Developing a community requires contributions of self

Bird Droppings September 4, 2011
Developing a community requires contributions of self

We have become a world of self centered egotists which I know is a generalization of perhaps a bit too much. In education building an educational school community has consistently been shown to improve schools effectiveness yet we always seem to turn in other directions. A new test or new curriculum for example versus building community show we can produce. A bit down the lines I use a quote from Roy L. Smith, author and biblical scholar that gives emphasis to my first point.

“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

Each of us lives in a society, possibly a community and as much as we choose, so often it is to be individuals. We are members of and interact within that group that we chose to be within. It is the vitality of that group the development and growth that is so intertwined with contributions physically, mentally, and spiritually of the members, this society exists because of the interactions.

“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 so often much time is wasted fighting, arguing, and bickering among ourselves and motion or growth is limited and stifled.

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

Watching high school students form clicks, groups, and other circles of friends and adults join clubs, social groups, and again other circles they chose to join, we tend to be a selfish animals. We look so to ourselves and what benefits us even in limiting friends and such to a degree we box ourselves in. even sharing a simple task can be so often a distant one. Old TV humor even plays on this subject. In several episodes of old Seinfeld and Will and Grace sit coms, the represent giving as a chore, or a burden. The characters are literally parasitically instead of symbiotic. As I looked for quotes and thoughts the following was found.

“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 and inadvertently often destroy them. As I look at how we respond to others so often it is how we see ourselves indirectly.

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

Just before school was out last year, in a 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.

“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 yourself, 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 still you wait just as the rest do so is there any benefit. A favorite catch word “I don’t care” should read “I really do not care about myself”. As we enter the middle of a week, our worlds is troubled and sore please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts. Maybe change is around the corner sooner than we think?
namaste
bird

Time has a definitive edge

Bird Droppings July 6, 2011
Time has a definite edge

Somewhere in my wanderings last week I forgot to write or perhaps could not find time was a better answer. Seldom in eight years of writing nearly daily have a missed more than a day at one time. For some reason I had days mixed up backwards or such. I read a good bit and argued with my dog over her sleeping habits and issues about how she seems to bark on a frequency only I hear at night. One issue I seem to have is time, lately it seems I never do I have enough from dawn to dusk to accomplish what I want that day. I will admit many moments I find myself remembering stories about my dad but within my day dreaming I find time to play with my granddaughter which I do that all the time. So maybe I am not wasting time just do not have enough.

“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, 1936,, American psychiatrist, and author

I found this statement most intriguing and in a world where we continually try and save time and or speed up everything around us, since patience has been thrown out the door, time has become an elusive quarry. Then I read this statement this morning I have been going over students scores of self esteem for several months looking for pieces to puzzles as to why they see themselves this way or that. I often am looking at family, friends, grades, age, and drugs, are they on medication or not. But in the end it is how a person sees themselves that is most crucial because it does interplay with all other aspects of our lives.

“Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.”
Thomas Carlyle

In the cruel circular motion of lacking self esteem it is difficult to accomplish anything. Yet once that circle is set in motion and accomplishment however small is completed self esteem also rises forth and grows.

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” Sam Walton

Often criticized for employee relations and for the megacapitilistic Super Wal-Mart Stores since his death, the founder built his empire on building self esteem of his employees.

“Take away my factories, my plants; take away my railroads, my transportation; take away my money; strip me of all these, but leave me my people and in two or three years I will have them all again.” Andrew Carnegie

Many years ago I had this hanging on my wall in my office when I worked in the publishing industry. My father instilled this idea in me and as I look over results from my students. It is not about what program has been used, it is not what curriculum is used or text book. It is about that interaction between teacher and student. If a teacher can commit to their students as Carnegie did to his people success will be there and accomplishment and self esteem of the students will improve. I started today on time, amazing how I wander. When teacher student’s commitment, interaction, and trust reach this level, time becomes inconsequential. When time is inconsequential you can concentrate on commitment and accomplishment. Each day in the news I read words that keep me writing please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your heart.
namaste
bird

Sitting at my kitchen table pondering

Bird Droppings June 10, 2011
Sitting at my kitchen table pondering

I am very much a creature of habit. I like my routines and seem to follow very similar pathways daily. I can understand when walking through the woods and seeing a rabbit run or deer trail I would myself be doing the same thing more than likely if I was running wild. For most of my adult life others have sought out my guidance on life issues. I was trained so to say between seminary and psychology and more recently education courses to be able to offer advice. All through my life I have always felt I had an intuitive side, an empathetic side that allowed me access too many peoples inner feelings and thoughts.
In working with emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children and many times adults this is a good thing, although many times it can leave you drained. But I have always felt I have been successful reaching students in all of my classes across nearly thirty five years of teaching and training. When in management I felt I was able to address issues with customers and staff in a more understanding way than simply one of profitability. This could have been my downfall back in the day. I was more concerned about people than dollars. I might borrow a few words from John Dewey and his book School and Society.

“The primary business of school is to train children in co-operative and mutually helpful living; to foster in them the consciousness of mutual interdependence; and to help them practically in making the adjustments that will carry this spirit into overt deeds.” John Dewey

It is about what children take out into the world more so than how they score on tests and what curriculum is followed or not followed. Radical educator and philosopher Ivan Illich adds:

“A second major illusion on which the school system rests is that most learning is the result of teaching. Teaching it is true may contribute to certain kinds of learning under certain circumstance. But most people acquire most of their knowledge outside school, and in school insofar as school, in a few rich countries has become a place of confinement during an increasing part of their lives.” Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society

While Illich is somewhat off the spectrum from many folks standpoint he makes a valid point. In many cases schooling is simply occupying that period of time in a child’s life and doing little in terms of actual education. I try and maintain contact with kids after they leave high school through facebook and myspace for example. Recently I have been using these programs to find graduates of The Foxfire programs to some what surprising success.

“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
Each of us lives in a society, a community, a culture 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 where the development and growth that is so intertwined with contributions physically, mentally, and spiritually of the members. Society exists because of interactions. Sounds like I am quoting John Dewey again.

“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, backwards, sideways and as humans do so often much time is wasted fighting and arguing among ourselves and that motion or growth is limited.

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

Watching high school students form clicks and groups and adults forming clubs or social groups we tend to be a selfish animals. We look so much to ourselves and what benefits us as a first rule of thumb even unconsciously. It can be by limiting friends and such to a degree we box ourselves into a tiny space, even by sharing a simple task which so often becomes a distant one.
TV humor even plays on this subject several times in watching reruns of Seinfeld and Will and Grace sit coms giving is a chore a burden and the characters are literally parasitical instead of symbiotic. As I looked for quotes and thoughts, this one popped up earlier this morning just before I ran the dog to the groomer.

“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. As I look at how we respond to others so often it is how we see ourselves indirectly.

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

In a project, class room assignment several students simply “completed it” they did not finish the task but answered what they thought was the question they just simply wanted done. Whether it was right or wrong, good or bad was not the issue it was over.

“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, still you wait just as the rest do so where is there any benefit in being finished. A favorite catch phrase, I don’t care, should read, I really do not care about myself. As we enter the end of another week our world is troubled and sore, please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.
namaste
bird

TIME

Bird Droppings May 26, 2011
Time

Somewhere in my wanderings yesterday I forgot to save my droppings. Seldom in eleven years of writing nearly daily have a missed saving to various folders by month and year any of my daily wanderings. For some reason I had my days mixed up backwards or such forgot about retirement luncheon for a dear friend and promised to babysit my grand daughter on top of it. I read a good bit and argued with my dog over her sleeping habits and issues about how she seems to bark on a frequency only I hear at night. One issue I seem to have is time, lately it seems never do I have enough from dawn to dusk to accomplish what I want that day. I will admit many moments I find myself remembering stories about my dad but within my day dreaming, which I do all the time.

“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, 1936,, American psychiatrist, and author

I found this statement most intriguing and in a world where we continually try and save time and or speed up everything around since patience has been thrown out the door, time is an elusive quarry. Then I read this statement this morning I have been going over students scores of self esteem for several months looking for pieces to puzzles as to why they see them selves this way or that. I often am looking at family, friends, grades, age, and drugs, whether they are on medication or not. But in the end it is how a person sees themselves that is most crucial because it does interplay with all other aspects of our lives.

“Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.”
Thomas Carlyle

In the cruel circular motion of lacking self esteem it is difficult to accomplish anything. Yet once that circle is set in motion and accomplishment how ever small is completed self esteem also rises forth and grows.

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” Sam Walton

Often criticized for employee relations and for the mega-capitalistic Super Wal-Mart Stores since his death, the founder built his empire on building self esteem of his employees.

“Take away my factories, my plants; take away my railroads, my transportation; take away my money; strip me of all these, but leave me my people and in two or three years I will have them all again.” Andrew Carnegie

Many years ago I had this hanging on my wall in my office when I worked in the publishing industry. My father instilled this idea in me and as I look over results from my students. It is not about what program has been used, it is not what curriculum is used or text book. It is about that interaction between the teacher and the student. If a teacher can commit to their students as Carnegie did to his people success will be there and accomplishment and the self esteem of the students will improve. I started today on time, amazing how I wander. When teacher and student’s commitment, interaction, and trust reach this level, time becomes inconsequential. When time is inconsequential you can concentrate on commitment and accomplishment. Each day in the news I read words that keep me writing please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your heart.
namaste
bird