Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Date: Sat 6/4/2005 3:39 AM
Random Thought: Some Profoundly Simple Questions

It was in the university parking lot that it happened. Being that it is between semesters, it had a "ghost-lot" quality to it. The early morning sun was up and already superheating the watery air. I was on the out-going leg of my every-other-day five mile very fast "normal" walk. It's the only exercise other than carefully lifting my grand-daughter, Jacqueline, that I'm permitted. I'm not allowed to power walk for another two months. A van pulled up along side me. I turned my head. It was crammed packed with a confusion of end-of-Maymester-moving-out everyday household stuff. At the wheel was Medody. As is usual these days, her eyes were gleaming and her face was beaming an inner peacefulness. That loving glow of a haloed cherub was a far cry from those times over a decade ago when she stiffly walked around as if she had pennies on her eyes. Once almost giving up on life, now it takes only a glance to see how she's now bursting with life. I stopped, smiled, and reached out to clasp her extended hand in a sincerely loving hold as the close friends and fellow travelers we have become. She was one of those who had helped me through my cancer as a decade ago I had inadvertently helped her through the cancer on her soul. We talked for a few minutes. She was finally moving down to Tampa where her husband works, although she'll be back in the Fall semester to do her student teaching.

After a quiet exchange, I leaned over and pushed my head through the open window. We hugged and gave each other a peck on the cheek goodbye. She drove off as I walked off. Right then and there, as I watched her car turn onto the street, I made myself a promise. No, I took an oath. Nothing will stop me from being there when she walks across the stage.

For the rest of my route I walked with an ease as if I was borne by Mercury's winged shoes. I had a warmth about me that had little to do with the toasty sun or blanching air. Since that chance meeting a couple of days ago, as I worked on the guest bathroom ripping out the commode and sink and accessories, stripping wall paper, dealing with unexpected problems that always pop up when renovating an old house, decoratively plastering and silver leafing the walls, and painting trim, I felt as if I had received a booster shot of vitamins fulfillment, accomplishment, and satisfaction. Melody has sent me into an ascending spin. I've been thinking about the possibilities and opportunities that are always real and present in any given moment if you focus on the good things, about all the worthwhile things you can do on any given day if you appreciate the beauty in each student, about how each of us can help cause good things to happen if we concentrate on what's worthwhile in each student, about how we each can work to make this world a better place by helping to make a student a better person, and about how great it feels when you give of yourself to others.

So, I have been asking myself some profoundly "simple" questions that demand answering. They have to do sacredness and inspiration. That is, when all is said and done, what do I hold most sacred in what I do on campus? When I've got to make choices about my time, effort, attention, and energy, what is number one on my top ten list? What is MOST on my mind? What is MOST in my heart? What is it that I MOST look forward to? What is it that is MOST meaningful to me? What makes me MOST purpose-driven? What is it that fuels my tank, that instills in me a power, that pushes me past my limitations, that sends me soaring into new worlds, that creates a euphoric mood, that invites me to fondly imagine and create, that gets me to dream of a hosts of "what if," that slows me into wonderment, that lights my candle and overwhelms the darkness, that fills me with an abundance of hope and encouragement, that allows me to delight in beauty and cherish life, that parries discouragement and disappointment, that opens blockading barriers and lets me enter into vast vistas of opportunities, that feeds my joy and gratitude, that gives me the passion for the possible, that opens my arms to the moment, that imparts in me a sense of fulfillment, that thrills me with exaltation, that animates me to fully live life, that gets me up each day with a trumpeting “yes,” and that lets me go to sleep with a contented "yes?"

What, then, in the end, is it that gets me going and keeps me going? What is it that opens the gifts of fun and happiness for me? What is it that I want to leave behind and pass along to others? The honest answers are important, for recognized and acknowledged and uttered or not they're there; I will draw on them, wittingly or otherwise, to drive and direct myself, and determine which path I will take.

For me, all the answers to all those questions lie in the helping the likes of Melody help themselves to transform their lives so they can strive to become the people they are capable of becoming.

         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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