Posts Tagged ‘Spanish’

Barcelona

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

I am here in Barcelona on my way to Monte Carlo to meet with powerful art advisors. I almost didn’t make it as our new travel agent booked Barcelona streets Miro Gayle’s ticket as Mrs. Gladstone not realizing her passport still features the name Gayle Newhouse. Our marriage certificate has still not arrived so we have no way to prove that Gayle Newhouse is in fact now Gayle Gladstone. I am not sure exactly how we worked it out, but we had arrived early enough at the airport that we had the extra hour needed to get the ticket rewritten.
So here we are now in Barcelona. I love Barcelona. I lived here in 1966 as a young student as part of a program called School Year Abroad. It is an international school created by the Phillips Academy Andover and Exeter to facilitate language learning and an appreciation of other cultures. The program now has schools in France, Italy and China with thousands of alumni. I was among the first one hundred students to enroll and continue to support this amazing concept in education. I have degrees from Yale College, Harvard University and the University of Salamanca, but none of those educational experiences had as much impact on me as School Year Abroad and living in Barcelona for nine months at the age of sixteen. (more…)

GOOD AND EVIL

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Nearly fifty years ago I was asked to write an essay about the nature of good and evil for the advanced placement exam to images-1determine if I might be able to skip introductory classes at college in Spanish language  when graduating from high school. The essay was to be written in Spanish and the purpose of the exam was to demonstrate my ability to write a coherent essay  in Spanish, not to evaluate my thinking about the true nature of good and evil. I  have literarily no memory of what I actually wrote though do remember the essay required me to reference the role of good and evil in some famous Spanish novels.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about  the  nature of good and evil.  On my radio shows discussing  The Power of Twelve I  am often asked how we should  deal with evil and what constitutes evil. On one level this seems a simple question. Evil is evil.  Evil is people hurting other people. School bullies are evil. Terrorists are evil.  Evil is people being selfish and putting their immediate desires and needs before those of others no matter the consequences to others or our planet. Greed is evil.  Sadism is evil.  Good is helping others. Good is being generous, kind, compassionate and sharing. We know what it means when our parents ask us to be good boys and girls. Do not create messes, do not disturb others, eat your vegetables.

But on closer inspection defining good and evil is not that  simple. Sometimes those who think they are doing  good are enabling evil. Sometimes those with evil intent perform heroic acts of bravery that seem good to those who believe  in  a particular ideology or cause that I  or you might deem evil. Very few people recognize themselves as evil. And few of us can  look at our lives and  not see that at least on occasion we may have acted in ways that might be considered evil. (more…)