One thing that can really make ripples is if a person is essentially “on assignment”—acting as a participant journalist. For the anniversary of Spirituality & Health, we want to cocreate great stories— to put our readers on assignment to do good works. And so we’ve partnered with the Utopia Foundation to make that happen. When confronted by “Who are you? Why are you here?” you may be able to say, in all honesty, “I’m on assignment!” This blog post explains how.
I lived in what would be considered an intentional community from age 18 to 25. I think the community worked because of a few key things: We were selective and ruthless about who we let in. We prohibited drugs and alcohol on the acres. We expected members to keep commitments—or get out!
Everything is cyclical. Habits change slowly, and most humans are not early adopters, not ready to embrace new realities until there is often significant discomfort or even pain. Thankfully, we humans are somewhat rational in our behavior and will hear the drum roll of progress if things seem cheaper, better or more convenient.
“What age group is the book for?” a former Parliamentarian asked, as he looked into my eyes for an answer.
“Age 0 to age 88,” I answered.
He continued looking at me, and clarified, “I mean, is it for P2? P3? P4? What classes would use it?”
“Any class,” I replied.
The reason we were chatting is because this former MP had been involved in education at the ministry level and shared my passion for education.
As if I had not heard him, he asked again, “Paul, what classes would we buy this book for?”
I responded, “We create books that tell great stories. Each page is well-illustrated. We use high-quality paper and then think about every word, every illustration, and how each page is put together. We don’t consider 'age.' We only ask ourselves, 'Is this book one that kids and even adults will love?’”
Paul spoke at the Northern Uganda Peace Conference 2017, at Gulu University. The event presentation team included religious leaders, peace advocates, Peace Studies instructors, teachers, media specialists and journalists from Northern Uganda.
My dad, Dale Sutherland, was born during the American Great Depression. In fact, my grand-mother said about my dad’s birth, “When I went to the bank to get the money for the hospital, the bank was closed.” I still remember that particular sentence from my grandmother, who spoke it directly to me. I remember because I had little one-on-one time with her since I had to share her with a few dozen grandkids all wanting another molasses cookie. It seemed to me Grandma was “A-Okay” with the bank closing—like that was the least of the trouble at that time. I did not find out until later that I was right.