|Photos by Bill Slavin|
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One morning we watched two doves lay down twigs and leaves in the roof gutter near our dining room window. Last year they successfully produced eggs, sat attentively on the nest till the eggs hatched, fed the babies repeatedly, helped the babies learn to fly and to feed themselves until, the parents' work done, the fledglings flew away. We watched the complete cycle for the first time. In previous years, because the nest is completely exposed, a hawk had gotten everything -- parents and eggs.
Now when we hear the scree of the hawk, we wince and hope the doves will be secure once more. On the one hand, we glory in the beauty and strength of the hawk; but on the other, we watch with kindness as the two doves build a nest and a hoped-for future.
Here is the list. Make a copy, cut the words out and place them in the order that is important to you. Cutting them out and re-assembling them in your order is an important part of the process. You may find yourself reorganizing the list after your first try. What would your friends choose? What would someone who doesn't agree with you choose?
Beauty and Creativity Love and Compassion
Joy and Laughter Health and Well-Being
Respect for the Environment Knowledge and Truth
Appreciation and Contentment Justice and Morality
One step further: would you agree with this list of basic American values? What would you add? What order would you put these words in?
Freedom Individualism Pragmatism
Volunteerism Mobility Patriotism
Progress American Dream Efficiency
Equality Achievement National Security
I found the American values list along with a detailed posting about what these values mean at GoldenLine, the LinkedIn website for Poland. Everyone in the world wants to understand us, don't they?