Thank you all for your comments. You have allowed me to think more
clearly about my mission (or position, or vision, or calling, etc.) and
what I want to do about acting in concert with my mission.
A couple of you mentioned that my statement was self-centered, or at least
did not encompass a large enough community in which to live/act, etc. At
first I was taken aback by these comments, but on reflection realized they
were largely true. For the past year or two, I have asked myself, and
been asked by others, to see my strengths and weaknesses from different
perspectives. Rather than self-centered, I prefer self-centric. The
change may seem semantic, but permit me a well-worn analogy. If I were a
rusty, worn cog in a delicate Swiss watch, I would be improved by a little
emery paper and oil. To me, that is being self-centric. If I were
self-centered, I would have insisted upon stopping the watch, getting
taken off of the gear, gold-plated and then put on the watch-maker's
mantle for the watch to look at.
Kent Myers asked what is my "distinctive contribution?" I'm not quite
sure yet. I have a decent mind; that's not unique. I try my best to be a
good father; that's not unique. I could cop out and fall back on
statements like "my unique combination of experiences, skills..blah, blah,
blah." I'll leave this question unanswered for now.
Leon Conrad made the statement, "Follow your heart." I like this. A few
years ago Joseph Campbell was interviewed by Bill Moyers on PBS. I think
the series of programs was called "The Power of Myth." Mr. Campbell made
a similar statement, "Follow your bliss." I like this, too.
I intend to follow my heart and make a distinctive contribution to life in
many ways. I try to provide nurture the growth of the people around me
which enriches me in return.
I will develop my writing ability by finishing my first novel (in which
main characters grow in unexpected ways) and maybe pen a screenplay. When
I get out of school I intend to take a greater role in the workings of my
town. These are just a couple of short-term actions through which I will
develop long-term plans.
For now I'll leave the action part out of my mission. I'm not clear on
what actions I would like to take but recognize that action should be
included, clear action that is, not just action designed to do
"something." As my mission becomes more refined, I'll refer back to all
your references on learning, teaching, community, action, and all the
Thanks again for helping me gain many perspectives on this question.
Everyone who responded gave me a slightly different view of; the process
of refining the statement, what is should contain, and what it should
"Crossman, Harold" <crossman@OSI.SYLVANIA.com>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>