Sunday, July 23, 2006

Good morning! I'm in a better mood today, and will continue my thoughts on education. If you have been following along, what follows should make sense. If not, then you'll have to go back to the very beginning to see the whole point.


INTERLUDE VII

What is a puzzle, if not a person -
Part hid from self, part from others.
As, from day to day, another piece
Is found - is lost - is found again.

What is a person, if not a puzzle -
To himself? To those around
Who look, or speak - sometimes to scoff,
To ridicule or to ignore?

Or, to those who, on occasion, do take note,
And, stopping for a moment, extend
A hand of friendship, of concern perhaps,
And then move on - themselves a puzzle?

How to pull the pieces into place,
Give meaning to the bits, frame
All into a more completed whole, if
Not by love?

Ah! That's dangerous! Of course, and
So is life! But not the way you may think;
A puzzle, trying to be a person, fears love
For it may reveal too much. While a person
Trying to solve the mystery, welcomes
What he may learn.


LOVE

The most over-used, misunderstood
And abused word in the English
Language. Or one of them, certainly.
Brotherhood, sisterliness, affection,
Warmth, concern, caring, passion, or
Erotic excess - and more. All are
Subsumed under its heading, or assumed
At one time or another.

Yet this single word has a deeper,
More universal meaning, and all
The others are expressions, in varying
Contexts, of this meaning. And that is:
To share with another that which is
Deepest within me; giving to that
Which is deepest within another - one person
To another, both equal in humanity
And need, and caring.

That is the heart of living in a human
World; that is the essence of learning;
That is the force that drives true human
Progress, as recorded in the great
Conversation. That is what so often is
Not evident among the boxes, the puzzles,
And the system. Hence, decline and
Mediocrity, and poor SAT's.

Let love in; let teachers care,
And fear not to show it; let
Students care, and fear not being
Singled out; be not ashamed - love
Is not soft or weakening, when
Truly understood.

Schools, families, and institutions
With love at the center are transformed
And transported beyond sociology into
The truest history - that of the human
Soul. Without love, then, all is naught
But statistics: let love in, please!


FRIENDSHIP

I cannot imagine living without friends,
Or without friendship - they are my
Completion, in a way. Oh, I am whole all
By myself, and true to that within me
That is best. But, being human, and alive,
I need more than me, alone, to do
And share with, or what's the point? We
Aren't made with feelings and with
Caring just to sit beside a stream all day.
There's time, and need for that as well,
But other's are around; without my friends
I might well lose touch with all I am,
A person with a heart, who needs other hearts in tune.

Friendship is the finest of all the
Ways there are to care for others.
It's the way to say: "wake up, live, grow"
To reach the peak of all that's
Best in each of us, and share it
With another. And sharing, be just
Who I am, no more; and if sometimes I am
A bit less, it doesn't matter, for
I have a friend who cares, accepts, and
Doesn't judge. A friend who knows
How I may feel, or think; who listens with
A hearing heart and lets me be - myself.
In this tough world, there's enough aloneness
To serve the solitary souls who
Seem to want to be without connection;
Who in their deeper hearts may cry
For solace, respect, love and comfort,
Yet do not find it in their hearts
To give; fear letting others in.
Such is not for me, and if it's weakness
Then I'm weak, unafraid to let another
See my need, unashamed of tears
Of sorrow or of joy, unabashed by softer
Thoughts, buoyed up by love.

For love it is that's at the core;
The corner stone, the keystone of
The arch that's friendship. Without condition,
Absent judgment, possessing no one,
These stones so closely fit together form
A solid and enduring monument to the
Best that's in us all. So join with me
And be my friend, and live, and love,
And grow.
So it follows along, I think. And you are getting a good idea of my philosophy of education, and where I'm coming from.
Shall I be trite, and say "Have a great day"? I guess I did!

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