I am writing a speech. It is the speech I would give to a college graduation ceremony if anyone ever asked me to give the commencement address. So far no one has. In the speech I am telling the new graduates they are as ‘adult’ as they will ever be and that I don’t really have any answers for them. The world is changing too quickly for me (or anyone in my generation) to presume to know what they will need to know in the future. I am also suggesting that, whatever else defines our respective
I’m back from another week of leadership training and coaching, this
time at the Air Force Academy. What a great group of dedicated people
trying to transform their organizational culture to be more dynamic and
responsive in this rapidly changing world. The trip home was brutal—the
usual pain of getting through security, plus flight delays, lost
luggage and lots of equally distressed travelers helped create a
generally ‘down’ mood
By Stu Whitley
This is the second in a three-part series.Einstein is supposed to have said that the most important decision we ever make is whether the world is a good place or a bad place. I don’t believe that we consciously make that decision – we are taught to believe it, one way or the other, and the most difficult lesson of all to unlearn is that we live in a hostile universe. There are just too many confirmatory events that tend to erode our courage to think differently.
strategies in intellectual discourse talk about how we ‘tell the truth’
about others and ourselves. Post-modern social theory considers that
this is the changing terrain of politics, literature and other
intellectual work that addresses the way in which power is exercised
and made visible. It is to conform to a ‘habit of truth’, which means
information-seeking and the vigorous constructive
Lately I have been thinking about the future and the distinction between time and temporality. Our relationship to time can vary depending upon our culture and the era in which we are living. If I imagine living 300 or 400 years ago in what was primarily an agricultural ‘reality’, time was cyclical—we measured it in terms of seasons and lived in the certainty that life didn’t change much from one generation to the next. I can contrast that to today when time is viewed more like a highway
As we grow older, we need to learn new competencies particular to various eras in our life. For example, when we are very, very young, we need to learn the basics of taking care of ourselves, including personal safety, hygiene, dressing, etc. As adolescents, we put together a ‘persona’ that works for us, learn about having relationships, and perhaps begin to explore our sexuality. As we enter the workforce, we learn how to function in a political space, how to compete in productive ways, and,
One of the things I am noticing as I enter what is euphemistically referred to as my Golden Years is that the nature of time seems to mellow and ripen. On one level, the days pass slower, like watching an Oklahoma ‘hawk makin’ lazy circles in the sky’. On the other hand, the days and years seem to have passed in a flash—that only yesterday I was starting a business and driving my kids to school. I guess it just underscores how elastic time can be and that it is all about how well we live
By Stu Whitley
This is the first post in a three-part series.O body swayed to music,O brightening glance,How can we know the dancer from the dance?—W.B. Yeats (Among School Children)
I had lunch with an old friend, a Tlingit
elder, Harold, today. I’ve known Harold for nearly a dozen years. And I
know him to be a serious, thoughtful man; he’s someone who has taught
me many things, not the least of which was the powerful consequence of
even the smallest positive intervention in someone’s life. I have seen
it in action: Harold is the embodiment
I came across a new take on the phrase "Act your age!" today.
By Shae Hadden
that the entire universe is made up of the same matter, the same
particles that existed in the first flaring forth of space and time.
And that these same particles are recycled into different forms time
and time again. Essentially, each one of us is as old as our universe.
And according to recent calculations based on the Big Bang theory,
that’s about 13.7 billion years old. In other cosmological models, the
universe has an infinite age.
So if you’re thinking
I have been reading seniorjournal.com, a news and information site on a variety of seniors’ and Boomers’ concerns—health, politics, leisure. Seems like there are more and more of these kinds of sites appearing, highlighting the demographic weight of the aging population. It’s looking like a bandwagon of marketing, services and commentary. The fact is that most of the conversation looks to me like the same kind of consumer-oriented
There has been a lot of general criticism about the self-centered nature of the ‘Baby Boomers’. While visiting last week, my father commented that many of today’s problems are exacerbated by the fact that the Boomers “never lived through the Depression”. In a recent conversation with my son, I found out he has the view that one of the biggest problems of his generation is that they all seem to think the world should be organized