Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Back To The Basics of Living A Life That Includes God - My Subconscious Awakens

Well before I learned of God and religion, I was influenced by the God of the Boy Scouts of America, and their reference to him in that program.

It was about 1965 when I started participating in Scouting, following my mom around while she did her Cub Scout activities. Maybe she was a volunteer for the neighborhood, or perhaps she was involved with my brother John.

While the Boy Scouts (or Cub Scouts) do not advocate a certain way to believe in God, they certainly support the faith of believers in such a general way, that it is for the most part not offensive to any, other than someone who may have strong feelings that no higher power exists at all. Examples can be found in the Scout Oath and Law.

The Scout Oath: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

The Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

So here I am 53 years later, and these words of support from Scouting still have a strong influence on me.  So much so, as for this song below, Oh My Honor, to wake me up in the middle of the night as every single word and the melody came back to me, like I was sixteen again. I sang last night...

On My Honor
by Harry Bartelt

On my honor, I'll do my best, to do my duty to God.
On my honor, I'll do my best, to serve my country as I may.
On my honor, I'll do my best, to do my good turn each day,
To keep my body strengthened and keep my mind awakened.
To follow paths of righteousness. 
On my honor, I'll do my best.

This song was also recorded by the well known folk singer Burl Ives, and can be found easily in music formats online. Try here.

We sang this song on most major Scout outings.  The last time I sang it with a large gathering of people, was when my sister Irene included it in my Dad's funeral. To this day, the words tell me to serve God by serving others and to live an honorable, healthy life. I'm grateful my parents influenced me in this direction.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Task Force for the Family

I sent this to the president, Donald J. Trump today...

Dear Mr. President,

President David O. McKay, president of the LDS Church (serving from 1951-1970) taught that our most precious possession is our family and that home is the chief school of human virtues. Of the home, he declared: No other success can compensate for failure in the home. (This quote was on our family wall when I was a child.)

Home, its responsibilities, joys, sorrows, smiles, tears, hopes, and solicitudes form the chief interest of human life. When one puts business or pleasure above his home, he that moment starts on the downgrade to soul-weakness. When the club becomes more attractive to any man than his home, it is time for him to confess in bitter shame that he has failed to measure up to the supreme opportunity of his life and flunked in the final test of true manhood. The poorest shack in which love prevails over a united family is of far greater value to God and future humanity than any other riches. In such a home God can work miracles and will work miracles.

Our country is being torn apart from its very roots (the family unit) upward. We see it in increased crime, mass shootings, the opioid epidemic, disdain for human life, common decency and upheaval in our schools.

Please create a Task Force for the Family, which could be called The Parent Commission, to encourage mothers and fathers, grand parents and relatives to step up and raise our precious young children in American with values of kindness, generosity, and decency. This task force would be lead by clergy, major service organizations and academia to help American families to reinvigorate our youth with positive values in and from the home. This would be an investment in America, that will save the country billions of future dollars.  It would reduce crime, creating honest, healthy of mind, body and spirit the youngest of our citizens, which are our most impressionable today. 

I would be honored to lead this committee. Please contact me for my resume and references.

With deepest respect,

Gus Koerner

Monday, January 22, 2018

Low Tech

Low Tech
by James C. Christensen

Flight, particularly to the stars, for centuries lay solely in the realm of man’s imagination and dreams. It was, therefore, not so far-fetched that NASA should turn to master fantasy artist James Christensen to contribute his vision of man in space.

For Christensen, it was logical that before there was High Tech, there had to be Low Tech. There isn’t an engineer, programmer or IT specialist today that can’t identify with or see in themselves the indomitable spirit of the space age barnstormer that built the space program, designed the desktop and envisioned the cloud.  Nor could they escape the feeling of having to do it all with duct tape and spare parts found in their or their parents' basement.

This framed print was given to me by my old friend and boss Dr. Bruce Bugbee back in about 1990. In our lab where we built hardware for NASA plant science research, we took pride in our motto, "Not high-tech, not low-tech, but just the right amount tech!"

I'll always treasure it as a most thoughtful gift, and it is hanging in my office once again.  Thanks Bruce!