Posted: November 27, 2013 by Mark Putnam
Most are familiar with the old story known commonly as “The Blind Men and the Elephant.” The tale is traced to the Indian Subcontinent from where it spread across many regions, cultures and religious traditions. Much later it was popularized in a poem by the 19th century American poet John Godfrey Saxe I (June 2, 1816 – March 31, 1887) bringing the story more prominently into the narrative of western culture as well.
Mark Putnam | 12 Comments | Posted: November 4, 2013
Hit well, and life will reward you; miss, and there are sanctions. It’s simply reality.
Mark Putnam | 4 Comments | Posted: October 9, 2013
We make government work. He suggested that what we do in the roles we play is the essence of democracy. His words penetrated through the necessary articulation of rules of governance to remind me of the role of citizen. With a new frame of reference, I began to interpret the comments each of the speakers offered with greater attention to the role, rather than the rule.
Mark Putnam | 14 Comments | Posted: September 10, 2013
We are an impatient society. Perhaps it has always been so, but as I read about our history I continue to be impressed by the foresight and commitment of leaders who assumed they were building for something more than their immediate needs and interests.
Mark Putnam | 11 Comments | Posted: August 9, 2013
Arrogance is short-lived in travel, however. We all remember times when we wished we prepared differently for circumstances we didn’t fully understand.
Mark Putnam | 8 Comments | Posted: June 26, 2013
Could we, in 2013, articulate the deep philosophical notions embedded in the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights? Would it be possible for a national leader to step forward in a time of great grief and tragedy and craft the mournful and yet healing words for the Gettysburg Address? Would there be sufficient depth of understanding about literature, history and culture for an activist to expand our vision of the future through an “I Have a Dream” speech?
Mark Putnam | 3 Comments | Posted: May 21, 2013
I typically say something encouraging as they approach me to help them focus on the task at hand. For some this is important advice as I often see wide eyes watering and feel a sweaty palm grasping for mine. Others relish the moment in the spotlight so much that they nearly forget to receive the diploma.
Mark Putnam | 6 Comments | Posted: April 15, 2013
We carry the burden of the times we live in and the circumstances set before us. We can only succeed with the help and support of our companions on the journey.
Mark Putnam | 13 Comments | Posted: March 26, 2013
The mystery surrounded a missing book. The book was not to be removed from the library at any time. This was not the first time he had given this assignment for this particular course, but it was the first time the rare book had simply disappeared.
Mark Putnam | 8 Comments | Posted: February 25, 2013
People order the world in different ways. We are shaped by the experiences we have amassed in the settings that have defined our personal and group identity. It’s not so much a matter of what we value. Often we value many of the same things.