Brick By Brick

A Worthy Wall

“A Worthy Wall” Photo by Owl’s Flight – (Smithville Machining Factory – Smithville (Burlington Co.), NJ.

I’ve hesitated writing this because, first, I wanted to work through it and, secondly, I didn’t want my words to be misunderstood and sound like more rantings.

Hubby and I were talking recently one morning, when I became saddened by the latest news reports and political bashings. It’s the last thing I want to do is enter into that circus arena and add to the political and social opinions.

But, there comes a time when speaking out might help to give a different perspective. That’s what I found to be true for me when I worked through this. I found hope again and got a new outlook.

Owl’s Flight Photo via Compfight 

I’ve been disheartened and concerned lately, as to not only where my country is headed but also humanity. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it this bad. The Presidential debates have turned into a joke more for entertainment than for addressing serious issues.

It has gotten to the point where I’ve felt like giving up on us, as humans, or having faith that we could learn to love one another and resolve our differences. But, it seems not much has changed in the eons of time, as demonstrated by our potential leaders and how we treat one another. I began wondering if it’s a reflection of how we really feel collectively or is it something ugly we can no longer avoid?

I thought: “What’s the use of speaking up. Look at what’s happened to the best of them: the Kennedy’s or Martin Luther King, Jr.” No doubt there’s a lot of fear and unrest in the world. There always seems to be no shortage of those who think they have the right fix. So, why would I think I could be any different in the things I may have to say or the consequences?

Even centuries ago, things couldn’t have gotten much worse for one of Rome’s greatest orators, Cicero. He was executed and his head and hands put on display in the Roman forum for speaking out in a series of speeches against Mark Antony and the government.

Not that long ago, even John Lennon was highly criticized when he spoke out about people and government and how insane it was:

It doesn’t seem like we’ve evolved much and I’m tempted to doubt if we could ever hope for better in our lifetimes and generations to come. Something desperately needs to change if what we’ve been doing since the beginning of time isn’t working. We now could not only destroy this planet but ourselves right along with it.

I’m going through all this because it’s some of the fears and unrest I’m experiencing in attempting to say what I feel. I chase off my courage (there’s my word for 2016) with the worse-case scenarios only because I’m trying to justify them. Fears are real and I want to be safe but there comes a time when I have to push through and speak up with a few things I’ve observed. What’s going on in the world is serious and is no playground banter and childhood drama. I feel it in my heart and it affects me. Maybe, what I say here will matter.

It’s no wonder I hesitate in standing up and speaking out, especially with regard to religion and politics; although, there seems to be no problems out there in expressing hate. Those topics bring out the worst in us, yet seem to touch us most deeply in terms with how we live and relate to one another.

I wonder, “What is it we’re not getting, if centuries have gone by and we’re still repeating the same power struggles?” I suppose it’s been going on since humans came into existence and instead of shooting to kill for food and survival in the elements, it’s a ―get them― before ―they get us― mentality with one another. There’s no shortage of fear and with more guns available to use, when some of us have a crisis or go through raw, emotional issues, it shows up in what you see in the world today.

It used to be we settled our differences in taking it up, out in the parking lot, with brawn and fists. ­Now, it’s war in our parking lots and neighborhoods and is settled with the same armory the military uses. A regular shotgun or hunting rifle isn’t enough. One bullet to kill doesn’t do it, it has to be a semi-automatic firearm to kill with a hundred bullets and the gun industry is benefiting tremendously from our fears.

That may be our biggest problem ― human nature and the conditions of the heart haven’t caught up with our mental and physical abilities. It’s not that they’re lacking in any way; it just hasn’t been as important or much attention paid to them. Maybe it’s a sign of weakness if we looked within for answers and learned to listen to our hearts rather than react with our egos. I don’t know. I can’t say I really understand my human nature and what is the condition of my heart only that I can feel the turmoil.

You can probably see by now, in my reflections and what I’m writing, that I’ve been feeling in a bit-of-a-funk by the latest news and what’s been going on in my country and the world. Please, don’t stop reading now ― it gets better as I work my way through this.

Hubby and I continued our conversation and I noticed there was a slight shift to the positive. He reminded me how things have changed over time and what we are able to do today that would not have been tolerated a hundred years ago. As I noted earlier, people were shot or worse, no questions asked, if laws and behavior were challenged as they are today in the rantings on TV and posts on social media like what I’m writing here.

Yes, it took people standing up, even giving their lives, speaking out against slavery and for women’s rights, for example, and that freedom still rings true today. It takes courage (love that word) to put values and opinions out there like what I’m sharing here. Chances are those who remain silent may have similar views.

So, slowly, humanity is evolving . . . slowly, we’re getting it, even if the crazies come out shouting and appear to bully their way over the silent majority. And, I might add, they can because it’s their right, too.

Hubby went on being positive and told me how centuries ago it must have been hard, when skilled craftsman built cathedrals, knew they would never live to see their completion but they started anyway and envisioned it just the same. They built ― brick-by-brick. Most of the time, we never see the results of a kind word, good deed or smile. We don’t see how it changes things. But, we have a vision of how it could be and that’s what we put out there.

I remember years ago, when I piloted a talking-stick group in the corporate world. I wanted my fellow workers and management to talk about interesting and deeper topics that normally weren’t discussed as much in the work place, at least philosophically ― topics like trust, attitudes, leadership and harmony.

I envisioned if we got to know one another, human-to-human, we would be more tolerant and forgiving, when it came to the handling of daily work and management decisions. I saw a few glimpses of encouragement, even compassion among fellow co-workers and management, that it was possible.

Not much really came of that pilot, even outside of the corporate environment, if you wanted to measure it by popularity and people lining up to sign up for the next workshop. Only, a tug of my heart, when a supervisor came up to me privately, after one of my introductions in a meeting, to tell me how the poem I read touched her heart. She had to hold it together and not cry. You see, her mother was dying and she felt love.

“The Secret Sits” by Robert Frost
“We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”

At times, it left me scratching my head wondering what that was all about. Why was I so passionate about putting on that pilot at the time? I’m beginning to understand that it’s not so much the results but it’s the effort, like in this interview below that H.G. Wells had with Teddy Roosevelt over a hundred years ago.

It was something hubby read me out of Edmund Morris’ book, “This Living Hand And Other Essays” that struck a chord. Picture it over a hundred years ago: Teddy Roosevelt said to H.G. Wells in a May 6, 1906 interview in the White House garden talking to him about his Time Machine:

““Suppose, after,” he said slowly, “that you’re right, that our civilization will end in your butterflies and morlocks. That doesn’t matter now. The effort’s real. . . .It’s worth it. It’s worth it ― even so.”

I can see him now and hear his unmusical voice saying. “The effort―the effort’s worth it.” and see the gesture of his clenched hand and the―how can I describe it―the friendly peering snarl of his face, like a man with the sun in his eyes.”” ~~ taken from Edmund Morris’ book “This Living Hand And Other Essays” – (Theodore Roosevelt The Polygon – page 34).

Yes, it’s the effort that’s worth it. Maybe, it’s just the doing that’s important in lieu of always having to reach a destination or see an end result, as life is a journey. All the muses, accomplishments, possessions and, yes, those rantings will not accompany us when we leave this world.

To quote Barbara Mattio at “Idealistic Rebel”:
“we are all Stardust and deserving of love and consideration from and for each other”.

The things I do today may not yield the results I think they should. They may only be footprints to point the way for someone else to pick up and develop years later, when times are primed and conditions are more accepting.

Maybe, all I need to do is take advantage of opportunities that come my way and take part, together, in the movements of human evolution in my time. I am making progress one brick at a time just in working through my feelings and with courage putting it to words.

I’m doing my part to make this a better world and so are you. Take heart in the effort because it does count and may be more important than the results. In the bigger picture, what we say, stand up for and the love we share does make a difference.

Walt Whitman in “Song of the Open Road”
Allons! whoever you are, come travel with me!
Traveling with me, you find what never tires

The earth never tires;
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first—Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first;
Be not discouraged—keep on—there are divine things, well envelop’d;
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Pat Ruppel
Acknowledgements: "A Worthy Wall" Photo by Owl's Fli more...

32 thoughts on “Brick By Brick

  1. Yes it is easy to thing the world is falling apart, but I am sure people through the ages have thought that as well, we have come so far, yet we still have to far to go. It is easy to just give up and check out but that achieves nothing. I personally just try to be the best I can be, do I fail a lot, yes I do but at least I try.

    • Hi Joanne and thank you for commenting. I realize all of what you said that there are other generations that have thought the same and giving up achieves nothing. You’re right in what we can do is our best and keep trying. I’m working on it. 🙂

  2. Loved this article!! I’ve been saying that depending on who wins, we might just have to move out of the country. It’s been difficult to watch and shocking to see where the sentiment in America lies. I shared the article on my Facebook page because it was truly worth sharing. 🙂

    • Thank you, Wendy, and for sharing. I’m glad you understand and share in how difficult it is in America these days. It’s hard to watch and much harder to see the fear and feel the division.

      In our small, mountain community we just had a deputy killed and 2 deputies injured in a shoot out serving an eviction.

      It has put us in a state of shock reminiscent of when we had a student killed in our high school a number of years ago.

      • That’s awful. I’m so sorry your community is facing such trying times. Wishing the very best for the future of the community.

        • Thank you, Wendy. It’s been difficult, especially when it hits so close to home. But, it’s not only here it’s all over the country and the world. Must be the times we’re living in now. Brings you to your knees, for sure.

  3. Pat, I think part of the problem is that people don’t speak out about their political views. A lot depends on the government in power of course. Here in Canada when we were under the thumb of a Conservative Leader (who was actually from the Reform Party and not really conservative), people were actually reluctant to speak out, as though they feared someone would come and take them away in the middle of the night. When our current Liberal Party was elected, people became more talkative, and even said, wow I feel like I can breathe again! Why do we allow this to happen…I cannot answer for Americans but we Canadians are known for our “politeness” and sometimes that works against us. It’s how dictatorships rise to power. We must never never hide our eyes and close our mouths to what goes on in our country. Today with all the social media outlets available, it is easier now than ever to get a message out there. Great article Pat!

    • I agree, Bev, in that we don’t speak out not only on political views but our feelings about a lot of things. It’s probably because of a lot of reasons, as long as we’re not affected too much and can continue our status quo. I think it really begins in our homes and with those closest to us and if we can discuss volatile topics with openness.

      You’re right, with it now being more easy to say most anything on social media and remain somewhat anonymous, at least without catching much wrath like you would if you were talking to someone face-to-face. I don’t know that it makes much difference, though.

      I heard one opinion today on “Meet the Press” that I thought was interesting and with a different take on the Presidential candidates and how it will turn out. I can’t remember the panelist’s name but he looked at the debates as a beta test to see how much the country would tolerate. I can see that but, man, what it’s putting us through in the process is not much fun.

      I’m glad there in Canada, you’re people are now in a place where you feel you can breathe again. It will happen again for us — maybe, it’s just stuff we need to work out in order to learn to be one and come together for challenges we may have to face and for future generations. We’re greatly blessed and that’s not to be taken lightly. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed the read. 🙂

  4. It’s often scary and worrying to see what’s happening in the world and it often seems that the problems are too big for us ever to work our way out of them – I feel that despair too. But as with the examples you gave, we can look back on great progress that depended on maybe a few people who made a big difference.

    • I know what you, mean, Andrea. The problems seem so big and overwhelming. It’s not only the divisions between people and countries, but the climate as well. I get the feeling, greater forces are trying to get out attention. The outcome will determine how we respond.

      There’s so much good going on in the world that’s rarely talked about but I think it’s changing. That’s the good thing about social media is when a touching, heart-warming story is posted, a lot of times it goes viral. Maybe, all the good will come forth and gain momentum to where that’s what becomes popular and makes ratings over the bad publicity.

      Thank you for sharing. I know we don’t have the answers but, like you said, there are those who have made a difference and continuing to and we can take heart in the progress made and changes.

  5. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a Christian movement throughout the world synchronized three prayer days with these days of meditation. I have a neighbour volunteering in Kos, Greece at the moment and the posts he sends back on Facebook are tragic. Bless you Pat. You were so right posting this. Dianax

    • Thank you, Diana. You made my day letting me know I was right to post this. Yes, it would be wonderful if this would be the beginning of a synchronized Christian and spiritual movement around the world.

      James Twyman, who is heading up the 3-day meditation this month in India on the video I posted, recently had the same type of synchronized meditation last month on the borders of Syria. Not long after, they had a cease fire. Some powerful things going on around the world these days. I think we’re on the brink of realizing it first-hand.

  6. I feel your pain and share your concerns as I am sure a great many Americans, and people worldwide, do. Yes we have come a long way, comparatively speaking. However, I wish we could say we had come farther by 2016.

    • Hi Susan. No doubt a lot of us Americans are feeling the pinch and a bit bewildered these days. It’s hard to know what information to trust. I see on the news more shootings and racial divide and then see evidence of harmony with 2 friends happily on a walk together — one white and the other black. We’ve made such tremendous strides but I think what still remains still has deep roots and raises it’s ugly head more and more. That’s what needs to be addressed with love and with serious attention given to each side to begin to find solutions.

      I wrote a post back in 2013 on similar topics called “We Need Help, Bad: A Mediator, Arbiter, Equalizer, Referee, Healer – Anyone ― Dali Lama!?” and I posted a video by William Ury who is a well-known mediator and author of “The Third Side”. He talks about mediating situations in the Middle East with success, especially in the creation of Abraham’s walk. If he can believe it’s possible to bring about harmony, I can, too.

      Sorry, I got on my soapbox a little there. Thank you for weighing in and sharing your thoughts and concerns. These comments, stories and discussions matter and will weave their way in a much bigger tapestry of human nature and what we’re made of. Love and hugs. xxoo

  7. Hello, Pat.
    Yes, it is truly a bewildering time and many share in your frustration. We are ultimately, a decent people yearning to return to a time that didn’t feel quite so perilous. A time when we at least felt that we could trust in our elected officials to do what was in the best interests of America. A time when we had real leadership and felt that we could go about our daily business and know that all was secure. Afterall, isn’t that why we have elected representation? We are all so terribly disillusioned and desperate to get the right people guiding our country, those that will represent faithfully our wonderful constitution as it was originally drawn. We may not have the answer, but we must try. Take heart my friend.

    • Thank you for sharing and I share your sentiments, bannekennedy. It is a bewildering time and quite perilous but, maybe, it’s also a time when we can no longer coast and depend so much on others for our well being. Maybe, we’re growing up and are being booted out of our nests and comfort zones.

      I think it’s also a time for us to apply the lessons we have learned in the things that will sustain us and keep this planet alive. We have so much more to learn with how we get along and love each other. We’re about to test our wings — it remains to be seen whether we’ll fly or plummet to the ground. I tend to believe that, after a few bumps in getting the hang of it, we’ll soon begin to soar. Truly appreciate that you stopped by and hope you’ll be back. 🙂

  8. Pat, I had to step back and take a break from the political news because I was so disheartened, sad and yes, even angry seeing what has been taking place this year. I half joked with my son at one point that if it weren’t for him, his brother and my grandchildren I would move from this country and disavow it but nothing changes by ignoring the problem. What if all of us with some sense of sanity left the country? It would only become a place to be feared by the rest of the world.

    I’m glad you have your husband to bounce ideas and thoughts off of and that he can help ground you when your fears come to get the best of you.

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Lois. I share your sentiments in taking a break from all the political news and social injustices. The energy of it all is so heavy and I’m left feeling at a loss of what can be done. (I have to ask, after going over to your site, are you the Eco Grandma? — hahaha, if not, you have a double out there in Pittsburgh and probably need to hook up.)

      You’re right in that the answer is probably not moving to another country. though that can be tempting at times; pastures always seem greener on the other side. We just have to hunker down and roll up our sleeves, take responsibility and tend to the business at hand from right where we’re at. If we each look to making this a better world and a kinder place to live in, it will make a difference. Dr. Wayne Dyer always said, “If you have a choice to be right or be kind, always choose to be kind.”

      I am thankful to have hubby to discuss these heartfelt issues with. They’re difficult times and we need each other to exchange and bounce our thoughts and feelings off of. I thank you for doing that with me here and hope others can find this a safe place to land and talk a bit. We may not be able to solve the world’s problems but we can make it better by connecting and supporting one another in love through all of it. God bless – 🙂

  9. I had a crazy couple of two weeks but kept saving this post because my gut feeling was it was going to be a good one. It is. You are not alone in your thoughts and feelings Pat, many people would agree with you.
    Yes even I at my age feel the same. Your word courage comes in many forms, but, it is out there. We all have it. I never thought I would have the courage to write and have the book published, but I did. It will not save the world, but hopefully it made a few folks smile. It might have given someone a view on life and love that they needed at that very moment. It might have given someone the courage to put their feelings on paper. I will never know, but that’s what it’s all about for me. I am attaching a poem that I wrote way back in the 70’s and I still hear the same bell ringing in my words today. It is not going to win me any accolades but it will be forever in this universe. Let me know if you see the correlation between then and now.

    CAN YOU HEAR THE RUMBLING
    By: Patricia Salamone

    Can you hear the rumbling? If you listen close you might. Can you see despair and poverty? It is an awful sight! Can you hear the children crying out in pain? Can you see their faces as they’re calling out in vain?
    Each day you line your pockets. Is that your only goal? Is human life so meaningless you let degradation take its toll? Do you see how …you are destroying the only world which we know? We trusted you to lead us and this is all you have to show?
    You keep your little circle tight, with nothing but the best. Once this world is finished, you’ll go down with all the rest. Promises you made mean nothing any more. You will say anything you need to get you in the door.
    If you think we’re not aware of what is coming down. If you think this can go on, you really are a clown. Quietly we gather; one by one we come. Silently we move while all of you are having fun.
    We are tired of your grabbing, and never giving back. We are angry you’ve betrayed us. We are about to crack. You have lost sight of what you’re there for; to lead, and not to take. Your Greed has taken flight, your Pride, a big mistake.
    Can you hear the rumbling?  If you listen close you might

    We always have hope. xo

    • Hi Patricia — pretty powerful poem you’ve written — definitely touches on a lot of what we see going on today. It can be heart wrenching and my head can’t make sense of it, if I only look at what’s being reporting in the news. No doubt it’s what is happening around the world and it’s serious.

      But, I am encouraged by words from Spirit in a post John Cali wrote (a world renowned channeler from Wyoming), “Earth Day 2016“, saying allow her to heal. They went on to say:

      “Much of the chaos and confusion in your world today is a clear sign that the “forces of darkness” are losing. But not without a fight. Darkness is not even a reality. It’s only the absence of light. Once you acknowledge and allow the light in all that is, you and Mother Earth will be healed.”

      In the midst of all this senseless chaos, it gives me hope there is more going on than meets the eye or understand. It’s a force greater than any darkness and it’s evident it’s being tapped within our hearts.

      Thank you for sharing you’re heartfelt words. I know it makes a difference.

  10. Hello again Pat,

    First of all, I agree with you when you mention that political debates turned out more as a joke than something serious. Even here in Seychelles, in Mauritius, and each corner of the world, we have access to what is happening during the debates, since we have satellite bouquets including CNN channel. I won’t name anyone among the candidates, but what we can see is a sort of tug of war between the candidates, some of them even don’t hesitate to use racism, hatred and ironies in their purposes to attract people and to scratch their other adversaries. I may fear that it’s the same thing which happens in every countries of the world. A couple of years ago, when there were elections in Mauritius, we faced the same thing with all candidates pinching each other, not on the future of the country, but on some political and personal matters concerning their personalities, and Mauritians seized that opportunity to buff all that electoral debate through caricatures and musical parodies.

    When I read your paragraph where you mention, I quote, “I thought: “What’s the use of speaking up. Look at what’s happened to the best of them: the Kennedy’s or Martin Luther King, Jr.” No doubt there’s a lot of fear and unrest in the world. There always seems to be no shortage of those who think they have the right fix. So, why would I think I could be any different in the things I may have to say or the consequences?” I conclude from this that unfortunately, people will mostly tend to feed leaders who have hunger for power and who will act, as per the Holy Gospel of Matthew, as fake prophets who are sheep-coated but who instead are ravenous wolves, who will attract people with sugar-coated words and fake promises. There is no more place for humble and true heroes like Martin Luther King Jr, the Kennedys or Nelson Mandela nowadays. Today, you succeed only over lust, greed and empowerment, not for the people, but for yourself as a leader. And what is sad is that true leaders will always end up badly, whereas there is more and more space for fake leaders. In Mauritius, that kind of spirit is exactly what some youngsters, who are postulating as future politicians to bring some young blood into politics, are doing actually. They do as if they want to help people in need, but in reality they mock other people’s dreams and attract those same people to work for them like slaves more and more until they get tired and loose their personality. I recently had a horrible nightmare at night, which would explain better the state of mind of those politicians. I once dreamt there was a small grey mouse under my dining table, who was hungry. I was scared but nonetheless, I fed him with a piece of cheddar cheese from my fridge, and I observed the hungry mouse eating quietly, thinking it would leave me in peace. I was wrong, since the day after, as per my dream, the grey little mouse turned into a horrible big brown rat! Despite all I fed it with, this time, a complete box of cheddar cheese and thought, that time, it would leave me in peace. Once more, I was wrong! The morning after, that horrible rat was transformed into a big brown and white guinea pig, who looked cute from afar but which jumped over me to bite me and to attack me! While my husband was fighting against the guinea pig, I screamed very loud and succeeded running away from the house with my young son to retrieve myself in security near a lovely sunny beach! This is nowadays’s society which is like that: naive people feeding small mice to guinea pigs! The greedier they become, the more their followers get enslaved from them.

    I really love that extract where you wrote, I quote, “Maybe it’s a sign of weakness if we looked within for answers and learned to listen to our hearts rather than react with our egos. I don’t know. I can’t say I really understand my human nature and what is the condition of my heart only that I can feel the turmoil.”. You exactly confirmed the reason behind the empowerment of people. Nowadays, more and more people see the fact of talking with your heart as a sign of weakness, whereas you show your strength by not showing your feelings. That’s completely wrong. People who turn heartless are, in reality, people who underestimate others and underestimate even ourselves. Most of those people have an incredible over-sized ego and in someway a sort of inferiority complex, since they feed within themselves the fear of the past. Fear of being mocked. Fear of the bad experiences they accumulated in the past. Fear of other people’s opinions and regards. Also, for not showing their fears, they turn into disguised superheroes to attract naive people and, at times, they use weak people to destabilize them and to personify them in the way they, the so-called leaders, want them to become. It’s oh so easy to influence and much easier to be influenced, especially when you don’t have the strength to say no.

    Another extract really attracted my attention, I quote, “Hubby went on being positive and told me how centuries ago it must have been hard, when skilled craftsman built cathedrals, knew they would never live to see their completion but they started anyway and envisioned it just the same. They built ― brick-by-brick. Most of the time, we never see the results of a kind word, good deed or smile. We don’t see how it changes things. But, we have a vision of how it could be and that’s what we put out there.” and I don’t know why, when your husband mentioned about the skilled craftsman who could never see the end of his work by building cathedrals, it reminded me about the Sagrada Familia, the famous Cathedral of Barcelona in Spain, and how Gaudi, who was the founder of that cathedral, could never see the end of his work further to an accident. You can see that extract for more details: http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/history-of-the-temple/. Also, I asked myself the question, “But why don’t those skilled craftsmen able to see the end of their work when they build cathedrals?” I googled that question, and saw a quote saying “You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.” I then did some researches about that quote and saw a very interesting article I will share with you, and for which I saw two quotes I really enjoyed about humanity compared to the building of a cathedral:

    1) You are building cathedrals! No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work some of them would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

    2) Children will grow and mature and become adults. Keep building the little pieces of the cathedral. Your influence will extend to more generations, some you may see and some you will never see. But one day we will stand together in a heavenly cathedral that will be finished, perfect and filled with harmonious notes of praise that will delight the heart of God.

    (Source: http://www.newfoundationsinternational.org/blog/category/cathedrals)

    I interpreted those extracts, concluding that we, humans, are cathedrals, and our elders are our founders, most of the time our parents. We cannot predict what we may become tomorrow, since it depends on the ones who construct us in our daily lives, and who are mainly our parents and our teachers. My son’s teacher once shared with us a beautiful poem he googled and modified with his own words, and which perfectly describes the philosophy of the cathedral building, but in the shape of a child’s education:

    “THE SCULPTORS

    I dreamt I was in a studio
    And watched two sculptors there
    The clay they used was a child’s mind,
    They handled it with care.

    One was a teacher with great ideas:
    To play games, read books and make art.
    The other a parent with a guiding hand
    And a gentle loving heart.

    Each agreed they would have failed,
    Had they worked alone.
    For behind the parent stood the school.
    Behind the teacher, the home.”

    Another extract of yours which I really appreciated is, I quote, “Yes, it’s the effort that’s worth it. Maybe, it’s just the doing that’s important in lieu of always having to reach a destination or see an end result, as life is a journey. All the muses, accomplishments, possessions and, yes, those rantings will not accompany us when we leave this world.”. I agree on that point, but I would also add that effort is worth when EVERYONE works hand in hand. Also, the leaders should do their part of efforts, but even the humanity should make its part of efforts as well, not as blind followers, but as intelligent followers. It means that leaders can also be wrong because they are humans above all, and no human is perfect. And if the intelligent follower helps the mistaken leader, it doesn’t mean the follower is denigrating the leader, but instead the follower is helping the leader. And a true leader must learn to accept whenever he is right or wrong, and this from his follower. Leadership should not be categorized such as “The boss thinks, the worker executes” like when it was the case in companies following the principles of Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 20s. And as well, the leader shoudn’t be even weak and passive face to stronger followers. Leaders and followers should be equal, and do their parts of efforts together and not separately. Because only the effort is the key to achievement, and so is equality within humanhood.

    • Hi Uma — thank you for your thoughts and sharing. I’m glad you enjoyed it and seemed to get so much out of it. There is so much that could be expressed on many levels on this whether it be with politics, leadership or the condition of the human heart. (I loved the poem ~ beautiful.)

      What still remains is how we respond to life and the circumstances we’re surrounded with. I believe that’s what changes the world, if we take the responsibility for our own reactions and how we treat one another. Like it’s been said, “We must cultivate our own garden.” ~ Voltaire

      We must cultivate our own garden

      • Hello again Pat 🙂

        Wow, great that you had heard too about Voltaire 🙂 I remember I have been studying “Candide” from Voltaire in French literature when I was still in college. I was reading the synopsis of the story on Wikipedia, and there is an extract from Pangloss at the end of the book which I really enjoyed, I translate: “Sometimes, Pangloss said to Candide: All the events got unchained in the best of worlds possible: Because if you haven’t been chased from a lovely castle being butt-kicked for the love of Miss Cunegonde, if you weren’t put to Inquisition, if you didn’t travel the Americas by foot, if you didn’t kill the Baron, if you didn’t loose all yoru sheeps from the good land of Eldorado, you wouldn’t have eaten confined cedrats nor peanuts. This was well said, replied Candid, but we must cultivate our own garden”. Sorry though for the bad translation quality, it’s sometimes difficult to translate from French to English since French sentences are longer, whereas English sentences are shorter and direct 🙂

        When I read that extract, it made me reminding about the book of Genesis, especially when Adam and Eve disobeyed to the snake and ate the forbidden fruit. Through their fault, they rejected the good things that God gave them and got their life more and more complicated, forced to work in the fields and to experiment the hardness of life. This is unfortunately what all humans are made of. They feel uncomfortable when everything goes on well, too well, for them, and when they start suffering and experiencing sufferings and sacrifices, they start complaining about the past when everything was good for them… But at the same time they grow up more mature and learn better through the bitter fruits of their mistakes.

        • You continue to amaze me, Uma, on what you have read and know. These things, like Voltaire, come across my path and resonate with me. So, I share and pass them along with the hope it will have meaning to someone else at that moment when they’re reading it. I don’t have any other knowledge of him and his other works other than what Wikipedia tells me. You’re so fortunate to have gone to college and studied so many things.

          With regard to cultivating our garden, what that means to me is there’s plenty to do with my own stuff I don’t have time to get in the middle of someone else’s stuff. (I know that’s plain ‘ol down-to-earth garden talk — hahaha.) 🙂

          • LOL Pat, indeed I think you are right about your meaning into cultivating our garden, because when I think about it, who knows that Voltaire keeps on cultivating his garden to stop his friend from talking too much about the past and to better focus on the future? This is what a lot of people tend to do nowadays, not only by avoiding talking on the past, but also avoiding useless conversations since they consider it as a loss of time, because “Time is money” 🙂

            And yes, your version also is correct, which is that you have so many things to do that you have no time to mingle into other people’s gardens 🙂

            My personal view about cultivating our garden, though, mostly focusses on knowledge, discovery and life experiences with its ups and downs. When we get born, our souls are like the unexploited plot of land, and the garden starts taking birth when you start cultivating that plot of land and taking care about what you seed and about what you harvest 🙂 There is always a garden within each of us and it evolves as per the way we cultivate it 🙂

          • Hi Uma — I like your philosophical point of view about a garden being within each one of us (hahaha) and while I can definitely learn a lot from others, I think I do better when I work on my own garden. 🙂

I would love to hear from you. . .thank you for stopping by.