Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.
Date: Tue 7/19/2005 5:17 AM
Now, as Paul Harvey might say, the rest of the story. Or, at least, part of it.
So, I get this message from a professor who accuses me of being so "foolish and unreasonable."
"Foolish and unreasonable?" Me? You bet! Do you know what the editor who wrote the WHOLE EARTH CATALOGUE meant when they asked everyone to "Stay hungry. Stay foolish?" I didn't then. I was too busy learning how to play the game and be reasonable. I do now. They meant for each of us not "to settle," not "to settle in," not to wait around and wish and make excuses and grow old, not be dependent on acceptance. They meant to be restless, to be an explorer within you, to keep building castles in the air with strong foundations on the ground, to utilize the rock-solid construction materials of learning, trusting, experimenting, daring, risking, practicing, independence, flexibility, boldness, deliberation, improvisation, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, authenticity, enthusiasm, adventure, imagination, creativity, belief, kindness, love, faith, hope, joy.
"Foolish and unreasonable?" Me? You bet! You know I have been married to the same angel for thirty-nine years. I have been in the classroom, teaching what most would call the same classes, for over forty years. I'm convinced--no, I know--that the only thing that fires my spirit with an endless supply of fuel, the only thing that keeps my inner fires burning brightly, the only thing that throws hot sparks of imagination and creativity into the air, the only thing that ignites fires in others, the only thing that keeps me from burning out, the only thing that keeps me from diminishing and dying from a hot flame into a cold and lifeless cinder is that each day I work to feed and stoke the fires with love. To keep me boilers steaming hot, I fall in love again and again and again unconditionally with Susan, unconditionally with each student, and unconditionally with what I do. You've got to find whom you--you, not someone else--love, what you love to do, and do it the way you love--in everything. There are five things that fill my life. The first and foremost is my angelic Susan. The second is my two sons, their wives, and their children. The third is my dear friends and close family. The fourth is my garden. And, the fifth is each student whom I struggle to help him or her to become the person he or she is capable of becoming. They all have three things in common: they are alive and keep me living far beyond mere survival; they helped me face, face up to, and face down my cancer, and they are throbbing matters of the heart. The only way to be truly satisfied, to be truly fulfilled, is love the people around you, to love what you do, and to act lovingly. That's the only way to have great lovers, great loves, and to do great things. It is the only way to embrace life; it is the only way to see, appreciate, treasure, and enjoy the beauty in what appears to be plain and ordinary; it is the only way to run out and embrace whatever life throws at you; is the only way to embrace the beauty, the joy, the wonder and the abundance of life; it is the only way to embrace the challenges, the setbacks, the disappointments and the difficulties--and learn and grow from them; it is the only way to welcome the ups and avoiding the downs; it the only way to trust yourself, be trusting, and be trustful to others; it is the only way to be true to yourself and authentic to others; it is the only way to become the person you are capable of becoming; it the only way to grow, strengthen, and become whole. Don't settle. Seek it out. Find it. Each day. You know it when you have it--and when you don't. And, like any great love, as the years pass, it is gold that never tarnishes. It gets better and better; it gets spicier and spicier; it gets more and more adventurous; it gets more and more exciting; it burns brighter and hotter. Then, you'll live each day of your life. If that be "foolish and unreasonable," so be it.
Stay hungry. Stay foolish. Stay unreasonable. And, may you live each day of your life.
Make it a good day. --Louis-- Louis Schmier firstname.lastname@example.org Department of History www.therandomthoughts.com Valdosta State University www.halcyon.com/arborhts/louis.html Valdosta, GA 31698 /~\ /\ /\ 912-333-5947 /^\ / \ / /~\ \ /~\__/\ / \__/ \/ / /\ /~\/ \ /\/\-/ /^\_____\____________/__/_______/^\ -_~ / "If you want to climb mountains, \ /^\ _ _ / don't practice on mole hills" - \____