A Plan of Conduct
Posted by Benjamin Franklin on 1 January 1726, 9:47 pm
“Those who write of the art of poetry teach us that if we would write what may be worth the reading, we ought always, before we begin, to form a regular plan and design of our piece: otherwise, we shall be in danger of incongruity. I am apt to think it is the same as to life. I have never fixed a regular design in life; by which means it has been a confused variety of different scenes. I am now entering upon a new one: let me, therefore, make some resolutions, and form some scheme of action, that, henceforth, I may live in all respects like a rational creature.
1. It is necessary for me to be extremely frugal for some time, till I have paid what I owe.
2. To endeavour to speak truth in every instance; to give nobody expectations that are not likely to be answered, but aim at sincerity in every word and action — the most amiable excellence in a rational being.
3. To apply myself industriously to whatever business I take in hand, and not divert my mind from my business by any foolish project of growing suddenly rich; for industry and patience are the surest means of plenty.
4. I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of every body.”
This idea of writing a plan of conduct had my wheels turning. I have been reading about Benjamin Franklin most of the day, I feel like more reading is necessary (maybe a book from the grown up section of the library might help ;0) ). I just wanted to share this small part of my reading today that piqued my interest and convicted me all at the same time.
Yazzie, Begay, Nez, Bitah, and Tsosie are Navajo sir names that are seen frequently on posters and billboards on the Navajo Reservation. The names of towns and mesas recall to mind their specific details and rock formations as we have driven by them on this trip. We have been in a reconstructed hogan at Salmon Ruins. Maybe these are the reasons in which I was drawn in and able to relate to Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII by Nez, Chester, Schiess Avila, Judith (2011). The recollections of the Long Walk of the Navajo, The Live Stock Massacre, cruel matrons and life as an eight year old child at boarding school are just the beginning. The detail in which battles in the pacific are recounted and the struggles to fight off battle fatigue as Mr. Nez attempts to reintegrate into civilian life after the war with no recognition for his heroism or even being cleared to tell his family exactly what he had done in the war.
Code Talker is a fairly easy read and leaves you with a desire to learn more about World War II, the Navajo people, Code Talkers, and the Geography of the Pacific Islands. As I finished reading this book this afternoon I decided to search YouTube for Chester Nez and it has quite a bit. After watching a few recent news clips I was shocked to note the date of his death was so resent. Wednesday June 4th, 2014, this very week. I was reading his book on Wednesday as we camped in Colorado…now he is gone…the last living of the original 29 Code Talkers. A piece of living history, Chester Nez, with the help of Judith Schiess Avila, has made a memoir that will allow the Code Talkers to continue to tell their story to the generations to come.