Ian McDonald

Ian McDonald

Learning how to live well

Ian On Sunday Education is important not simply for the implantation of specific information about specific subjects but, perhaps more importantly, for the passing on of a whole ‘culture’ of learning, attitudes, and behaviour – a variety of distinct ‘languages’ of understanding including self-understanding.

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Inconsolable loss Of all the expressions of inconsolable loss I have read concerning the death of anyone greatly loved, the following lament by Henry James, the novelist, when his older brother, William James, the scientist and philosopher, died is one of  the most heartfelt: “I sit heavily stricken and in darkness – for from far aback in dimmest childhood  he had been my Elder Brother; and I still, through all the years, saw in him, even as a small timorous boy yet, my protector, my backer, my authority and my pride. 

To lend the passing moment words and wings 1

Ian on Sunday Why should flesh and blood men and women, with feet of clay like anyone else, presume to think for us and act for us and push us around and mollycoddle us and punish and reward us as if they were inherently superior beings?

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‘No ill or wrong will overmaster this’ There are some things that keep out the darkness that continually threatens in anyone’s life.

Ian on Sunday

The addiction of competition And here is fascinating thought. Medical studies suggest that in situations of great stress, great danger, in a battle, for instance, with death a fraction away, the body is able to generate something akin to heroin.

Ian On Sunday 1

A blessing Perhaps my oldest memory, I must have been two or three, is of my mother hugging me at night when she put me into bed and holding the palms of my hands together while she said a simple prayer which I soon learned by heart.

Ya think it easy? 2

Ian on Sunday Running anything – whether it is a national government, vast state industry, world-circling multi-national, small family business, or private club – involves making choices.

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The view from seventy-six With shocking quickness, another year has gone by in a blur and I am suddenly seventy-six.

Ian On Sunday

Fulsome words, faltering deeds One of the most serious aspects of life today is the widening gap between talk and action.

Looking back 2

Ian on Sunday When you go well past three score years and ten you are in overtime and a penalty shoot-out looms which you know you cannot win.

Extra lessons revisited 1

Ian on Sunday In Guyana education some time ago deteriorated to the point where parents had little confidence that the formal system would or could produce results.

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Faithful to the cause I venture to suggest that there is no West Indian cause so sacred as the success of the West Indies cricket team.

Ian On Sunday

The overmighty centre Any practical person in charge of anything periodically asks the question: ‘How do we get things done most effectively?’ In asking such a question what is not required is a theoretical discussion about which model of organization, say socialist or capitalist, is better or whether private enterprise can do a better job than public administration.

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Leaders and language: There is a close correlation between the inspiring use of language and getting great deeds done.

Ian On Sunday 2

Anxiety grows in me Let me make another trawl in the deep sea of reading which lies all around us and see what bright catch comes up.

Ian On Sunday 3

The love of reading lasts forever The year 2008 slipped by with devastating swiftness and already another year is well advanced.

Ian On Sunday 2

What the earth swallows is soon forgotten The Stabroek News feature ‘History This Week’ is providing readers with a most valuable series of vignettes from Guyana’s past.

Ian On Sunday

We are lost without the right people One man is running a company with the help of three old family retainers, two others who haven’t had a new idea in a couple of generations, and a whole raft of school drop-outs.

Ian On Sunday 1

‘Open the clenched fist of the past’ It happens all the time in small, closely-knit groups – cabinets, party executives, boards of directors, church congregations or club committees.

Ian On Sunday 1

Enhance your life It is extremely important that you pay attention to what today’s column says if you wish to live a longer, healthier, more alert and happier life.