“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun”. Ecclesiastes 1:9 Old Testament
It might be true that there is nothing new under the sun. Maybe it leads some to cynicism, fatalism and a sense of powerlessness in relation to the tasks and demands of their daily living, more so perhaps when one might be losing heart or feeling uninspired.
I see it differently. Whilst there may well be nothing new under the sun as far as being human and living in this world are concerned, it is also magnificently true that each child, each person and each generation lives grows and experiences the world as if everything is new and pristine and that is the way it should be.
It is a foundational aspect of good educating and parenting that teachers and parents understand protect and cherish this truth for children and for themselves.
I watch with fascination at times when people excitedly describe their ideas, ask their questions and embark on their journeys that are fresh and new and inspiring; the ideas, questions and journeys that human beings have undertaken and have grappled with throughout time. And yet thankfully in many instances one observes that there is passion and commitment anew each time the same words are said again by the next people.
Anti-apartheid activist Helen Joseph once spoke to students in the Jameson Hall at UCT. Her face was warm with excitement as she said how glad it made her feel to see so many beautiful young people in the midst of living and discovering life, their lives and acting on the world hopefully with love and justice, embarking on their new journeys, (perhaps as she had so many years previously).
Helen Joseph | South African History Online
I remember my parents’ reaction to the music I listened to as a teenager so distinctly, (bet you’ve never heard that before). They could not fathom how I could appreciate let alone listen to such music. Today my own children, surprise, surprise, laugh at my listening choices believing just as I did thirty years ago that my parents were square, not groovy out of touch old fashioned etc. Today the children call my music “average”, a purposefully ambiguous retort designed to befuddle and obfuscate the current older lot and to keep the partisan generational lines clearly delineated.
In this vein then I claim nothing new in the words written in this journal. It is just new and meaningful for me and represents the sense I am trying to make of my life in this world.
Equally there is nothing for sale here. Whilst I believe and am committed to what I say, I am not trying to convince anybody of anything with the exception that I am encouraging people to act with love, towards themselves and towards others. What I mean by love will become clearer, hopefully.
Reading Guide on the Art of Loving from HarperCollins Publishers
I speak the words, which reflect the interplay of my nature and my experience in the world. The things that I have found to be coherent, of value to me and true for me so far… that could all change, again, particularly as I keep learning who I am, how I got to be who I am (or who I think I am) and how I feel about myself and perhaps how the world seems to feel about me. And especially since who we are can be a particularly changeable phenomenon despite the fact that we each believe that we know with complete certainty who we are.