Friday, August 26, 2016


Hey, do you remember when I was doing the April 2015 A-Z on Fiery Manifestos?  Nearly every day I was struck by the dichotomy in these things... some were championing the right to be independent and

"do your own thing,"

and others were all about the interdependency of a world in which we all ought to

"be kind to one another."

My mind was reeling, going back and forth between these seemingly incompatible utopian goals on a daily basis.  It's also easy to see them in the eternal war of words between opposite sides of the political spectrum.

However, on the drive home from work yesterday, I think I figured it out.  You want to find your purpose?  Your True Will (or maybe the Will of God)?  Find yourself the path through the forest of life that maximizes both goals.  Forget about trying to meet in the mushy middle between the two.  Build up both sand-castle peaks as high as you can.

(Enough metaphors for ya?)

Once you find that maximizing path and start walking along it, you'll not only be independently doing your thang, but you'll also be in service to others and making their lives better.  You know, in that way that only you can do?  If you're building up only one of the two sand castles, and not the other, you may not be on that path yet.

I think this could be a sublimely practical compass.


  1. I think you're right. One sees it all the time in the classroom. You can't be of any real use to your students unless you're being true to yourself. Kids are smart. They can see right through pretense and they won't take you seriously if you're being less than genuine.

  2. Yes, and in a general sense offer a smile to people in public --and help find their kids who are always around the most recent corner. Don't need to know how they vote. Thing is, we can be of service to one another, confer kindness, be genuinely respectful and courteous.

  3. Thanks, Squid and Geo! Interesting how your responses both mentioned the specific case of behavior around other people's kids. :-) This is in my mind a lot as a teacher and mentor, too.

    1. And the balance is so important. When I screw up, it's always because I favored one of those peaks over the other.