Run The Distance

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“Those who educate children well are more to be honoured than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.” 
Aristotle

 Run The Distance

A relay relies on a team to run the race.  A time will come to hand the baton to another; our work complete, we will watch as the runner diminishes into a far horizon.  Far from being sorrowful, we should be elated.  We have run our distance.

The ancients left a legacy that remained vibrant and strong throughout the centuries.  Socrates once said, “I am not an Athenian nor a Greek, but a citizen of the world.” He was a citizen of history, as are all who walk this earth.  Whether we are remembered one hundred years from now is of no consequence.  What we do today, in the time and space that has been given is what counts. Our legacy will be held in the hearts of those who love us, in the stories that will be shared when they recall our memory.  As the Stoic philosopher Epictetus once wrote, “Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” 

Run the distance.  Enjoy the moment, for this is our time.  As Plato said, “Love is the pursuit of the whole.” 

“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.” 
 Winston Churchill

 

The Outcome is Action

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“The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.”
Aristotle

Simon Fraser University - Bear Mother by Bill Reid

Simon Fraser University – Bear Mother by Bill Reid

The other day I visited Simon Fraser University, advantageously situated to overlook the mountains that stand guard over the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.  I felt the energy of learning the minute I stepped through the doors and saw students with books and laptops studying in solo, duet, and trio formations. It was exam week; tensions were high, the atmosphere filled with enough brain activity to power the campus streetlights for the coming week.  Somewhere between the pages of a text and the long hours of study resides the hope that education will provide a way to participate within the world.

Participating is contributing. When Hipparchus was inspired to compile a catalogue of the 850 or so stars whose positions were then known, he was contributing to collective wisdom.  As was Claudius Ptolemy when he wrote Almagest!  As was Arete when she wrote forty books and taught one hundred and ten philosophers over the course of her life.

The nature of education, regardless of varying methodologies, has not changed over the centuries.  It is humanity’s way of transferring knowledge and wisdom from one generation to the next, much like a relay race without end. Great thinkers know that the outcome of education is action. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Learning takes on many appearances; it shifts our thinking, challenges our beliefs and fills us with passion to seek better outcomes for ourselves, our families and our communities, local and global.

“When you know better you do better.” 
Maya Angelou

I was listening, but…

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Listening

“Just because I didn’t do what you told me, doesn’t mean I wasn’t listening to you!”

Hank Ketcham, American cartoonist who created Dennis the Menace

We think that when people listen, they agree. When someone nods in understanding, we assume it means consensus.  We may prefer harmony in our dialogues for it brings a sensation of well-being, but disagreements are the genesis of transformations.

Listening doesn’t mean you agree.

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

Aristotle

The Mark of an Education

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“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

 Aristotle

Just a question – has anyone figured out how to do this?

A Week for Friendships…

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I captured the essence of Venezia (Venice) in one photo, which I have entitled, Conversation with a Friend.  As we begin a new week, my thoughts turn to friends who have inspired, challenged and encouraged me…

This coming week is dedicated to friendships…

“Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.”

Aristotle