Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One Tribe Y'all

The New Year is almost here. A new year. The whole idea of a new beginning got me to thinking on the way home from work yesterday morning. You see, I've seen a few of these new beginnings before. Each one was full of promise, each ended either somewhat less than where it had started, or not quite where it it could have been. That was for the year in general, and for my own personal year as well. I could have been better. I could have done better. Seems that as time has gone by, the changes the world has seen has affected me in subtle ways, too.

Some just call it aging, or maturing, becoming wiser, or more learned. Experienced, that's another name for it. The more I think about it I think it is none of these things. I believe it is just forgetting. Not in the elderly way, but more in a "getting lost in the moment" way. Life does get in the way. A lousy excuse, but it happens.

One of the things I was thinking about was when I was young I practiced "playground ethics". I'd play with anyone, no matter who they were, what they looked like, where they were from as long as we played well together. That is all that mattered. I carried that ethic into adulthood, and still practice it today. It doesn't matter who you are, where you are from, or what you look like if we can "play" well together, and share that ethic, we are good. If there is a reason we can't, then I simply move on. No harsh words, no lingering grudge, I just move on. It's a one on one thing, not a group thing.

So, as I was saying, I got to thinking about somethings on the way home from work the other morning, and that "playground ethic" thing came back to me. Getting along for a common reason. As a child it was for play, and friendship, as an adult it became more involved with all aspects of life, and living on this planet, but was the same. As an adult I seemed to have forgotten the roots of where this all came from, and how much it was so much a part of my life.

I was listening to the song, posted below, from The Black Eyed Peas "The End" CD in my truck. As I listened, I heard a younger self. I was listening to the musical version of "playing well with others". I was taken back to when I was eight years old on the swing set at school, when I was seventeen and protesting for a better world, and trying to live up to those rules later in life. Now, a much newer generation was espousing the same thing. I want to believe they learned it from their parents, friends, by examples set by others, but somehow I believe that, since the theme is so constant, it must also be part of our DNA as well.

And, if that is true, then I have renewed hope for us all, and for the new year.

(For lyrics to song click here)

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