What happened to us ?

When I was around 2 years old, according to my mother, my parents had just purchased a small house in Altoona Pa.  Shortly there after a tropical system came up the coast and was threatening Long Island NY where my grandparents had a large house boat. They made the trip to Long Island where my father help my grandfather keep the boat moored and from being damaged by the storm.  Unfortunately that same system triggered and ice storm that send a tree right down on their house.

They simply left the house and went to Ohio where my aunt and uncle let them park a small trailer on their property while my father built a new house. I remember when we were living in that house one summer, I guess I was about 5 at the time, I decided to do some exploring with my younger brother. We walked across two large fields  but by the time we got to the end, it was beginning to storm. So I took my brother and went to a nearby house and knocked on the door. The lady answered and after some questions found out who I was and where I lived and called my father who came to get us.

As our family grew my father decided to build another, much larger house. Like the previous one he had a lot of help from friends and family.  Sometime much later I remember him taking my mother and brothers and sister and I one night on a trip from Ohio where we lived to eastern Pa. He had to rescue a friend he new from work who’s car had broken down. A VW bug, I believe. We towed it behind our car all the way into Cleveland and then went home.

My brothers and I would go and play up the street with the neighbor’s kids all the time and the parents there would also keep an eye on us. When they came down to our house it was the same.  My father sometimes counsel parents that he knew and their kids. Like the time our milkman got all upset because his son did not want to continue the dairy farm. He wanted to be an engineer. So my father went over and talked to both of them and helped our milk man realize that maybe being and engineer was best for his son.

When we went to Florida the first time, a family friend – who did not live particularly close by – would go over to our house in Ohio every weekend amke sure everything was OK. After my father died, we stayed with my grand parents up in Pa. until my mother could get the estate in order and figure out where she wanted to live.

I could go on and on withe other such incidents but you get my drift. People help one and other and were generally not looking for remuneration in return. But something has changed in that.  Some call it self reliance but it seems more like a self-centeredness that has taken over. Were what was considered common kindness and courtesy is not looked down upon by more that a few. An I got mine, to hell with you attitude. Everyman for himself and the devil take the hindmost. To the extent that when one does do someting for a friend or relative,  it invokes some kind of suspicion and cynicism.  Where one wonders what it is the giver is looking to get in return.

While Seisetsu was the master of Engaku in Kamakura he required larger quarters, since those in which he was teaching were overcrowded. Umezu Seibei, a merchant of Edo, decided to donate five hundred pieces of gold called ryo toward the construction of a more commodious school. This money he brought to the teacher.

Seisetsu said: “All right. I will take it.”

Umezu gave Seisetsu the sack of gold, but he was dissatisfied with the attitude of the teacher. One might live a whole year on three ryo, and the merchant had not even been thanked for five hundred.

“In that sack are five hundred ryo,” hinted Umezu.

“You told me that before,” replied Seisetsu.

“Even if I am a wealthy merchant, five hundred ryo is a lot of money,” said Umezu.

“Do you want me to thank you for it?” asked Seisetsu.

“You ought to,” replied Uzemu.

Why should I?” inquired Seisetsu. “The giver should be thankful.”

We should express our appreciation, but also be grateful for the chance to give as well.

Cross posted at Dagblog

2 thoughts on “What happened to us ?

  1. Change happened.

    We need only look to the hand(s) guiding that change to know who is responsible for the change.

    Knowing the true reason for change permits us to know why change happened.

    The results achieved from change gives us some insight into the true reason for change. You can’t argue with results. Arguing between a mistake or intent never alters where responsibility for a result rests. Both have to end with sanctions for the responsible person(s) which must, in all cases, include a timely taking away of their authority. That is the only possible answer. Ever. The notion of intent or mistake aspect is a separate consideration.

    Assignment of failure is very different from making a determination if the failure was by intent or a mistake. The failure stands without regard to the underlying reason. When a proven effective process fails you must make a timely change to the piece of the process which caused the failure.

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