Sunday, August 9, 2009


My apologies to Haiku purists:

Simplicity is
A thought of five, seven, and
Five syllable lines

A simple life is
Not living within one’s mean
But meaningful life

Smile and share yourself
Say hello with joy and bring
Some rays of the Light

Joy is sharing life
With others who expect you
To just be yourself

Quaker grey was once
Simply worn, but uniforms
Now are denim blue

Praying is reaching
Out with open heart, reaching
In with open mind

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tower of Babel rewrite

I still am struggling with the darkness that is still with me. However, I have decided to resume blogging, but with a different premise that may help me get through the next few months.

I intend to share items that I have written previously, some from many years ago and some a little more recently. Some of these postings will be about education, many will be specifically related to Friends education. In some circumstances I may post these items in two other locations, Virtual Friends School group, as well as

In trying to help myself, and possibly others, I have tried to retell some Biblical stories in "current" situations. One of those attempts, still needing revision, is the story of the Tower of Babel ( Gen 11:1-9) Part of the irony of my retelling is that I promote the development of students' own discipline and to take responsibility for their own education. However, the danger of self-centeredness is always present when individuals are encouraged to develop their independence.

Once upon a time all of the students at the Babylonian Friends School were required to attend assemblies. These students wandered the hallways but eventually reached the auditorium and began to settle down. They said to each other "Come let us decide to do our important work for classes that is to be graded." Some of them even decided to talk to each other rather than listen to the assembly. "Come" they said "Let us each decide our own education. Let us each build our own group to serve our own needs as we see them right now. Our knowledge exceeds those who make the decisions in this school. Let us make a name for ourselves and control our own destiny, or they may even make us listen to other things or learn to discipline ourselves." Then the teachers recognized the age-old "I'm Number One," and the attitude the students had developed. They said, "Here they are in an assembly or meeting designed to bring them together and provide growth, and now they have started to put themselves above the assembly. Henceforward they will have a hard time deciding to not put themselves above anyone, including teachers, parents, and employers. So let us point out to them what happens when confusion controls the school and one group does not and in fact can not understand what other students or groups are saying. Let them see what happens when students and others do not have respect for each other. Let them see that individuals or groups who place themselves above others find it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate with the whole community. They find it easy to fall into the trap of prejudice against races, beliefs, religions, and people who are different than they are.

"Moral" Without prejudice and self-centeredness people can communicate and work together to build towers of learning that do reach higher than any of their expectations. However, with prejudice and self-centeredness, confusion holds sway and advancement becomes slowed, if not completely destroyed.