Bird Droppings March 17, 2023
An eclectic morning
“Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.” Mahatma Gandhi
It has been quite a few years since I watched an episode of Star Trek. It may have been one of the movies where Spock interfered with Star Fleet’s objectives in the relationship with a small group of colonists on an obscure planet. It seems they live forever, or at least aging is so minute that lifetimes are measured in tens of thousands of years. Interestingly, by choice, they became nearly primitive, living off the land and pursuing wisdom, reading, writing, and all forms of artwork. They spent time simply improving since time was not a factor in their endeavors. As I read this quote from Gandhi earlier this morning, that particular movie popped into my mind as learning becomes eternal.
“The world is apprehended by way of the mind; the world is acted upon by way of the mind, and all good things and bad exist in the world by way of the mind.” Samyutta Nikaya
As I thought further about Star Trek and this group of people living on a planet where radiation from their sun seemed to be the key to longevity, I reflected on several incidents at school only a few months back. My assistant Principal came in with thirty minutes left the day before a holiday to do observation, or so it was said to stick their head in the door. On that day, I had two extra students placed with me since they were not functioning in regular classes, sort of a holding pattern for a day or two. I was also trying to alleviate a yearbook emergency by rewiring a CD burner and trying to print out a picture for a teacher who wanted their daughter’s angel scene from a Christmas play. It was a picture I took for the drama department at Christmas. I had several extra students helping download hard drives from refurbished computers. At least ten things happened in the last thirty minutes of the last day before a holiday, which is not unusual in my room.
I never mind observations and probably have had more in four years than most have in a lifetime, but my AP was getting back at me for several previous practical jokes. But we think what we portray in our minds within seconds I was shifted from disaster to plotting a new reprisal.
“Honesty can be cultivated by transforming your inner language. For example, you might think: “I am no good” or “They are not good.” Is this true? For some strange reason, people want to wallow in the idea of being either the best or the worst. What is true in this moment? How close can we get to the reality of our experiences?” Martine Batchelor, Meditation for Life
Spock was trying to save the Utopian society of a small group of people as he turned against Star Fleet in the movie. The reason that Star Fleet wanted this planet was literally to sell and package longevity. They were willing to destroy people for profit, which does not sound unfamiliar today. As I think back, many would say that it is just human nature. As I observed my two extra students, I remembered my episode. One of the students I had for one period every day, the other I did not know. As I thought to why both ended with me, it was because of inappropriate behavior in class, acting out, attention-seeking all choice behaviors.
I was a big fan of “Law and Order,” a television show. A young boy who had been abused talked with the prosecutor and recalled a particular day on one particular show. The man who had abused him for four years was the hero by chance. He was concerned he was sick because the most incredible day of his life was also with the person who destroyed his life. Shortly after, this young man tried to kill himself on the show.
“Real love is not based on attachment but on altruism. In this case, your compassion will remain a humane response to suffering as long as beings continue to suffer.” The Dalai Lama
Perhaps I am trying to cram too many thoughts into one sitting. It was a busy day yesterday. It was topsy turvy after getting a heart monitor installed. I tried to get out in my yard, working with my herb garden and planting cuttings a friend of my wife’s had given her. We all need to be looking at our lives. Are we trying to oversimplify, be honest with ourselves, use the word love as merely an attachment, or can we be more than we are in our given time? Many issues as we head into the new week. I am taking my wife’s car to the service station one day this week for an oil change and lube on a day off while she does paperwork. As I read a headline, she reminded me that we depend on cars and gas. One of Saturday’s headlines was about Zimbabwe, where the ruling party banned all care groups from entering the country and using food to maintain their power in the upcoming election. My wife commented that here in the US, they use gas, and I thought, how true. Living in the Atlanta area and working for so many of us can be 30-40 miles one way, which in our community requires driving and carpooling at best; there is not the infrastructure of the northeast and many metropolitan areas of public transportation.
I recall when one of my students finally came in with a few minutes left in the period; they were working on recovering credits for various classes through an online program with the State Department of Education. However, they have to take tests with a certified teacher. I wish more students would take advantage of an excellent concept as I finish today with a reminder from Will Rodgers. After waking up late, I forgot to take my meds yesterday and took them when I got home, so I slept pretty soundly all night and missed my normal awakening.
“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.” Will Rogers
Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and your heart’s namaste.
My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)