Some Suggestions on How to Be (vol. 4, no. 6)

Here are a few things I’m sharing this month:

1. Question I’m living with:

  • “When Thurman was a small boy, he saw an elder, man who must have been in his eighties, who was planting pecan…And young Thurman raised a question. He said, ‘Sir, you’re not gonna be around. You will not live long enough to taste the fruit from these trees.’ And the old man paused and said, ‘Son, all my life I’ve been eating from trees I did not plant. It’s my job to plant for somebody else.’” – Rev. Ottis Moss III speaking about Howard Thurman

2. Quote I’m considering:

  • “Just as we are commanded to love man, we are also called upon to be sensitive to the grandeur of God’s creation. We are infatuated with our great technological achievements; we have forgotten the mystery of being, of being alive. We have lost our sense of wonder, our sense of radical amazement at sheer being. We have forgotten the meaning of being human and the deep responsibility involved in just being alive. Shakespeare’s Hamlet said: ‘To be or not to be, that is the question.’ But that is no problem. We all want to be. The real problem, biblically speaking, is how to be and how not to be.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel (ht On-Being)

3. Poem I’m pondering:

“A Community of the Spirit” by Rumi (from The Essential Rumi translations by Coleman Barks)

Why do you stay in prison
When the door is wide open?

Move outside the tangle of fear thinking.
Live in silence.

Flow down and down in always
Widening rings of being

4. Something inspiring:

This exchange between Krista Tippett and Kate DiCamillo:

Tippett: Oh, the things we say to the —

DiCamillo: Yes, and should I say them?

Tippett: Yeah. Things people need to say before they go.

DiCamillo: Before they die. And they are: Thank you. I love you. I forgive you. Can you forgive me?

5. The blog’s still on hold as I write my Rewild School book. However, the first draft of the manuscript will be finished by July 31! Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter:

“So, what if leading our students on an inner-pilgrimage, into mystery and challenging them at the deepest levels took precedence over summing up, offering answers and disseminating theories and formulas?

And what if, instead of defining “being gifted” as some exclusive, perfect score on your SAT, “I went to Harvard” bullshit measure of genius, we defined it as self-narration?

That is, our students living their story, not someone else’s.

And what if the valedictory speech at graduation was not delivered by the student with the highest GPA but by the student who had the courage to step into the cave of their whispering fears to meet their Vader?”

Thanks so much. And, have a great day! – shawn