Just a final thought on Paris. Now that things have settled a bit my thoughts go to those parents and kids who now face life with a huge void in it because of some who are so desperately dissatisfied with their own lives that they feel compelled to make sure others aren’t enjoying theirs either.
Let’s not lose sight of an opportunity that exists in the rubble of Paris. As a human family of the world we can use the tragedy in Paris as a call to all of our government leaders-‘Enough is enough”. Let’s not act out of anger and resentment. Let’s not act hastily but rather with discernment–but LETS ACT in a pro-active manner that says “We will not let you abuse us anymore”. Really–whose country is it and the decisions that are made don’t have to follow some generic formula that everyone else has to agree to. DO what is right for your own place and do it with respect and that others are treated with dignity. Let’s take back what is rightfully ours and invite those who want to support that way of life to join us and not condemn our choices for how we choose to live our lives on our own soil.
It’s OK to be different–it’s OK to lead. Political correctness needs to be buried with those who gave their lives in Paris.
“I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”–Albert Einstein
I doubt most folks have any idea of what ‘it’is. It is not a new gadget or piece of technology. Actually it is only found in people who are about 60 years old and older. It is not generated by a computer and computers can’t make it. It isn’t taught in schools but kids could benefit immensely from this and it is free to them. It is, arguably, one of the most important things that many kids of this day lack. The giver, however, spent a lifetime gathering this and in so many instances it has been found to go beyond any stated or quantified value. It is truly priceless.
‘It’ is knowledge, information and experience.
It is true that computers have done much to add to science, space travel, medicine, education, architecture and design and so on. The list is very long and very impressive. What I suggest is this: While computers have changed our lives dramatically they have also, inadvertently, created less need for what we used to call human interaction. Life has sped up considerably and many are having a hard time keeping up. Along with this diminished need for human interaction we don’t have time for the age old practice of sharing wisdom and insight through conversation. This sharing was often referred to as the ultimate education.
Grandparents, who are our true teachers, used to be treated with reverence and respect for what they had experienced and for what they had survived. Many of our 20th century cultures revered their elders and respected their wisdom. Our elders knew and understood how to live in harmony with others. They understood the unwritten guidelines that kept us functioning as a large community. Today we seem to lack that same clarity and our vision has changed. Interestingly enough that has been coincidental with the lack of respect paid older folks and the messages they bring from another time. Where their words meant much they mean little today. Families don’t seem to have the time to spend with their elders anymore. More than many are in a rush to put good old dad or mom or both in nice comfortable homes for their own good. They tell us that it is in our best interests and that we can be with others of like circumstances. We are not seen or known for our learned wisdoms and our experiences are no longer sought or valued.
The seniors of this day understand the intricacies and the nuances of human life and what it is like to love, to hurt, to witness joy. They get the inner value of rolling up your sleeves and hard work. They learned how to adapt to an ever changing world filled with hardship because they had to or perish. They know about the lessons connected to being successful or not being successful and how to deal with disappointment. They didn’t run to the doctor’s office looking for a script. They learned how to deal with this stuff. They internalized the idea that you had to work and sacrifice for all you wanted and needed but the rewards were great and built character. They didn’t trade their future for their want in the present. They are the living proof that human beings can survive almost anything including loss and tragedy which are part of life. Todays’ computer cannot help us with these events because it cannot feel.
As important as seniors are we are allowing them to slip away from us in the trade off that is called progress. Parents used to live with their families in their retirement. They could share their wisdom with grand kids around the dinner table and on the porch. Now families don’t invite mom and dad or grandma and grandpa to come live with them-at least not often. Not many have time for us now. Not only have we become irrelevant but so has our message and so we are placed with other ‘old’ people in assisted living communities. The tragedy to that is all our knowledge,information and insights we have gained are never shared with those who need them the most. Those would be our grandchildren. They have become or are in the process of becoming Einstein’s greatest fear and concern–‘a generation of idiots’. Granted many of our grandchildren have become extremely good at utilizing their technological skills but that’s a one-trick pony. Outside of that realm they seem to demonstrate little in terms of ‘living in community and harmony’ with others. I believe that is what Einstein meant when he spoke about ‘idiots’. They are not stupid but rather ill-informed and ill-prepared to live amongst their peers in harmony and a sense of community.
Computers and technology have enriched our lives. We have built amazing things and discovered many more. But in doing so they have created a society that requires or encourages less human interaction. At a time when so many of our kids are struggling with hopelessness, fear, depression, suicidal ideation and a lack of direction regarding their futures I would think that this information and potential leadership would be sorely needed and sought after. I am concerned that this oversight will cost us much if we don’t tap into the treasure chest that is filled with our seniors experience. Our children need to re-evaluate the importance of learning what we seniors know about life and living. This is the stuff that can’t be taught in schools. It is up to our children to help our grand children understand that not everything of value comes out of a box that has no soul. These are the important messages and lessons concerning life and what it is all about. The circle of life isn’t about stages we go through. It is about the decisions we make to pass on the knowledge we have gained so that the next generation can benefit and do the same for their kids. This is the circle of life as I understand it and it is or can be infinite.
Anyways,that’s how I see it–Jim
Comments are always welcome pro or con. You can connect with me by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
through my web site at: jamescloughley.com
This article is a continuation of a blog I wrote in 2013. It tells of a family but more about a man and his son and their story. I wanted to provide an update about what they have been doing that shows that their story is very real-that it is a way of life for them and that they live what we see.
Patrick Henry Hughes was born with no eyes and his basic structural bones and joints were all but useless in terms of he being able to walk, climb and be a ‘normal’ kid. Most parents would have been destroyed by this but this remarkable family didn’t let that happen to them. Truthfully, Patrick’s father stated he was devastated by this. He realized that his dreams for his son and all they would do together were gone before any of it could be started. But instead of feeling sorry for himself and his wife and family not to mention Patrick himself, they all banned together to provide Patrick with the best life experience they could provide him given the ‘limits’ that Patrick faced.
Patrick has gone on to graduate from the University of Louisville (magna cum laude), has produced two CD’s, much of it being his own music, has given concerts (he was playing piano at 9 months of age and is an accomplished piano and trumpet player) all over the world, has become an international speaker with an excellent motivational and spiritual message and has appeared on all the top rated day time TV shows. He has chosen to celebrate his God given gifts and to realize his potential and skills. He will not be defined by his circumstances but rather sees himself as fortunate. I believe this philosophy to be a great gift from his parents–especially his father who refused to feel angry and somehow cheated out of his lost dreams. Patrick’s father stepped up when most would have stepped back. He taught Patrick many lessons by how he conducted himself. He became Patrick’s role model and he gave from his heart. Patrick had a great dad–an outstanding teacher and mentor–one he could surely count on and a dad who loved him unconditionally. That’s who a dad is and what a dad does.
(Original copy from October 22, 2013)
There comes a time when circumstances demand we get out of ourselves and share who we are and what we have to offer to the world instead of constantly looking for what the world owes us. We have become such an ego-centric society. This remarkable real life story of Patrick Henry Hughes should command us, especially those of us with kids, to look at what and how we determine our priorities. Do we need to re-assess that list somewhat?
At a time when men all over the world are second guessing their role as a parent and as a father along comes a video that truly says what being a father is really all about. If you have any doubts please watch this life changing video. It will be one of the best 6 minutes you have spent in a long time. The quality of the clip isn’t great but the message is very clear. It leaves no doubt about the responsibility men need to share when thinking about being a ‘dad.’ It’s not glamorous and it’s not medal worthy but it is absolute. If you have taken the time to participate in creating a life then you have a responsibility to stay around and make sure that the life you helped create has every chance of thriving. This is not negotiable and it is not to be debated. It is what it is.
“There comes a point in life when fun no longer means clubbing, drinking, or being out until 4am, or thinking about yourself.
But now fun means Disney movies, family dinners, bedtime stories, long cuddles, a messy house, sleeping by 10pm and hearing little voices say, “I love you.” Becoming a parent doesn’t necessarily change you. But it does help you realize that the little people that YOU created deserve the very best of your time.”
True and pure love is the basis of this clip. Spend the time it takes and you’ll see the world to be a different place.
Please check out “A Man’s Work Is Never Done . . . ” Read it and then pass it on to those who you think would appreciate some guidance when mentoring their sons through the transition from boyhood to manhood. This is a great resource for single moms, single dads, grandparents and other family members who struggle with how to help a fatherless young man in their lives become all he can be in a rapidly changing world.