Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 07:55:01 -0400 (EDT)
Random Thought: We All Need

This weekend I was reading a short book called FISH. About half way through it a passage jumped out and grabbed me: "....the needs of the organization and our needs as workers are the same...." After I had underlined those words, I closed the book, leaned back, and then closed my eyes. After a few minutes, I opened my eyes, sat up, grabbed my pen, and scribbled all over the margins.

That line is a true statement, I wrote. Why do we each have the same needs? The answer is so simple and obvious. Yet, it is so ignored so often. Because contrary to all too common perverse and pervasive beliefs, all faculty are human, all administrators are human, all students are human, and all staff are human. Because contrary to all too common beliefs, without the flowing vibrancy of human spirit and activity our campuses are empty and lifeless shells no more meaningful than vacant conches lying on a beach that had had their lives sucked out of them. Because contrary to common belief, the our campuses are not the things of buildings or lawns or labs or fountains or libraries or technological gadgets. Our campuses are people.

And, while each of us are distinct individuals, we each have something overriding in common with each other: human needs. We are not separated from each other as much as we think however we haughtily or deferentially restrict ourselves to and allow ourselves to be placed by others into separating and constricting categories. The needs of our campus as an institution is the same as the needs of each faculty member, as the needs of each staff member, as the needs of each student, as the needs of each administrator: to be heard, to be noticed, to be appreciated, to be understood, to be respected, to be loved, to be valued. We all--each and every one of us as well as each and every one of them--need energy, enthusiasm, purpose, meaning, creativity, belief, commitment, perseverance, strength, confidence, dreams, hope, kindness, imagination, flexibility, wholeheartedness, passion, compassion, authenticity, and integrity.

What would it be like if we ignored the artificial, man-made chasms and barriers separating us, if we bridged and overcame them by concentrating on the seminal kindredness of our human needs, if we spiritedly took our whole human selves onto our campuses and into our offices and into our classrooms and into our relationships with each other, and humbly saw ourselves in each other?

         Make it a good day.


         Louis Schmier      
         Department of History
         Valdosta State University
         Valdosta, GA  31698                 /~\        /\ /\
         912-333-5947              /^\      /     \    /  /~\  \   /~\__/\
                                 /     \__/         \/  /  /\ /~\/         \
                          /\/\-/ /^\_____\____________/__/_______/^\
                        -_~    /  "If you want to climb mountains,   \ /^\
                         _ _ /      don't practice on mole hills" -    \____

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