Bird Droppings September 1, 2020
Looking for the right words in a new morning
“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.” Robert M. Pirsig, American author
“Robert Maynard Pirsig September 6, 1928 – April 24, 2017, was an American writer and philosopher. He was the author of the philosophical novels Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (1974) and Lila: An Inquiry into Morals.” Wikipedia Just thought I would share that tidbit along the way. Many times, I saw his book on my sojourns through bookstores. Whether it is trying to offer a few words of condolence to friends whose loved one has passed away or trying to sort out the disaster somewhere in the world and today here near home in Georgia, we all need to look within first. When I read this line from Pirsig earlier this morning, I immediately thought of my 4H days and the 4H and 4H clover pledge.
“The 4-H Clover symbolizes four actions which 4-H members try to accomplish. The four H s’ stand for Head, Hands, Heart, Health, as it is in the pledge. I Pledge My Head to clearer thinking, My Heart to greater loyalty, My Hands to larger service and My Health to better living for my Club my Community my Country and my World” Taos County 4H site.
I wish we could get each citizen of our country truly engaged in that pledge, whether it is a 4H member or just because it is a good practice. Imagine what would happen, disasters would be resolved and often averted, we would each be “better” as citizens, and friends all over a simple admonition. As I look clearer thinking, greater loyalty, more extensive service, and better living, these are all compelling and exciting thoughts. There are days when I wish more kids were able to be exposed to 4H.
Sitting here, having read the news earlier it is disheartening to try and determine what course of action each of us can take to help if we can at all. Not sure there is unbiased news left in the world, like history, which is rewritten to meet the need for politics. I recall a few years back an incident in New Jersey. A flag-covered story of a young man killed by Muslim terrorists not being covered by news caught my attention, so I researched. In the previous weekend, eight human beings were gunned down by a man running from police for a broken turn signal. Out in the Gulf of Mexico, a raging hurricane is destroying the Bahamas while I write.
Today a year ago or so in New Jersey, four or more teenagers died in car accidents, a dog killed one, one teenager was killed by a train, at least six were killed by gunshots assuming them to be Christians. Since no religion is mentioned that fired the guns, one was killed by a Muslim serial killer who was being sought for four other murders in Washington State. The insane Muslim got National news coverage. I find it very sad that when you google teenagers killed in New Jersey, the rest are there. News can be biased. I wonder if, in New Jersey, teenagers killed in Atlanta are plastered behind flags as untold news. Sorry for ranting, but the key point is we are so jaded to all killings and violence. People supported a pro-football player who beat a woman in an elevator, and we say that’s just how it is. It doesn’t have to be. We have become callous and selfish as a society I can no longer call us a culture. I hope we can one day come to grips with how we have become so self-centered as a society.
Over the announcements before school was out last year at the high school, I listened to what various groups and clubs are doing at our school. The kids in our high school have raised several thousands of dollars through various activities over the years. Much of that in bits and pieces of lunch money dropped in buckets and or fund raisers such as washing cars. I recall dunking a coach or two in one of the efforts. There was a tug of war. I wish we could do more, but each struggle, each dime or nickel, is a little more. I wish we could all summon the courage to do more.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” Ambrose Redmoon
I thought I would end with this line; courage is a word used often with little thought. I understand the tying of the term to fear that is an interesting definition. Stating that courage merely realizes there are more important things in life than being afraid or cautious is a powerful thought. I recall when my wife and I went to South Carolina over a weekend to visit our middle son and his fiancée at that time. It was our first chance to see the church where they were getting married and her horses at their family farm out in the South Carolina countryside. We spent Saturday evening at a wedding shower and Sunday visiting all over the beautiful South Carolina farm country discussing horses, plants, always Georgia Tech, experiences and who knows what else.
How much do we learn about a person in a few moments depends on each person’s ability, honesty, and trust? It was a great afternoon, joking and laughing and picking on each other. As always, we called when we got home that night telling everyone we were safely home in Georgia, and my tiny granddaughter, not even a year old at the time, was mad at me when we got home. Even the John Deere T-shirt and the soft plush puppy did not make a dent. Although after her grandma held her for a minute, she decided she wasn’t mad anymore and gave me a great big good night hug. Sometimes I miss that feeling. A good night hug from a grandchild always cures what ails you. For today, please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and always give thanks namaste.
My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)