“Initially of his 18th yr as president of Greenfield Group School, Bob Pura has introduced he shall be retiring.” (A Recorder article from Aug. 31, 2017)
Talking as a GCC worker of 28 years, I’m not alone in saying that this information has been profound. Bob is far beloved and appreciated on campus and all through this neighborhood. A person of nice character and knowledge, Bob is admired for a lot of issues.
He’s a real renaissance man — an outspoken promoter for and shopper of the humanities, an individual who deeply appreciates the world of science and math, who introduced GCC to a spot the place we reside as much as the “inexperienced” in our title, a robust advocate for our well being suppliers, each on-campus and all through the neighborhood — the listing goes on. Most of all, Bob has been an inspiring chief.
As Bob contemplates his retirement, others of us ponder the instance of his management. That instance appears even brighter compared to the present lack of presidential management on the nationwide scale. What’s the essence of an awesome chief? What does it imply to be presidential?
A number of years in the past, as I used to be about to tackle a management place on the faculty, a colleague stated to me, “Belief nobody, till they’ve given purpose to belief.” I stated no, I’ll belief everybody till they offer me purpose to not belief them. I attempt to deal with folks this manner as a result of I consider within the important good in humankind. However I’m not naïve. I do know that almost all human beings, when pushed or influenced by nefarious actors, when disadvantaged of knowledge and schooling, when introduced with propaganda within the face of mass hysteria, will be pushed towards the darker sides of our natures.
Leaders have an superior energy and duty; good ones assist form the moral requirements with which the material of our society is woven. This to me is the core of what it means to behave, or extra importantly, be presidential. Merely put, the essence of being presidential is to steer us, by way of phrases and thru deeds, to the finer sides of our natures. The measure of a president is within the extent to which she or he influences us for good.
On a nationwide scale, think about two individuals who not less than acted presidential — Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan. Sure, I embody Ronald Reagan. Although I disagreed with him on just about each coverage place, he not less than understood his duty to offer voice to the American values of freedom, respect and equality. And no president in my lifetime has spoken extra eloquently than Barak Obama concerning the dignity inherent in all of us, about encouraging our aspirations to do good, concerning the crucial for us as a society to ever attain for our increased values.
What will not be presidential is to behave for self-aggrandizement. It’s not presidential to foment discord. It’s not presidential to propagate a world view based mostly on one’s narcissistic and myopic view. It’s not presidential to enrich those that would divide us and denigrate those that carry us up. It’s not presidential to behave on whim or on rumour or on conspiracy theories. Fairly, one should show determination making that’s based mostly the truth is and based mostly on values. And people values ought to embody help and respect for these much less lucky; the honoring of the freedoms of speech, faith, and the press. One should show a love for all of humankind — no matter race, creed or faith.
After all, presidents have huge duties — to run the federal government, to be the commander in chief, to help the event of insurance policies, to work with Congress to enact legal guidelines and supply funding to maneuver the nation ahead. However no duty is extra essential than that of being the nationwide function mannequin.
The Yiddish phrase “Mensch” has come to imply in Jewish tradition a person or a girl who does good deeds, who evokes others to observe their instance to make our world a greater and extra loving place. A president needs to be the “mensch in chief. ”
Bob Pura has been GCC’s and this neighborhood’s “Mensch in Chief.” An instance: Bob got here to GCC at a time of some turmoil and controversy. What was his first act? It was to inform a narrative — a narrative involving his immigrant father who labored his entire life to make a greater life for his youngsters, and by extension, his neighborhood. It was a narrative that set a tone and expressed a set of values which Bob has constantly maintained all through his time at GCC.
Bob loves a narrative I inform about my dad who, like Bob’s dad, got here to this nation as an immigrant. This story ends in a punch-line that may’t be printed in a household newspaper. However, the essence of it’s this: That there is no such thing as a finer calling than to work within the service of others; that in management, one holds oneself to increased beliefs, cognizant of the instance one units.
Typically, when confronted with those that don’t admire you or your work, or who act on extra egocentric or disingenuous motives, it’s exhausting to carry to these beliefs. As a frontrunner, one should at all times attempt to take the upper floor, to remain above the ugliness. Bob Pura understood the weighty function he took on; the “Mensch in Chief,” a mentor for the neighborhood. Our so-called president in Washington would do properly to look to Bob for example of what it means to behave and be presidential.
Thanks Bob, for exhibiting us how it’s finished.
Peter Rosnick is a GCC school emeritus and directs GCC’s Sustainable Agriculture and Inexperienced Vitality Schooling Middle