Tim de Noble
Tim shared with us that one of his favorite books was Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. The character whom he chose to discuss was Bishop M. Charles-Francois-Bienvenu Myriel, whose life was an example of goodness, learning, analysis, and introspection.
As part of his talk, Tim had us visualize an hourglass. He then paralleled learning throughout our lives to this hourglass.
We start life dealing with broad concepts and generalizations. As we grow into the college years, we deal with specialization of our concepts. These years of education hold a special place for us. We need to continue to excel in our pursuit of knowledge.
As we age into our elder years, our interests grow and we build our knowledge in a greater range of topics.
Next he disassembled the hourglass, cutting it horizontally in the middle and reconstructing it with the thickness all in the middle like a diamond. Comparing this construct to our individual notions of humanity, he sees us beginning as self-centered infants.
In these college years, at more the middle of our lives, we are more humane -- we are less focused on ourselves and look at what we can do for humanity and the society in which we live. As we reach our elder years we will again become more self-centered simply because we are focused on self preservation.
Therefore, he challenged us to make the most of this period of intense specialization to enrich the world around us, by bringing our knowledge to bear in dealing with the the issues facing our society, to saturate the humanity 'vessel' with knowledge and action, to be like the Bishop in our approach to life.-- Tim de Noble, Dec. 1, 2010