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St. Regian (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) 19??-????, January 01, 1976, Image 24

Image and text provided by Paul Smith's College

Persistent link: http://pscpubs.paulsmiths.edu/lccn/sn89038522/1976-01-01/ed-1/seq-24/

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W h e n I first came to Paul Smith's as a student in February, 1966, I was immediately impressed with the overall feeling of intimacy and cohesiveness. People greeted each other; in fact, some people said hello to me, a total stranger, merely to be friendly. I felt instantly at home. In June, 1967, I left P.S.C. and went to another school, and upon completion of my studies there, I went into the service. Over the next several years, though far from school physically, I thought often of the closeness and friendliness of Paul Smith's. And whenever I met other P.S.C. alumni (as I did across the U.S.) we shared warm reminisces of the good times we had spent here. No other place I lived was as warm and friendly as Paul Smith's had been. Finally, in February, 1973, I was fortunate enough to return to P.S.C. as an instructor. And although I had been gone for six years, the people were as helpful and kind as l had remembered them to be. Everyone seemed to get along with everyone else; people helped each other out; civility and friendship pre­ vailed. It was good to return home. And Paul Smith's has remained my home. The pre­ vailing spirit of kindness and cooperation has made my job an honor and a pleasure; every day is its own reward. The Paul Smith's people, faculty, adminis­ tration, and students, have encouraged me to im­ prove my teaching so I might be a better asset to the school, and a better person. I have felt obligated to do my best so I might help as many people as I can; I can not disappoint my friends on either side of the desk. I believe the same mechanisms that have made Paul Smith's my home are the \secrets\ of making the world a better place. Here we live in relative isola­ tion, a microcosm of some 1,100 beings. This makes any acts of inconsideration or hostility immediately obvious; therefore, we have perhaps more pressure to behave ourselves and cooperate with each other than do people in a large society; we are instantly obvious and visible. But the principle of cooperation should not be practiced because of the threat of ostracism or condemnation by one's peers. We should practice cooperation because, as we have seen here, if it works \here\ in \our\ microcosm, it can work \there\ in \their\ macrocosm. Often in a large society one has the feeling of insig­ nificance and invisibility as strongly as one has the feeling of significance and visibility in a small society. Yet regardless of how invisible one feels, he is always a very concrete part of his society, and, in fact, the entire world. Invisibility is an illusion. If I throw a can on a street of the largest city in the world, I need never again think of that can or the ramifications of my act. Yet that can will not disappear; it will remain there and it will be an obstruction and a source of annoyance to others until someone is forced to dispose of it. That one can does have substance, and with it I have made the world a worse place for my fellowmen. And if my one act of inconsideration is multiplied ten-fold, or thirty-fold, or ten thousand-fold — as it might well be in a large city — it adds up to an enormous mass of inconvenience and ugliness. Conversely, if I do good, I can make the world a better place; all l have to do is to realize that we are all in the family of man, and act accordingly. You are I, and I am you. In fact, even the ever-present and ominous \they\ are, in actuality, you and I also.

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