Let Us Change The World!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
~ Nelson Mandela


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

~ Nelson Mandela

Courage and hope are greatly admired human attributes that were featured in the last post in this series, “Hope… Is It Enough?” It was inspired by words spoken by the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama when she urged young South African women leaders to give voice and form to these attributes because they will be caught and spread.

We live in a world that is significantly different from the one that existed when Michelle Obama spoke in South Africa in 2011. Political circumstances have changed at the highest levels leaving faith in democratic systems and capitalistic economies fractured. Uncertainty now rules and that instills fear for our collective future as citizens of this planet.

Two police officers dragging a young protester away.
Protest and violence (Courtesy of Pixabay)

The news services herald the latest outrageous threats and insults hurled by political leaders at each other – each one claiming to own the truth. Social media has become the battleground as venomous volleys are loosed each day on Twitter and rebroadcast by news networks around the globe. Where are the standards of decency, honesty, and respect? They seem to be disappearing rapidly and many are predicting doom for mankind, which is admittedly unnerving.

Trump's hair with caption: Do we get the leaders we deserve?
(Courtesy of Pixabay)

Although I am retired, it is the teacher in me that was moved by the words of Nelson Mandela, spoken to high school students in Boston in 1990, quoted above. The context of the words he used was his concern that so many young people were dropping out of school. I believe his words apply to each of us who are fearful, disappointed, hurt, and in desperate need of change. The path of division, intolerance, and hate leads to a horrifying place that none of us wants to visit.

A teacher in the woods teaching a young boy.
Teach wherever you are. (Courtesy of Pixabay)

I am a student of history and I have learned about the great deeds men and women accomplished as well as the horrible atrocities visited upon innocent victims. Human nature is characterized by the duality of good and evil. It is my conclusion that humans exhibit their very best face when they act in hope and courage, in the face of fear, to help others. Modeling the attributes of hope and courage in our daily lives will help to inspire others, but Mandela believes that education is the best weapon to bring about the change we crave as humanity seems to be teetering on the edge of a terrifying chasm.

What inspires hope in my heart when considering Mandela’s assertion is that each one of us is a teacher. Some of us teach formal lessons in an educational setting. All of us teach informally every time we interact with other persons – in our families, among our circles of friends, in our places of employment, and in public while shopping, running errands, or enjoying leisure activities. Some of us are parents raising children – teaching them the most important lessons in life. Those kids watch every move we make, listen to every word we speak, and consider every decision we make. What attributes are we modeling every day?

Many suggest that our democracies are fractured and create disharmony in societies that desperately need unity of spirit and purpose. We point to leaders who listen only to the voices of special interests and in so doing, ignore the well-being of the majority. The concept of the common good seems to have been lost. As I ruminate on this sad reality, the thought occurs to me that it isn’t just the leaders who have lost their way in our free and democratic societies.

Have we, the citizens, lost our way as well? On election day, do we vote? If we do, are the votes we cast informed choices? Are we familiar with the issues at stake? Most importantly, do the issues touted by political parties and candidates have anything to do with the common good? Am I willing to vote for a party which will increase my taxes so that there can be a fairer distribution of wealth in society? If I say that the leaders don’t care about the common good, then it is most probably because we the citizens don’t care.

Profile of a human head with a light switch and a caption: Think before you vote.

With the educational technology readily available in most homes today, there is no good excuse for not educating ourselves. If we’d rather waste hours watching entertaining programming on TV, then we are part of the problem and have no right to point fingers of blame at anyone else. Our example is being noted and learned by the youngsters in our homes. Words spoken thoughtlessly are heard and then mimicked. If we really want change we need to clean up our own acts and live appropriately so that others may learn from our teaching. The education we provide will be a powerful agent of change.

We teach by our words and our deeds. Together, let us change the world!

John’s Believe It Or Not… November 25th

* 1999 International day to eliminate violence against women. * 1837 – Col Wetherall and 425 British troops crush Patriote rebels at St. Charles. * 1952 Mousetrap opens in London. * 1963 JFK buried at Arlington National Cemetery. * 1986 Iran-Contra connection revealed.

It’s International day to eliminate violence against women! Did You Know…

* 1999 International day to eliminate violence against women.

The United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution designating November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The resolution, which was introduced by the Dominican Republic, marked the anniversary of the death of three sisters, Maria, Teresa, and Minerva Mirabel, who were brutally murdered there in 1960. While women in Latin America and the Caribbean had honored the day since 1981, all UN countries did not formally recognize it until 1999. Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… November 25th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… November 24th

* 1807 Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant dies. * 1859 Origin of Species is published. * 1963 Jack Ruby kills Lee Harvey Oswald. * 1922 Irish author and nationalist executed. * 1971 Hijacker parachutes into thunderstorm.

It’s Friday! TGIF! Did You Know…

* 1807 Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant dies.

On this day in 1807, Mohawk Chief Thayendanegea, also known by his English name, Joseph Brant, dies at his home in Burlington, Ontario. Before dying, he reportedly said, “Have pity on the poor Indians. If you have any influence with the great, endeavor to use it for their good.” Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… November 24th”

Flashback: Can This ADDer Be Saved? – Part 3

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie gifts us with Part 3 of her series about ADD coaching using real examples. Please, read on…

ADD . . . and-so-much-more

Keeping Track to Focus Energy

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Going for the Gold!

Found HERE

Part-3 of this story outlines the two very different manners in which two best friends with two very different kinds of ADD stepped through the process of working with the same ADD Coach.

They designed increasingly more effective lives that suited their two extremely different working styles and individual goals.

This part’s a bit longer, but it’s a real feel-good – especially for those of us who will never be as organized as Katy – and I think most of you will enjoy reading it to the end.

Throughout this story I will continue to use “ADD” instead of the DSM-5 “ADHD.”
Click HERE to find out why.

A few Coaching Results from Clients themselves found HERE

Onward and Upward!

As you learned in Part-2, after that fateful…

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Thought of the Day: Religion is incompatible with Modern Civilization

Robert A. Vella provides us with much food for thought in this very relevant article about the value of organized religion in modern society. Please, read on…

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

On another blog, I stumbled upon a profoundly insightful comment.  Here’s the relevant excerpt:

“… I think we are in the dawn of an age where much of what we ‘needed’ to explain away with the supernatural is now explained by science. In addition, our culture has shifted from comprising relatively small local ‘tribes’ to one of global reach. With these changes, the primary benefit of religion has shifted from uniting us to dividing us. The disaster that religion wreaks, in today’s climate, far outweighs its benefit.”

What danicanallen essentially asserted is that religion is incompatible with our technocratic, globalized modern civilization.  Indeed, religion has always been effectively divisive, tribal, and warlike regardless of any benevolent precepts it officially espouses.  Actions speak louder than words, and history does matter… very much so.

At the crux of the Abrahamic religions‘ foundations, the world’s…

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John’s Believe It Or Not… November 23rd

* Early Origins of American Thanksgiving. * 1837 – Lower Canada Rebellion – Wolfred Nelson and followers defeat Col. Charles Gore at St-Denis. * 2005 – Ottawa announces $1.9 billion compensation for survivors of abuse at native residential schools. * 1936 First issue of Life is published. * 1499 Flemish pretender executed in London.

It’s Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.A.! Did You Know…

* Early Origins of American Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. It originated as a harvest festival. Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789 after Congress requested a proclamation by George Washington. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader fall/winter holiday season in the U.S. Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… November 23rd”

John’s Believe It Or Not… November 22nd

* 1963 John F. Kennedy assassinated. * 1718 Blackbeard killed off North Carolina. * 1988 Stealth bomber unveiled. * 1935 Flying boat “China Clipper” takes off from California carrying 100000 pieces of mail on 1st trans-Pacific airmail flight. * 1819 George Eliot is born.

It’s Hump Day Wednesday! Did You Know…

* 1963 John F. Kennedy assassinated.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, is assassinated while traveling through Dallas, Texas, in an open-top convertible. Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… November 22nd”

John’s Believe It Or Not… November 21st

* 1921 – King George V proclaims Canada’s Coat of Arms. * 1927 Holland Tunnel appears on the cover of Time. * 1916 Britannic sinks in the Aegean Sea. * 1877 Edison’s first great invention. * 1934 Ella Fitzgerald wins Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater.

It’s Tuesday! Did You Know…

* 1921 – King George V proclaims Canada’s Coat of Arms.

Emblems of Canada include the national coat of arms and flag. When John Cabot arrived on the shores of North America in 1497, he raised a cross and the royal banner of England. Since then, Canada’s emblems have evolved out of those traditionally used by France and Britain. Today they include such national symbols as the beaver and the maple leaf. Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… November 21st”