming to Atlanta I might just have to try and get tickets. Yesterday I spent a large portion of the day talking with other teachers. Some about students and educational issues, but often about problems they were having themselves. I found the day flew by and I never had a moment to get done what I had intended to and ran my errands headed home and grilled several pork loins for advisement today. I feed my advisement generally donuts on Thursdays but I promised chili and ran out of time last night so in grilling for supper I tossed on some pork loins and well at least for me better than chili any day.
As I drove around yesterday I was thinking back to a day many months back I went from school to my mother’s house to talk and have a sloppy Joe. Nothing beats my mom’s sloppy Joes. She told me she found a video of my father’s last presentation. He had six months prior to filming had stomach cancer surgery and at the time of the video was still confined to a wheel chair. He was sitting behind his desk addressing the camera. One key topic of the presentation was the idea of a consequential accident. That is an accident that goes unnoticed, unreported and or unattended to. He used a recent mine incident where 3200 miners were trapped underground in South Africa, miners had reported the situation as far back as two years prior. The recent mine disaster in West Virginia had me thinking back.
When I am driving especially on long drives like driving down to Statesboro Georgia for graduate school I am always listening to Neil Young and R. Carlos Nakai. Maybe it is about the lyrics to one of Neil Young’s songs that so many ideas keep coming up. I was listening and trying to follow the songs hearing each word absorbing in the wee hours of the morning today as I read. But I kept having ideas about consequential accidents and that stop at my mothers house months back in terms of education. We tend to wait until it is too late to do anything. We see an elementary child having difficulty and for one reason or another that kid goes without help until in high school it is too late and the child is lost.

“In this world, in order to enable society to develop, all its members have to assume responsibilities and make their contribution. If we do not make collective contributions then there will be no development.” The Dalai Lama, speaking to the Tibetan National Assembly in Dharamsala, May 1989

In class yesterday our discussion focused on technologies impact on education and on us as human beings. But we periodically swayed away and other topics seeped in. Each of us lives in a society or a community and as much as we choose so often to be individuals we are members of and interact within that group. It is the vitality of that group, the development and growth that is so intertwined with contributions physically mentally and spiritually of the members. Society exists because of interactions positive or negative.

“Compare society to a boat. Her progress through the water will not depend upon the exertion of her crew, but upon the exertion devoted to propelling her. This will be lessened by any expenditure of force in fighting among themselves, or in pulling in different directions.” Henry George

We have to be working together moving forward and as humans do and so often much time is wasted fighting arguing among ourselves and the motion or growth is limited. I have been numerous times corrected when I say moving forward. Just simply movement is probably enough. Although as I have discussed this topic over the years some people see progress as not good.

“The greatest difficulty with the world is not its ability to produce, but the unwillingness to share.” Roy L. Smith

I keep thinking of observing in a high school with teenagers. Watching how high school student’s form clicks, and groups. Adults have their clubs, and social groups we tend to be selfish animals. We look so to ourselves and what benefits us, limiting friends and such to a degree we box ourselves in. Often we find ourselves not sharing a simple task but so often a distant one, not helping in the community versus a foreign mission trip. TV humor even plays on this subject. Several times back in the day on the Seinfeld and Will and Grace sit-coms the concept of giving is a chore and a burden and the characters are literally parasitic instead of symbiotic. As I looked diligently for quotes and thoughts this one popped up in my readings.

“Societies that do not eat people are fascinated by those that do.” Ronald Wright

Wright was speaking literally, yet interestingly enough we of modern society while we do not literally eat people we still do psychologically destroy them. I am starting a new book Genocide of the Mind about Native American destruction psychologically. As I look at how we respond to others so often it is how we see ourselves indirectly.

“The most difficult thing we do is not to deal in facts when we are contemplating ourselves.” Mark Twain

In a recent project assignment several students simply “completed it” they did not finish the task but answered what they thought was the question. They just wanted done, whether it was right or wrong good or bad was not the issue it was over. We adults do this often in terms of family and friends. We do this approach even with out children. Let’s just get it over with. Could be why we have so many dysfunctional families and kids.

“Until you value yourself you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” M. Scott Peck

I read this quote and saw an answer if you truly do not appreciate your self your time has little if any value even when you are self absorbed in using it frivolously you simply are taking up time not using it. Guessing at answers to a test to simply get done or rushing through just to be over, you still have to wait for the rest. So where is the benefit? A favorite catch word “I don’t care” should read “I really do not care about myself”. As we enter the weekend our world is troubled and sore so please keep all in harms way in your heart and on your mind.

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