Autumn Greetings from Cynthia Aldinger

Dear Friends,

Gosh, I realize that for many of our readers, it no longer feels like autumn as winter weather has already set in!  We left our Chicago family after our Thanksgiving celebrations just by the hair of our chinny chin chins!  The frigid temps and snow started arriving the next day!  Must admit my soul wouldn’t have minded a little snowman time – part of my heart still belongs to Wisconsin where we primarily raised our sons!

Also I want to give a shout out to our beloved friends in the Southern Hemisphere and other parts of the world.  You can’t imagine how it delights us to know of your support and interest in our work, as we are also interested in yours!

With this newsletter we are somewhat stepping out of a seasonal theme (other than all the lovely photos of pumpkins and such).  This photo, by the way, is my husband Michael and, yes, he climbed the hay bale mountain all by himself!  We continue to have so much for which to be grateful.

This is the first of three newsletters based on the universal theme of Goodness, Beauty and Truth.  It is amazing to me, after reading all the endearing articles below, how these fundamental virtues intersect.  As we know, there is so much beauty and truth revealed in goodness, so much goodness found in beauty and truth and so much truth discovered in goodness and beauty!  As you read the articles, I welcome you to see if you can find the intersections.

We want to remember that goodness, beauty and truth surround us.  We need to remember this.  Can you remember this?  I recently re-read an article by Margaret Wheatley titled Who Do You Choose to Be? An Invitation to the Nobility of Leadership in which she invokes leaders to “consciously and bravely choose to reclaim leadership as a noble profession, one that creates possibility and humaneness in the midst of increasing fear and turmoil.”  She goes on to state: “We live in VUCA World defined by the U.S. military as Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. This is the age of retreat: from one another, from values that held us together, from ideas and practices that encouraged inclusion, from faith in leaders, from belief in basic human goodness.”

I am so encouraged by the articles in this newsletter, written by leaders who represent their noble profession of caring for children and families, who humanely reignite our belief in human goodness!  While I have not met each of the articles’ authors personally, I have met enough of them to be able to say, “They are the goodness with which we want to surround our children.”  Every day, rather than retreating from one another, they bring us back together.  They create predictable and meaning-filled life experiences that mitigate the VUCA World described above.   I realize that Margaret Wheatley was addressing world leaders, and I appreciate that.  Still, I feel so privileged to be in the written company of such paradigm-shifting leaders in the world of early care and education.  While these authors may or may not consider themselves to be leaders, I proclaim that they are!  Every day they care for our little ones and their families and/or they mentor those who offer the daily care.  Many, many thanks to all of you during this season of gratitude.

As a parting thought, I want to share something I read recently from Rudolf Steiner where he said to imagine a person somehow being “born” at the age of seven or, one might say, after early childhood.  In other words, a person who somehow skipped the early stage of life that is based on the paradigm “the world is good”, a person who had not had the opportunity to develop gratitude for being here.  He was very clear that we, the adults, are the models of life for young children and when we do our best to offer what they came to find through self-discovery – “it is good to be here” –  we have laid the foundation for them to develop the experience of gratitude.  Without this foundation, Steiner said, it would be very difficult for the individual to eventually develop morality.

Your work, my friends, in the care of children and families, is profound and reaches into the far distant future of the development of humanity.  Please know this.  And please know how deeply grateful we are for each one of you – the writers, the readers, the children and families in your care – and for those who fill our cups and those who seemingly want to tip them over.  Let us find our growth and development in one another!

It may be a bit longer than usual newsletter.  I know Michaeleen received many wonderful articles and has shared many of them here.  Please also read to the end because there is a lot of cool stuff there!  Let this be like a favorite magazine – perhaps reading an article a day throughout this upcoming season of Love and Light.

Here’s a photo of my delicious crew of goodness in my life.

Love you All,