We all experience moments when too many things come together, and it’s impossible to concentrate on one issue before being forced to move on to another. Everything gets mixed up. Family issues as mundane as children moving home and needing a strong pair of hands to do the lifting (and a signature on the occasional cheque!); the forthcoming birth of a grandchild, and the death of an elderly mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and changes at work when old structures have to be replaced by new ones. On top of that are concerns about national politics, and local affairs.
Stop the world, has been the age-long plea, I want to get off.
Sometimes amid all the confusion what seems to be very little thing suddenly stands out. Such things, or ideas, chase around our minds, looking for a suitable link to make with other thoughts. There is no time to deal with them now, but you feel they are too important to be ignored, they excite you, and they could be the missing link in your own thinking.
Two evenings back, reading through one of my favourite quarterly journals – Human Givens – I came across a quote from Plato made some two and a half thousand years ago. I give it to you to ponder over the course of the holidays:
“Those who think they are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.”
The second was a cutting I had taken from an article in the BA High Flyer magazine ten years ago, entitled The Mystery of Creative Families. I don’t know who wrote it. Something in that article, however, stands out very powerfully now, a decade later. It reads:
“A stream seems to run through creative families. Such children are not necessarily smothered with love by their parents. They feel loved and wanted, and are secure in their home, but are often more surrounded by an atmosphere of work and where following a calling appears to be important.”
Think on that one as well for, as the Initiative has said so many times, “however good schools may become they can’t do it all on their own” and “a balanced education involves home, community and school as equal partners.”
* Desiderata, taken from mid 17th century Latin as meaning something desired, something worth working to achieve.