Tuesday, September 16, 2008
People have asked about how I find time to do the things I do. It is easy. Turn off the TV.
It is interesting that television is harmful to our children, but it is also harmful to our culture as illustrated by this clipping from this week's Time Magazine, an issue dedicated to calling our nation to renewed service. Television distorts our values, but perhaps equally significant, it leaves us idle when we could be serving and making instead. In other words, cut your television time down to the barest bones and you will have time available to build, renew and serve. One of the great places to start is in the wood shop. Children who have the opportunity to explore their creative capacity in the wood shop are more confident at solving problems of all kinds in real life. So in your free time created by turning off the TV, take your son or daughter out to the garage and make something. Don't have a wood shop? Get a couple knives and whittle. It is a small start that leads to greater things.
This last weekend, we were hit by the tail end of Hurricane Ike, leaving hundreds of homes in and around Eureka Springs without power. Watching the crews at work, confidently erecting new poles and lines and removing downed trees gives a sense of the dignity and importance of such work.
Yesterday and today, both Clear Spring School and our Carnegie Public Library have been without power. At the library, my wife Jean and her enthusiastic assistants led library patrons by flashlight all day to keep them stocked with reading material.
There are those who would lead you to believe that small town values lead one to ban books, kill moose, hunt wolves by air, lie consistently and exaggerate your importance in community and national affairs while depriving the rights of others to control their own lives. They've been watching the wrong town.
I would suggest a visit to the Eureka Springs Carnegie Public Library this morning would be the best way to see real small town values in action. My wife is far more qualified to be nominated and to serve as Vice President than the ridiculous Republican nominee. Leading children and adults to knowledge by flashlight is heroic.