We have a picture in our minds of today's society.
We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees, but less common sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get angry too quickly, stay up too late, drink too much, get up too tired.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to our life, but not life to our years.
We have built bigger computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but fail in our interpersonal communications. We've become long on quantity but short on quality. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour.
We've done larger things, but not always better things. We've split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. These are the times of greater world peace, but more domestic warfare; more leisure and less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce: of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable nappies, throwaway morality, one-night stands, and pills that do everything. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom. We see reality but we are cynical about it.
YET, these are the best of times and not the worst of times. These are the times when we have the wealth, the technology and the opportunity to resolve the difficulties that establish our paradoxes. All we need is for enough people to have the will, for "where there's a will there's a way".
Perhaps we can make a start through our attitudes, and in our firm desire to build at least a better school community. With a positive outlook and real determination everyone can make a difference. We could even begin to transform our world.
Dr Peter Manual is the Principal of Golden Grove High School, and the passage above appeared in his weekly new sheet.
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