Life…A Book of Chapters

Hot again in my neck of the woods. Temperatures in the 90’s and heat factors of 100 or more. Although it is a bit uncomfortable…but not unexpected. Summer comes every year at this time…and it is hot in Southern Illinois. The chapters of life, although we observe them in others…we do not live them but once…in this life. Also, we all relate uniquely to our interactions with our new chapters. As a young man I wanted to be a minister. My experience with Christ and the Christian faith had been the most exciting and energizing and inspirational encounter that I had ever experienced. During those early days of my faith I perceived that being a minister was the ideal way to help people. I did not know how…but I knew that I wanted to help others.

For most of my career at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale I was either in supervision or management/administration. I was honored and humbled by the numerous occasions afforded me to assist and help others. There are so many lonely and hurting people in the world. You may not realize it…but you are surrounded by them. The key to happiness…is helping others.

Life does not come with an Operations Manual. Problems and needs…and wants present themselves with an immediacy that is compelling and intoxicating. So often decisions that are made for short term gain…have long term consequences. Life’s chapters are best lived slowly and reflectively. As the old saying goes, ‘Anything worth doing…is worth doing well.’ What seems like a devastating loss today, or a missed opportunity that has irrevocable repercussions….you may have forgotten at this time next year.

We are accustomed to the rapid fire resolutions of our television programs. Everything gets resolved in either 30 or 60 minutes…with rapid scene changes. Real life does not work in such a Tommy Gun fashion…and the scene does not change…often. At times we imagine that our friends or colleagues are indulging in hidden agendas in regards to our work product or friendship or well- being…when in reality we have not crossed, their, busy, minds. Worry and supposition and half-truths mask our vision of seeing our future with a clear eyed understanding of where we have been and where we are going.

Our goals change as we move into the next chapters of our lives. Where once we worked 10 – 12 hours per day…and still did not feel that we had accomplished enough. Now we write and read and reflect and give the proper homage to…thinking. Rationale thinking that creates clear understanding…takes time…

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