Friday, June 20, 2003

I went to my two older boys' grade five graduation yesterday. They're twins.

They do this graduation because our primary schools stop at grade five and then you go to a pre-high-school for six, seven and eight. I thought it would be kind of lame, but actually, it was well done. You could see a lot of pride in the kids, and they really felt like they were the top of the world for a while.

During this ceremony, they hand out special awards. I'm not completely sure how they determine who gets them; they sound academic, but as I'm repeatedly reminded by our teachers, we don't keep marks anymore. I guess its completely subjective.

Anyway, my second son got an award first - for langauge arts (a writer!). Immediatly after, the first one got the same award (different classes - two writers!). The first one then proceeded to get three more awards, including music, social studies and french. It was hard not to be proud, until I looked up at my second son. There he was, trying his best to keep his composure, but you could see he was quite upset. He obviously felt as low as you could.

Its hard to imagine what it must be like to compete with a sibling at the same level. Most of us have had to deal with the "I remember your brother/sister" scenarios, but to be actively in the same grade? Anyway, I tried to capture the moment with a haiku:

        His parents' faces glow.
        Receiving the next award
            his brother's heart breaks.

As a footnote, my second son eventually received two more awards - one for music and one for phys-ed. So all ended okay. Still, the moment was there.

Friday, June 13, 2003

I find myself concerned about the human condition; how we seem to be deteriorating rapidly; growing further apart; not co-operating. Then I pass a huge housing complex and I wonder at the amount of peaceful co-existence required to keep this going. This is not just hive mentality; this is something way beyond that. We have multiple, complex layers of society, that work in spite of government, laws, and rules. They work by pure human will. We want it, so it is. Can this really break down? Or is this a matter of human nature? Like the universe, we tend towards order. We abhor chaos.


How much great writing (thoughts) have we lost due to immature technology (laziness)?

I'm writing on a Palm. Out of sheer convenience. This device has allowed me to capture thoughts otherwise lost – especially on the road. Without it, some great wisdom would be lost.

Before you accuse me of being arrogant, I believe all thoughts to be wisdom if they can be used. Humans are a huge workgroup, requiring large numbers and lots of time. Some are catalysts and some are engines. We need to be able to rapidly share this information to make it useful. Nothing is truly original; everything grows from something.

Now we just need to use this technology to expand the workgroup and shrink the divide.


I find it ironic that I write these thoughts on Easter - the anniversary of the death of one of Earth's greatest philosophers - the greatest cheerleader of humanity. A man who believed that we truly could be great if we just quit hating.

I believe him. I share his dream.