New countries, and new organizations, and new churches, and new families…have an energy about them and an excitement!
There is an esprits de corps that fills the minds and hearts of the participants, in the new venture, that is dynamic!
When I began working at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, over 40 years ago, there was a, palpable, excitement from within the University and surrounding it, in the community.
One of the, vital, components to SIU’s energy was the outreach to the international community. There were students from over 70 nations attending university in Carbondale, Illinois.
As members of the, first housekeeping crew that I supervised, I had students from Malaysia and Africa and Turkey and Mexico.
I, quickly, received an education in international diplomacy!
In 1978, SIU was just 7 years from the, paramount, leadership of former university president, Delyte Morris. My custodial colleagues loved president Morris! They spoke of him as if he was a member of their family!
In 1978, we were still several years away from the zenith of enrollment in the early 1990’s.
University President, Hiram Lesar, invited me to the Stone Center, for a Christmas brunch…along with all of my colleagues.
There was a, universal, belief that ‘our university’ was a jewel that must be protected…at any cost!
I am old enough to remember when, almost everyone, was a member of a church. Church attendance was important on a multitude of levels…and among them was the Golden Rule…to treat our neighbor as ourselves!
I was a member of a little church in Elkville, Illinois, many years ago, where we participated in building a new church building. This was an exciting time that demanded some serious dedication from the congregation. We did a lot of the building ourselves and at one point the upper floor, suddenly, collapsed, and we must have had a guardian angel…as there were over 20 people that fell, hard, to the basement and were uninjured!
Our country, the United States, was built on the, unique, concept of being a sanctuary for the, tempest tost, and a nation, formed from the, mixture of peoples from all over the world…a melting pot!
‘The New Colossus’
‘Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
‘Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!’ cries she
With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’
The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
Nothing is more exciting and interesting; than being a member of a family!
From the time that we are babies…until we pass from this life, we identify with and love and care about the members of our family. When a member of our family is sick, we rally to their side and care for them until they are well!
When a member of our family is threatened or hurt…we protect them and stand as a bulwark against their foes.
Caring for each other…helping each other…working as an, integral, member of a team…community…is what transforms old organizations and churches and countries…and even families…. making them new again!
We watch, daily, our government engage in the bloodsport of blaming the other, political party, for gridlock and the morbid stupification, of our political system.
When barnacles begin to form on our university we begin to identify with a general malaise of self defeatism.
When our church membership falls from over 700 members to under 200 members…we tell ourselves that this is the way that it is…now…and that there little that can be done about it…after all there are a lot of competing interests for people on Sunday mornings.
A country can say that we are just going to take care of ourselves…from here on in! We will close our borders…we will limit our immigration…we will slam the door in the face of…who we were…just a few short years ago!
Or…we can work together?