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A Discipline for Declining Days

2 Aug

Thoughts on aging gracefully while still making significant contributions to society.

It ain't over 'til it's over!

At least three more of our fellow-classmates have died in the first half of 2011. I say ‘at least’ because we’re only sure of three. For those of us that remain and about to start turning 70, it may be a good time to face some of the challenges/advantages of our ‘senior’ years.

As an intro to the subject, I want to quote some things found in a book called “The Disciplines of Life” written in 1948 by the then President of Wheaton College, V. Raymond Edman.

”And it came to pass, when Samuel was old. .
  (I Sam. 8:1)

   There are disciplines of childhood:
diligence to obey parents and decision to accept the gospel invitation; of adolescence: dependability, delight, determination, and discipleship; of  mature years: duty, darkness, delay, diversion, distinction; there is also that of old age.

It is different from earlier disciplines;nevertheless, just as real, with results for good or ill that can help or hinder the rising generation. Samuel,
the last of the judges of Israel, affords an excellent illustration of this discipline of declining days.

At Southeast we were taught certain ‘disciplines’ including the virtues of the Roundtable. Our Principle & Vice Principle were men of disciplines.So we know not to be afraid of that word.

 Declining years bring decrease of activities and responsibilities. The Tireless
Thirties and Roaring Forties have given way to the Sensible Sixties and the
Slackening Seventies. To grow old gracefully and graciously is a triumph; not to do so is a tragedy. There are those who will never admit to themselves or to
others that they have passed the period of their effectiveness and service; and
with hard hand and harsh voice they insist upon their place and position, which long since they have ceased to fill…

 The discipline of declining days that comes when days wane and strength
subsides, when doors close and comforters depart, when others bear the heat and the burden of the day; then to grow old graciously and sweetly; to grant
responsibilities to stronger, though less experienced, hands of our sons or
those of others; to adapt oneself to the demands of a new day; and above all, to
pray for others and to serve the Lord in whatever hidden ministry may be ours.
Thus disciplined in spirit we are sweetness and strength to those who need us

-Go here to continue reading

We have lots to live for & look forward to in the future years if we will accept the challenge. Besides, we can count on our classmates to encourage us along the way!

SE_alumni_newsletter_July_2011  includes interview w/ Preston Washington, Class of ’62.

Related post: Tuskegee Airmen Mark 70 Anniversary


What do we do after our 50th?

5 Mar


That’s right, we’ve got to move on to new things. If you haven’t heard of Twitter and Tweets or know some body that does- well, have we got some fun things for the new year!

Follow us on Twitter

If you click “tweetie” the bird you will go to our brand new page on Twitter. You will be able to see it but Twitter will ask you to sign in and if you don’t yet have an account they will offer you to start one. We in effect are sponsoring the SoutheastKCMO twitter page for all alumni, not just the class of ’60.

So come help us with the new project: it’s easy and it will be fun. We will be able to combine with our blog by ‘tweeting’ links that will bring folks back to one of earlier posts. Be sure to make suggestions of other Twitter accounts in Kansas City to follow on Twitter.

Senior Citizen Advantage

21 Feb

Surely most of us have realized by now that reaching “senior” status does have some advantages in our society. One of those most dear to me is the freedom to think about the basic issues of life with a greater maturity than ever before. This maturity has not come without costs. We’ve had to pay our dues in many ways; sometimes, painful ways.

Since we already introduced the subject of prayer, I hope my classmates will allow me to go ahead and bring in the unnamed ‘gorilla’ that many of us just didn’t feel free to discuss out in public much, and suggest that with our maturity, we surely now can say something about.

GOD in AMERICA– the name of a PBS series that aired last October, attempts to address the role of faith in God in America’s history. Personally,I am ready to suggest that this is closer to the actual history of America than anything produced to date. The subject is far reaching in what needs to be honestly admitted about the variety of faith traditions that were here almost from the very beginning. Take a look at the home page and see if you agree.

For a related post on my E4Unity blog- see Blood Brothers

When Silence was Broken

17 Jan

Honoring Dr.Martin Luther King

As we went out into the world following our graduation, I doubt that any of us had any idea of what our country would face in the 60’s much less for the rest of our lives. The home that I was raised in had a strong “southern” heritage. Whenever the subject of Dr. King came up, he was not spoken of with any degree of respect. How was it in your home?

Now fifty years later, I have come to have the greatest respect for this man of peace and what he stood and spoke out for in our generation. I urge my fellow classmates to join me today in honoring the memory of Dr. King by listening to the burden of his life as a loyal Christian and a loyal American.

For what it is worth, the cause for which he gave his life appears to me one that continues to demand breaking the silence now more than ever in America. But we must learn to do so in a peaceful, non-violent way that respects our neighbor and their right to disagree publically. And Dr. King can serve as a model of how we can learn to do that even on the most difficult subjects.

A tribute to Dr.King’s vision in song, by Nina Simone

A related post on my E4Unity blog from May 2008

A name from the Virtual wall- Viet Nam War Memorial

Keeping Kwanzaa

29 Nov

Tweet-tweet ?

Unless I’m mistaken, the Class of 1960 was the first graduating class at Southeast High to have an African-American graduate. So as we head into December, I want to dedicate this post to him, wherever he may be.

When we were graduating, Kwanzaa did not exist. It was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor of African Studies at California State University-Long Beach. Dr. Karenga is author of the book, “Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture”. His intent was to focus on the African struggle to achieve social justice, to build unity, and to strengthen African heritage.

For those interested about the seven-day celebration begining December 29, go to the offcial website. To see how Kwanzaa is presented in Kentucky schools, read the article in Kentucky Magazine.
To all our fellow Southeast Alumni and present students, Heri za Kwanzaa! Do any of you have a Twitter account? If so, you can find me @e4unity.

The Redemption of Billy Cannon

14 Sep

A Remarkable Story of  a 50 year Journey!

I found this story on ESPN of one of our college heroes- Billy Cannon of LSU, winner of the Heisman Trophy in December, 1959. It is a story of the football culture of the South as exemplified in Louisiana. But it is also about a life-time journey that at one point turned badly, but didn’t end there. Read how a totally disgraced sports hero was able to redeem himself and at the ripe old age of ’72 regain the respect of his friends and the State of Louisiana.

Billy Cannon after being restored to the Football Hall of Fame

To read the story at ESPN- click on the picture!

As many of our fellow class-mates pack their bags for the 50th Reunion celebration this week-end, I can’t help but feeling that some of us have similiar stories to tell about our own journey in the last fifty years; from the brink of disaster to a beautiful redemption of life and purpose. Hopefully, reunion will be a chance for some to share their stories .

What’s in A name?

26 Jun

The worth of our own name is priceless.

We learned this early in our school years. Roll was called (kept) by our name; grades were attached to our names; we were rewarded according to our names. Come to think about it, much of our entire life identity is inseparable from our personal name.

Memorial bricks

There are many ways to honor individuals using their names, such as with these memorial bricks in the Veterans Couryard at the Truman Memorial Building in Independence, MO.  We also want to honor the names of each class-mate of our graduating class of 1960. 

We need your help! We have added the names of 32 of our “missing class-mates” page, those precious individuals who were apart of our Southeast community but for whom we have no contact information as of 2005 when the list was compiled. So please take a moment to click on the tab above or here (missing classmates) and look at the list to see if you can help us with any of these names. If you can, let us know by contacting anyone on the Reunion Committee or leaving a comment on the missing classmates page.

We don’t want anyone left out of the 50th celebration!

Coming soon: The names of our favorite teacher at Sotheast.