Thursday, December 13, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.'
'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?' 'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly. 'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. 'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired.Let's go now'.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse.
'Nothing,' I said
'You have to make a living,' she answered.
'There are other passengers,' I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly. 'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.' I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver… or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
As always, thanks for being there and being you!!
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Twenty years ago I was involved in an effort to transform the educational model in the Jefferson County School System, on the west side of Denver, Colorado. What we were trying to implement was Transformational Outcome Based Education, otherwise known as Transformational OBE. Our coach and mentor in this effort was William G. "Bill" Spady, who some refer to as the Father of OBE. He always laughed and said to be the the Father of OBE he would have to be 500 years old... and he was right!
Real, no kidding OBE has been around at least that long, if not longer. Yet, at that point, twenty years ago, the zealots and nay-sayers rose up in a chorus of dissent that could not be believed by anyone looking more than ten feet into the future. This motley crew was made up of religious zealots who claimed it was counter-religious indoctrination, freedom zealots who claimed it was MIND CONTROL and the schooling for the new world order, and worse. It would have been laughable if the result was not so serious.The result is that, twenty years later, we are still saddled with a completely ass-backward, out of date, and out of step 19th century educational model as we roll merrily into the 21st century.
I challenge you to think of a single thing that we do today, where the result really matters, that we DON'T use outcome based education - pilot training for commercial carriers, surgical training, military combat training - none of these things use a grading system and a set time limit. They ALL use a "demonstrated proficiency" aka you have to meet an expected outcome to be able to practice. I guarantee you, you will NOT be operated on by a guy who got a "D" in open heart, and you will sleep better tonight knowing that the guys and gals who defend your liberty have to demonstrate that they CAN before they are "field tested"!
So, when we are talking about education for the future, education that takes into account cradle to grave learning, that is focused on life long demonstrated capacity and proficiency, I don't think we need to get any more radical than to get serious about implementing transformational OBE. Your thoughts and feedback are, as always, welcome.
Thanks for Being There and Being You!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Thus begins the funniest and most pointed bit of political writing that I've seen since Molly Ivans left the scene (God rest her troubled soul!) This piece is called "a Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney" and was written by DAVID JAVERBAUM and Published: March 31, 2012 in the New York Time Sunday Review. You can see the whole piece here @ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/opinion/sunday/a-quantum-theory-of-mitt-romney.htmlBon Appetite!
and thanks for reading - have a great day!!
Friday, March 9, 2012
What's different? Jason Russell and a group of determined activists have been spreading the word about his atrocities for some time now but Jason's video has gone viral this week in the virtual world of Facebook & the blogosphere. Here is the link. Watch it. It is very well done for a relative amateur and he makes the point without gratuitous horror. After you've watched it, I strongly urge you to support the campaign. You will hear about whiners and arm chair activists who are complaining about the amount of money spent making film, traveling, and showing film - DUH!! It's a global campaign to make this guy public pariah #1. THAT'S HOW YOU DO THAT!!
Anyway, watch it and pass it on. Thanks for your caring, but most of all thanks for being there and being YOU!!
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Thanks for reading this, and have a great day!!
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Cultural diversity is not only humanity’s hallmark of progress, but an insurance policy against extinction as a species. Diversity gives not only cultural and economic riches derived from different perspectives on natural resources and what it means to be human, but options to problem solving that are stifled in a homogenized society. When such a society is organized around economic goals that are measured by profit margins for private gain by powerful elites, where the demands of those who bear cash as the ticket of admission to the marketplace rule, rather than the needs of people, then those who are deprived – and those who have never been part of such a global economy – must necessarily suffer. The genocide of tribal peoples, therefore, is symptomatic of a deep malaise in the world’s metropolises. Indigenous peoples will suffer the most, but humanity as a whole will suffer the loss of some of its memory, not only of a unique knowledge of the natural world, but of its ability to cope with the future in various, diverse ways.
THY WILL BE DONE, The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil,
Gerard Colby with Charlotte Dennett
Harper Collins, 1995, p. 685
Blessings in all we do - and must do