Celebrating shared wisdom
When writing my December 2019 post I reviewed all of the previous articles on the blog. I started to do the same thing this year and came to a halt when as of March it seemed that virtually everything posted revolved around COVID-19.
What a remarkable year this has been and upon reflection I view it as one where the necessity to be a lifelong learner was proven time and time again. When you live in a community peopled by curious and motivated students, teachers, staff and parents you come to see the beauty of connecting with others in celebration of larger ideals and shared wisdom.
Part of the wonder of learning arises from seeking out alternative perspectives and taking the time to consider how lives lived differently from ours are valuable sources of insight. I’ve recently been reading (listening actually, I love audiobooks narrated by the author) two books that stand out.
The first is the latest from Canadian actor Michael J. Fox. In his book, No time like the future: An optimist considers mortality, he reflects on illness and health, aging, the strength of family and friends, and how our perceptions about time affect the way we approach mortality.
“Control is illusory. No matter what university you go to, no matter what degree you hold, if your goal is to become master of your own destiny, you have more to learn.”
– Michael J. Fox
Fox’s struggles to adapt to a life with Parkinson’s disease while being a father to four, staying active in the entertainment business, recognizing the remarkable contributions of his wife and operating his foundation are considerable. But what really resonates with me is his ongoing understanding that to function as an effective, compassionate and relevant human you must devote yourself to continuous learning. That is how we find new ways forward and how frankly mankind progresses.
Then, moving on to a much weightier tome, I’ve also been enjoying the breath of fresh air that is Barack Obama’s memoir A Promised Land. It won’t surprise me if many of you find this wrapped up as a holiday gift this year and you won’t be disappointed.
“…the best we can do is to try to align ourselves with what we feel is right and construct some meaning out of our confusion, and with grace and nerve play at each moment the hand that we’re dealt.”
– Barack Obama
Although I have many pages yet to absorb the message that stands out for me as particularly relevant is that there is hope and that a determined commitment to doing what you believe to be right and following that path will result in great achievement.
You know that our path is illuminated by re-imagining possibilities. Throughout this entire year and for the foreseeable future that will remain our goal.
In conclusion, I wish you all a superb and peaceful holiday filled with joy. And, I thank everyone in our MAC family for sharing their wisdom and celebrating the larger ideals that our school represents.