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The Window to My Soul and How I understand Others


The Late Burgess Meredith in the Twilight Zone Episode “Time at Last” 

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

George R.R. Martin wrote in his book A Dance With Dragons:  “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

I constantly read and because I try to imagine what I am reading so that in a way I live it. I have been to places that have never traveled to before and on entering them I know exactly where everything is and what happened there. I remember leading a group from my Army chapel in Wurzburg Germany to Wittenberg, where Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation. As I led the group through the town a couple of people asked me how many times I had been there. I told them, “physically, never until today, but I have been here a thousand times before because of books. I saw Wittenberg in my minds eye before I ever saw the city.” They were surprised and both said that it seemed like I had been there many times.

I have had the same thing happen other places that I have visited, and again, it is because I read, and as I read, I imagine and occasionally dream. I do not need virtual reality to take me places I have never been. For me it is enough to read, look at pictures or paintings, and study maps. Those actions allow me to see and imagine people, places, and things more than any virtual reality program can do, because the mind is so much more powerful in imagining what was simply by reading, studying, and closing our eyes. Then when we actually get to the place we know it, we know the people who were there, we know where they lived, and what they thought. It really is quite amazing which is why I love readying history and biography so much. The late astronomer Carl Sagan wrote: “One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.”

I have a huge number of my books in my office most dealing with the history, especially the American Civil War and Reconstruction, the World Wars, and the insurgencies and counter-insurgency wars of the past seventy or so years. I have a lot of biographies, books on American history, military theory, sociology, philosophy, psychology related to war and PTSD, and a few theological works, of which most are in my home library which doubles as a guest room.

When I had an office outside the house long with mementos of my military career, other militaria, artwork, and baseball memorabilia the sight and smell can be both overwhelming and comforting at the same time. I hear that a lot from my visitors, including those who come in for counseling, consolation, or just to know someone cares. They tell my visitors volumes about me without them ever asking a question or me telling them, and occasionally someone will ask to borrow a book, and most of the time I will lend them the book, or if I have multiple copies even one to them.

In a sense my books are kind of a window to my soul, the topics, and even how I have them organized, and they are not for decoration. Many times while I am reflecting on a topic, a conversation, or something that I read in the news I peruse my books and pull one or more out to help me better understand it, or relate it to history. sometimes when in conversation something will come up and I can pull out a book. A Chaplain who once served with me said that he should “apply for graduate credit” for what he learns in our often off the cuff talks. But, for me that is because I read so much and absorb it. Joyce Carol Oates wrote: “Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” That is something I have come to understand over the decades.

Likewise my memorabilia is there to remind me of all the people in my past who I have served with. I don’t have all my medals, honors, and diplomas up for everyone to see, instead I have pictures and collages, many signed by people who made a difference in my life. When I see the signatures and often all too kind words on them I am humbled, and in some cases a tear will come to my eye, but I digress…

I always try to read a decent amount everyday. I in the past couple of weeks I have finished reading a number of very good books dealing with different historical dramas. I have mentioned a number of my recent reads. Last year I read a very good book called Hidden Horrors: Japanese War Crimes In World War II, by Yuki Tanaka. The book is primarily focused on Japanese War Crimes In the Southwest Pacific against Allied POWs, civilians, including German missionaries, and indigenous peoples. I will be referring to it in future articles as I deal with Japanese War Crimes In the Second World War. I am well versed in the Nazi War crimes and only somewhat familiar with Japanese war crimes, but the the takeaway from the book was that both the German War Crimes and Japanese War Crimes committed during the Second World War were committed by men who placed unconditional loyalty to a supreme leader, in the case of the Germans, Hitler’s Fuhrer cult, and in the case of the Japanese, Emperor worship, much like the present day Trump Cult. But I digress, I will go into that in a future article. This week I completed Dr Timothy Snyder’s latest book “Our Malady: Lessons in Liberty from a Hospital Diary, and I am working on the second volume of Volker Ullrich’s biography of Hitler. Due to spending so much time on my book before having my own medical-dental crisis I am behind in much of the ready I plan to do.

I love reading and writing about complex characters, people who may be heroes and at the same time scoundrels. I like the contradictions and the feet of clay of people, because I am filled with my own, and truthfully saints are pretty boring. Unfortunately, until Ullrich’s haven’t read any biographies of late although I have several waiting in my stack of books.  Much of my reading deals a lot with biography as the characters weave their way through history. By reading about them I often feel that I get to know them better than some of the people they actually associated because most people only reveal select aspects of themselves and their thoughts, even to close friends.

Two years ago  we observed the Centenary of the end of World War One. As a result I re-read Edmond Taylor’s The Fall of the Dynasties: The Collapse of the Old Order, 1905-1922 and Richard Watt’s The Kings Depart: The Tragedy of Germany: Versailles and the German Revolution. Both of these are very important reads which should help us to reflect reflect on what is happening in our world today. There are many similarities and reading them causes me to wonder if world leaders will allow hubris, arrogance, greed, and pride to drag the world into another catastrophic war. Sadly President Trump, doesn’t read, and doesn’t learn from history. Unfortunately, his ignorance is very much a reflection of our twenty-first century media culture.

But to me, books are important, far more important than anything that is shouted at me on television. Unfortunately, the latter is how most people get information today. I often sit at the bar and on quiet days simply listen to those near me repeat ad-nauseam the bullshit echoed by badly educated and historically ignorant conservative pundits, usually from Fox News. Historian Timothy Snyder wrote in his little but profound book, On Tyranny:

“Staring at screens is perhaps unavoidable, but the two-dimensional world makes little sense unless we can draw upon a mental armory that we have developed somewhere else. When we repeat the same words and phrases that appear in the daily media, we accept the absence of a larger framework. To have such a framework requires more concepts, and having more concepts requires reading. So get the screens out of your room and surround yourself with books. The characters in Orwell’s and Bradbury’s books could not do this—but we still can.”

Likewise, Barbara Tuchman wrote:

“Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change (as the poet said), windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.”

But anyway, I retire from the Navy soon and writing, reading, and teaching will become more and more part of my life. I am happy about that. Carl Sagan wrote:

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

I hope that the books I write do what Sagan wrote about, and that by teaching I can encourage others to break away from the two dimensional screens that hold them captive and return to books where imagination can flourish and take us places we only hope to go. 

Have a great day and better tomorrow tomorrow, stay safe and pick up a book and read.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Filed under books, books and literature, History, philosophy

Staff Rides, Table Talk, and Lost Phones




Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Yesterday I completed my 16th Gettysburg Staff Ride with the Joint Forces Staff College. The students as always were great and a number of students and I had Some great discussions over food and beer on Friday and Saturday night. I really do enjoy those discussions, table talk is a great way of learning, even for me, because the questions and comments, as well as differing opinions make me think and also make me work harder on my research and preparation for the next trip. 

It was a very good trip but the foul weather took a lot out of me and somehow I lost my iPhone this morning and not even my my “find my iPhone” app helped me. That was frightening as I have never done more than misplaced my phone, and I realized how important it is for so much of my communication and how I schedule my life, including how I measure my exercise. 

Since I couldn’t find after retracing my steps from the time I left my hotel room to the point I noticed it missing at the Virginia Memorial before guiding my students through Pickett’s Charge and the Soldiers Cemetery I had to depart the pattern without going back to the Gettysburg Nation Military Park Visitor Center. Thankfully I had scored big on Saturday when I was able to get a limited edition signed artist proof of Dale Gallon’s painting of the 19th Massachusetts Infantry stopping the Confederate attack at the Copse of Trees during Pickett’s Charge entitled Clubs are Trumps. The title of the piece denotes the shamrock of the Union Second Corps which of course is a “club” in a card deck, in this case the trump card. I had been planning on getting the mini-print from Gallon on one of my next trips, but the price of this 1996 print was less than the small one. I couldn’t pass it up. Now to wait for a good deal on custom framing, but I digress. 


On the way back to pick up Judy and the Papillons I stopped at an Apple Store in the D.C. Area to replace it and to make sure that if someone had it that it was disabled and erased. The only issue was that I lost a lot of photos that I had taken Friday as I walked the Union First Corps lines as well as my exercise data from Thursday through Sunday morning, during those three days I had hiked about 20 miles.

I was able to get some rest as we visited our friends and the ten Papillons who own all of us played and played. So we are on our way back home today and will get ready for the rest of the work week. So until tomorrow.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Teaching at Gettysburg 


Friends of Padre Steve’s World

I spent last night eating, drinking, and teaching at Gettysburg in preparation for he Staff Ride which begins this morning. My audience is the senior staff of an U.S. Army recruiting battalion based out of Ohio. 

It was an interesting setting to teach, sitting on the patio with absolutely beautiful weather, enjoying good food and beer and then getting to teach. They are a different type of audience than the men and women that I teach at the Staff College, and with the exception of the battalion commander who is a graduate of our program, the officers are younger and junior to my students and we also have senior non-commissioned officers, the Command Sergeant Major and the First Sergeants. they are whoever, all very smart, articulate and represent the best of America. All have served in combat or in combat theaters, and all have met with the frustration of not achieving anything like victory. 

I find this very important, because the vast majority of military personnel, including officers attend the level of education that I get to teach at the staff college, and for me to be able to do this with such a group helps create an interest, not just in a particular battle, but the important link between national strategy, military strategy, and the operational art. One thing that I spent a good amount of time on last night in the prepetory lecture was just that. The biggest reason the the North won the Civil War and that the South lost was that in the North under Lincoln, that military operations were linked with the policy of the government after the Emancipation Proclamation; whereas in the South there never was a coherent national strategy, and even great operational level commanders like Robert E. Lee were unable to translate battlefield success into victory. 

As Clausewitz emphasized, war is an instrument of policy, and if it does not serve policy, or if policy makers fail to develop and enunciate a true national strategy, military efforts will ultimately fail. This has been a hallmark of post Col War American thinking. Ideology and buzzwords are not policy, nor are they strategy, and the military is only one component of national power, and unlike diplomacy, economic power, and information, it is a blunt instrument, and if military efforts cannot be translated into the political object and bring about a positive political effect, no amount of battlefield brilliance will bring about success. Policy makers and soldiers must remain in constant dialogue in order to ensure that the link between strategy and policy is strong. This was something that Lincoln, as well as his military subordinates Ulysses Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman learned, and practiced during the war, and it was something that Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson failed to understand after the war, thus forieting all that had been won on the battlefields. Thus as English historian and military theorist Colon Gray notes that “war is about peace” and “more pointedly, that the making of peace is likely to be more difficult than the waging of war. It is a common, and somewhat understandable, error to assume that if one takes care of the fighting in an efficient manner, and the enemy is duly humbled, somehow that the subsequent peace will all but take care of itself.”  I guess that is one reason that I find the American Civil War and the subsequent Reconstruction period to be so pertinent today for but policy makers and military leaders. But I digress…

Even so this promises to be a great weekend, and even more interesting, I will be conducting the final part of which includes walking the ground of Pickett’s Charge, and spending time at the Soldier’s Cemetery where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Addess on Sunday, the 33rd anniversary of my being commissioned as an Army officer in 1983. Since then I have served in peace and war in both the Army and the Navy. In fact I have been in the Navy now almost as long as I served in the Army, almost 17 1/2 years. 

Anyway, I hope to post anther reflection tomorrow, though it may be later in the evening when I actually get it done. 

Until then, have a great day.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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The Reward of Teaching



I love getting to do what I do as an Assistant Professor teaching Ethics and the Gettysburg Staff Ride. Through most of my career, be it as a Medical Service Corps officer and Chaplain in the Army, as well as a Navy Chaplain has been dealt with teaching ethics or history. However, until this assignment those duties have been things I took on in addition to my normal duties. 

I try to challenge my students, no matter what I teach to see issues in relationship to people; their character, intellect, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, faith, ideology, and their relationships. In other words, their humanity. For it is our humanity that is the common thread in all of history. Technology changes, political models change, and humanity is constantly evolving, or sometimes devolving, but the one constant is people. 

Sadly all to often humanity is left out, we find a way to dehumanize almost everything, even how businesses, governments and even religious bodies refer to people as “human capital,” “resources” or in the case of some money grubbing churches “tithing units.” 

However, when I teach, I may teach about history, philosophy, or ethics, I still concentrate on people; who they and why they matter. That is at least for me is what matters. Events, inventions, theories, methods are all important, but if we leave out the actual part about the people they don’t connect. 

So in addition to the classroom, or touring historic sites, I focus on people, and then, especially on trips where I am out with my students for two or three days. On these trips we travel tighter, we eat and drink together and spend time discussing the events and people we are studying, but also share our life experiences and time together. So for me, teaching is also about my students, and to see their interst piqued, who then come back and later tell me that they went and explored the life of the people that we discussed. It is like them dis coving buried treasure. 

I think that is the joy and the reward of teaching, especially higher education, but I am sure any teacher, even those who teach primary and secondary education could do the same thing if they are creative, for it is the people who connect us, people matter.



Today we had to break off the last day of our Gettybsurg trip due to a winter storm that shifted south and made road conditions really bad. From DC to Richmond I lost count of the number of accidents. Thankfully it looks like things get a bit better south of Richmond. 

But anyway for now, and if you live in the path of this storm, stay safe.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Filed under History, Loose thoughts and musings, philosophy, Teaching and education

A Weekend In Gettysburg



Friends of Padre Steve’s World

Well we survived the latest iteration of the great Hampton Roads Snowmageddon 2015. I have to say  that the VDOT and local city governments did a great job in clearing the roads. 

Now I am on the way up to Gettysburg to lead the winter Staff Ride, now with an academic promotion and title of Assistant Professor. 

I love doing this, for me it is more than just looking at and studying a battle. What happened when I started teach this was that I began to study, research and write. As I did that my interst was piqued by the people who led the armies, as well as the politicians on both sides. In doing so I began to see this as more than an event, and the people as something more than caricatures with little depth who we typically only study in relation to what they did on the battlefield. Personally I think that is a terrible way to do history, I think we miss the really important stuff when we, and I am talking historians as well as laymen do that. 

So when I reach I spend a lot of time dealing with the people, their strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, character, motivations, intellect, personality, the things that give life to them. These are the things that my students can relate to because they are not just past events, but the the people in a sense serve as a mirror for us. 

When we get to Gettysburg tonight we will have some dinner and drinks at the Irish tavern doing some bonding and “table talk.” That is a wonderful way to learn, so much better that power point lectures and canned case studies. 

Anyway, I will check in over the weekend. 

Peace

Padre Steve+ 

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Re-entering Academia

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Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. Socrates

I signed in to my new assignment at the Ethics faculty and Command Chaplain at the Joint Forces Staff College today. The JFSC is part of the National Defense University and as such is not a Navy Command. it is a joint command responsible to the joint Chiefs of Staff and the Defense Department. There are faculty members from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, NSA, State Department and other agencies and the student body is composed of US military personnel from all branches, other Federal agencies as well as NATO and other allied nations. To put it succinctly my diverse background seems perfectly tailored for the job.

My friend Hal Scott is the outgoing chaplain and has already been a great help during the transition before I reported and today. What was really cool is even the little things were taken care of, right down to the name plate on my office door. Like Denny Crane said in Boston Legalname on the door.” But I digress…

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It is a good thing to have a friend in the position that you are moving in to. I have had many assignments in the military and had a number of good turnovers as we call them, but when someone who knows you and has your best interests at heart is on deck preparing the way it makes things a lot easier.

I met with the Commandant and Chief of Staff as well as some of the academic deans and professors today. It was really nice. Every single person asked me what “I wanted to do” at the college. Today the door to teaching, learning and deeper academic education was thrown open to me. I was told that I will have the chance to do anything I desire.

Now says my desires are pretty simple. I want to care for the faculty and staff members of the college as well as our students. Many of whom are catching one of our programs between arduous operation assignments and combat deployments. Quite a few I understand suffer from PTSD or some other type of combat stress injury and since they are senior officers many choose not to get help because of the stigma attached to getting it. Hopefully I will be someone who can be an encouragement to those that have not sought help,to get it and to be there for those that suffer in silence.

I also want to teach, not just Ethics, which is incredibly important in our world which appears to have gone mad, but also Military history and theory. Since I have my second Masters Degree in Military History it looks like I will get that chance as well. The doors have been opened.

That being said I do want to continue my own education. I for one do not think that a person should ever stop learning, no matter what their academic field or vocation. Since I lean toward academia it follows that I desire to continue to learn, both in my individual study and in formal education. I am looking at a number of doctoral programs which will,help me do that and help me in the academic world when I eventually retire from the military. Admittedly in that all I want to be is an adjunct professor to keep myself in the game but the additional education will help.

My first 10 weeks will be spent as a student in the Joint Advanced Warfighting School, which focuses on Joint, Multi-National and Inter-Agency operations even as I transition to being the Command Chaplain. I will be in a seminar group composed of a cross section of the student body that i already described. once i complete the course I will be teaching a number of Ethics courses and most likely get to teach other subjects as well. The last time I taught college courses was when I taught Western Civilization for Park University back in 2001.

From what Hal tells me the teaching methods encourage class participation and not doing data dumps of Power Point slides. That is good because I am okay with that and don’t mind chasing a rabbit once in a while if it helps students think more critically, ask hard questions and not be satisfied with easy answers to questions where there either are no easy answers or where multiple answers might be correct. That being said I believe that when we do this we give leaders the chance to do the right thing no matter what kind of situation that they find themselves in be it deployed or supporting combat operations or in garrison.

In this I am reminded of a quote from Star Trek the Next Generation. It is from an episode called “The First Duty.” in it the seasoned Captain Jean Luc Picard confronts his young protege Wesley Crusher after a disastrous accident that leaves a Star Fleet Academy cadet dead. Picard tells the young Crusher that “the first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it’s scientific truth, historical truth or personnel truth… in my book that sums up ethics.

Likewise the pursuit of truth, learning and seeking can never be brushed aside no matter how old we get or who wise that we think that we are. As the late great Hall of Fame Manager of the Baltimore Orioles Earl Weaver put it so well “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

So on Monday morning I will report to class and also give my first briefing on chaplain services, operational and combat stress issues, suicide prevention and other topics to an incoming class. My own class at that. Since we will have a few German officers in the class I will probably do at least part of my introduction in German. My Arabic or French is not good enough at the present to pull that off in either of those languages, but give me time.

Until tomorrow

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Back To School: Welcome Back

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Welcome Back (Theme to Welcome Back Kotter) John Sebastian

Show intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VlGyMG0ksg  complete song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZzEzDkeHzI

Welcome back,

Your dreams were your ticket out. 

Welcome back, 

To that same old place that you laughed about. 

Well the names have all changed since you hung around, 

But those dreams have remained and they’re turned around. 

Who’d have thought they’d lead ya (Who’d have thought they’d lead ya) 

Here where we need ya (Here where we need ya) 

Yeah we tease him a lot cause we’ve hot him on the spot, welcome back, 

Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.

In the morning I will check in to my new assignment at the Joint Forces Staff College where when I finish my initial course of instruction the Joint and Combined Warfighting School I will be on the faculty as the Ethics instructor and on the staff as the Chaplain.

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It is the kind of assignment that I have always since my earliest days in the military I have desired to serve in. I will be teaching Ethics to mid grade and senior officers as they go out to serve in important billets in Joint Commands. I will also have responsibilities to pastor the small chapel at the College.

I love teaching and I love the academic world. I was listening to the radio today and the theme from Welcome Back Kotter came on the Sirius Radio 70s on 7 channel. The song always brings a tear to my eye, not in a bad way because those men and women who taught me in High School, College, Seminary and Grad School have had a tremendous influence on me. I hope that I will be fortunate enough to have my future students remember me so fondly.

Until tomorrow

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Kindred Spirits

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“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are the dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did.” T. E. Lawrence

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I am an introvert, an academic and a circuitous thinker versus a linear thinker. I am also a dreamer, thinking about possibilities, alternate realities and going beyond the possible. I often discover answers to situations that I face in unrelated subjects. Usually something else that I have read, studied, watched or heard often from history, literature, film, music and sports, especially baseball. I tend to be an outside of the box thinker and I am sure that some that know me consider me quirky or sometimes even off the reservation. I like to ask, ponder and muse about hard questions, sometimes playing Devil’s Advocate.

Frankly I am okay with that.

I love writing and writing has become an extension of me as much as it has been part of my recovery, spirituality and psychological health. In a sense writing has been part of my post Iraq redemption.

I like dealing with people individually and find that I can be as at ease with the a person of most humble means with no power or influence as I can with those of great power, means and influence.

I feel most comfortable teaching and prefer, even as a Naval officer to avoid the limelight. When I was younger that was not the case. I sought promotion and remember hoping to be a Army Colonel or maybe even a General. When I gave up my rank as a Major in the Army Reserve to enter active duty in the Navy in 1999 it was as if that burden was removed. While I have done well in the Navy and have been promoted to the rank of Commander in the Chaplain Corps, I do not seek higher rank. If in a few years I get promoted that is okay, but I almost wonder due to the nature of the jobs at that level if I was promoted if I would be really happy.

I am a Priest and cannot see myself as a Bishop. I am a historian, a teacher, a bit of a counselor, I do ethics well and function very well serving as a chaplain in hospital Intensive Care Units and Trauma departments. While I have served as a company commander in the Army and had other positions where I supervised good numbers of people with a fair amount of responsibility I have found that I prefer to be in less visible positions where my influence is used helping others achieve success.

Thus I really am looking forward to my next assignment at the Joint Forces Staff College where I will be teaching ethics and probably some military history to men and women going to positions of great authority, some of whom will become Generals or Admirals. If I do my job right these men and women may learn something from me that helps them do good things for our nation, their soldiers and even the populations of countries that they be serving in, or occupying.

I think in some ways I am becoming a spiritual director and guide to some people as a Priest and Chaplain. The latter is something that was not sought, nor something that I could ever imagine.  Despite my dual callings as both a Priest and military officer, great experience, education and training I have found that I frequently have felt totally inadequate when people ask me difficult questions.

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I am fortunate that I can admit to people that I have questions, doubts and that much of my success is due to other people who took the time to mentor me, teach me and care for me throughout my life and career. Some were teachers, some coaches, some military officers, Navy Chiefs, or NCOs from the Army or Marine Corps, and a few clergymen.

I also have some people that I consider kindred spirits. I think that we all need to have people like that, those that we know personally and those that we know from history, literature, sports, films or whatever. I think that since everyone is different and that we learn in different ways, understand God in different ways that somehow God is not bound to any particular means of speaking to us and reveals himself to us in various ways and that one of those ways is through people that are kindred spirits.

In my case I find such men and women are those that like me march to a different drummer, those that think outside the box and those not threatened by ideas, discoveries or philosophies different than their own. Those who can see the humanity and value in people who are not necessarily like them. Those who in their lives often failed before they succeeded and whose journeys were not easy and those who did not seek the highest office or aspire to be a celebrity even when they had the chance.

I think that the one man who I can call a kindred spirit is T. E. Lawrence, known as history as Lawrence of Arabia. As I read his autobiography I found a complicated and often contradictory man who after achieving fame laid it down even though he could have held any of a number of great positions of power. He really was an amazing person. Lawrence wrote:

“The rare man who attains wisdom is, by the very clearness of his sight, a better guide in solving practical problems than those, more commonly the leaders of men, whose eyes are misted and minds warped by ambition for success….”

That is what I have been learning since Iraq.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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