I surely can’t speak for the professional educators, or the Governments Dept of Education, or the Governor’s who have enacted “Common Core” …

I am fortunate enough to have grown up on a tomato farm in southern New Jersey in the 50’s and 60’s. My teachers (most of them) taught my father in the same small elementary school I attended (Grade K-5) I graduated from Paulsboro H.S. in Paulsboro, N.J. in the Top 20% (30 of 150) Our Top Students went to Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania I went to the University of South Dakota because my Coach knew the Athletic Director there and they offered me a scholarship (I didn’t know a person in S.D. at the time I boarded a plane to fly there)

My H.S. Chemistry teacher told me I was a good Chemistry student, so I majored in Chemistry. Ultimately I converted to math and because I enlisted into the USMC Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) commissioning program and was accepted into Flight school I took some engineering classes my last two years which is what I would have majored in IF I’d only know then what I knew at the end of college – oh well, such is life.

This picture is a picture of “my tools” then (1964-1968) – I’ll call them – “Old Core” and for us then they were certainly “common”

I had a passion for flying then; I still do today and would continue to do it if they’d let me (“common sense” and “age” preclude such activities at a commercial level today)

PASSION in my mind is the key to success – regardless of your pursuit in life or your station.  I ran across this YouTube clip this week and for my money this young woman – Valentina Lisitsa possesses and demonstrates unsurpassed Passion (please take 7:34 of your day and listen and watch this pianist play Beethoven’s “Appassionata”)

Passion and talent has and will always propel society forward … education’s main purpose in my opinion should be to identify and nurture our children’s passions and talents – the tools we use will certainly advance because those with that passion and talent will see to it. If you think a minute about Valentina’s performance – she was taught, played on a wonderful piano someone developed, and played music written 200 years ago by Beethoven, I call this a “perfect storm” if you will.  Question is – where do these talents, passions and inspirations come from?  I believe from God.  I don’t know everything about every Religion, but I do know every Religion states their God provides all his children talents, spiritual gifts, etc; I’d like to call these things our Genius.  We all have a unique genius and as Dick Richards in his book “Is your genius at work? 4 key questions to ask before your next career move.” Richards writes, “The renaissance of genius has been encouraged by Wayne Dyer in The Power of Intention, James Hillman in The soul’s Code, Deepak Chopra in Seven Spiritual Laws of success, Gary Zukav in Seat of the Soul … Hillman offers – each person bears a uniqueness that asks to be lived and that is already present before it is lived.

We all have these gifts, mine is flying, Valentina’s is piano – what is yours? What is your child’s genius?  This is a better question to ask.

Finally, I believe once we discover our passion, our genius, if you will – we then MUST use it in the best way possible to benefit ourselves, our family, our society and ultimately our world.  Our “Moral Conviction’s” need to abide the naysayers, the temptations of this world and stay true to ourselves and our Genius.

Common Core is NOT the issue … living our lives in harmony with our higher Power’s gifts, talents, passions and genius – that’s the life we should seek with all our heart, mind and soul.