Gardner Campbell’s presentation didn’t stir a lot of thought within me. Perhaps it was because I was tired, perhaps it was because of external pressures and stress from elsewhere. Whatever it was, I wasn’t fully there mentally.
However, a couple of things did come to mind. I wrote a booklet for the ROTC program at UMW over the course of winter break this year. Currently, it covers only a sight amount of all things the cadets need to know, and still needs some editing and revision work to it. It includes a preface to address all readers to let them know what they’re getting themselves into by signing up for the program, and hopefully it will inspire them to move on and do great things. I added a portion to the end of the out of the little bits of wisdom I’ve gained over the years, to tell them how and why this book is not, nor will ever be, complete:
“I want to close in saying that this book is not finished, nor will it ever be. This book is as much yours as it is mine. Here in this text are suggestions and methods for doing things that work in the present. The needs of the unit can change very quickly as time transpires. It is the responsibility of future cadets to maintain, modify, update, and pass along this text through the ranks of the unit for its betterment over time. This text is a culmination of my knowledge and experience in ROTC and the military thus far. I have not seen everything, and I do not know everything, and the same holds, and will hold, true for you. The only way to truly improve as a unit is to share the collective knowledge and experiences of all its members over time, to learn from the successes and the failures of others, and our own. When it is a lesson important enough for all to learn, make your mark here, make it clear, and bold. I’ll go first, you follow after.”
When it comes down to it, we all have something to offer. Not necessarily that we’re all experts in something, but there is a world-wide conversation going on about any number of topics simultaneously, and we all have at least one of our one little “bags of gold” to throw in. I’m not necessarily too terribly worried about the idea of building my own personal cyber-identity or anything of that nature, but I really like the idea of being a contributing member of the world, to be able to throw in my two cents at some point, and that it will hopefully make a difference to someone else in the future. The only way that things can ever get better or improve is by sharing it over time, and the internet has become a very powerful means to that end.