I thoroughly enjoy walking the path around campus lake! It is something that I have been doing for 42 years…and it still seems fresh and inviting to me each time I trod the familiar terrain. When I am on campus…I am at home. Earlier I received an email from the chair of the Range civil service committee asking me if I would like to be an ex officio member, and I jumped at the opportunity to take part. You see although I have been retired for almost 10 years…I am an inextricable part of Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale! The thrill of being a member or such an institution for good is inspiring!
The hope of our university is the hope for our region and a hope for our world. SIUC taught me to think for myself. That is no small feat in a world of follow the leader! I am a liberal arts guy but I have a love for science. The university taught me that there is no shame in being unlearned…but to glorify ignorance and to hold it on a pedestal of honor…is a Shanda! Southern Illinois University reveled to me the beauty of humanity in all of it’s rich diversity!
Indeed our 2020 pandemic has taught us that we are one family facing one devastating virus. Our political climate of lies and conspiracy theories and assertions that if political leaders are lying to us that it is to their advantage because we will pay closer attention to them…we have entered Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone!
The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, said in a speech to the House of Commons in Parliament on May 13, 1940: ‘We are in the preliminary stage of one of the greatest battles in history…That we are in action at many points-in Norway and in Holland-, that we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean. That the air battle is continuous, and that many preparations have to be made here at home.’
I would say to this House as I said to those who have joined the government: ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.’ We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many long months of struggle and of suffering.’ Wikipedia
Southern Illinois University gave me an appreciation for truth and truth tellers. When our lives are on the line…nothing less than the truth will suffice! Another valuable lesson I received from my many years of association with SIUC is a love for logical thinking and rationale hypothesis. I have been a christian for over 51 years and love the stories and studies of spiritual things. I am satisfied that there is much more that we do not know about our purpose on earth and what comes next after this life. But…we live in a physical existence that is governed by certain irrefutable laws of science. Whether working in church government or management at SIUC…I am a proponent of my favorite Star Trek character, Mr. Spock, who consistently sought logical thought…
I believe in the miracles of the possible! When you are ill…go to your physician! When you want to build a faith community…seek systematic and orderly christian hard work and planning to get it accomplished! When the American people are facing a life taking plague…tell them the truth and work feverishly to ameliorate the devastation!
Probably the most compelling element of the First Presbyterian Church is the work ethic of the congregation! When people are hungry. They work to feed them…When natural disaster strikes…the churches mission outreach is there. Prayer is wonderful and vital…but prayer without works…is dead…
Have you ever heard the saying that you can be so heavenly minded…that you are no earthly good?