“The Art of Living”

azure basel Happy Hump Day, Yeah! Should I start off by saying, “No! I don’t have all of the answers … I barely have some of them … for ME!!” This is where Educational Excellence comes into the picture!! Most people immediately think of “academics” when one sees or hears the terms “educational excellence”. Well, in many ways, I had that … still do, pretty much! But there is not enough emphasis on “spiritual education” as in “knowing thyself”, so that when tough times requiring good decisions come up, we know what is best … for us!! So, here is where I thank each and every one of you again and again and again … for allowing me to be myself … and to share these tidbits with you. Hopefully, there is something “you” can use or at least contemplate, maybe as an alternative to what you already do. Maybe “you” see things similarly as I see them and most of this makes a lot of sense. And of course, as I always say to my e-mail family members, anytime you wish to be removed from the “family list”, let me know! In the time I have spent living, working, even traveling sometimes, I have learned that living is indeed an “art”. We can be as stiff and as rigid as the ways of living that got us economic, political, even social success; yet, we may feel that something is still missing. Many of us experience this but fail to see the importance of “spirituality” in this physical world. There are things that we can’t see, that we can’t touch, that may be all around us … anonymously … and we don’t know the impact that these “forces” have on our lives. Can you tune into that which you cannot see … or touch?!? Can we quiet ourselves enough to hear that soft voice of reason and peace, hope and harmony that speaks inside?! Are we busy trying to get on “I-95” when your journey requires a “back woods road”, with twists and turns and all winding with lots of scenery and “lessons”. What if we get on the “I-95” in our life and find that we left something behind – ourselves!!! Will you go back to get “you”? Or will you be able to recreate a “you” that can carry on your journey? Hopefully, you all understand the imagery and can relate it to the point I am making – we are each engaged in “the art of living”. So, Tuesday night in Miami saw the opening ceremony for “Art Basel”, the world’s largest international/”street” art fair hosted by the City of Miami in The Design District. Some of “The City’s Best”, like Dwayne Wade and Alonzo Mourning were in attendance, not to mention the local “street” artists who decorated the City’s landscape. A piece of “larger than life” artwork of Mr. Mourning was on display there, and upon viewing it, he was speechlessly grateful. His life has truly been a work of art during the many years he has spent in Miami with all his programs and community outreach efforts. The “fashionista” Wade was having some extravagant ball or party where many many were invited and attended. Also, last night in Fort Lauderdale, the Christmas Season officially “rang in” with the annual event of “Christmas on Las Olas”, which included snow flown in to add to the already exquisite Christmas ambiance there on Las Olas! In the past, I have had the pleasure of attending! From the choirs singing to the carols being sung to the smiles on children AND parent’s faces, it was clear that the season was ringing in right!! Consider yourself fortunate to be able to engage yourself in “the art of living”. If you get involved, you won’t be able to stop! Peace, John I. Cook

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