A Star that Shines North of Alaska
By: Brad Cole

Being a retired Alaskan teacher, I am still fascinated by the process of “educating” people. I feel it is a way to get people to accept more responsibility for their lives, like awakening from a deep sleep only to have reality staring into one’s face and confronting your very existence. This realization is fundamental to a person’s education. It is when we begin to realize our common humanity and how interconnected we are to a spiritual universe.

I think the Alaskan native leadership style is based on mentoring. It is the best way to teach. It is like having a big brother that you can believe in, and they want to help you to grow up. Because life is like a muscle that needs to be worked, disciplined, and sharpened for it to be good and strong. The best strength is one that is well-centered. Education needs to be a force for centering. Culture does this well. Through the Arts, one can return to the essence of our lives, where awakenings and re-awakenings happen continuously across time's dark, wind-swept fields. From a real essence comes purity, and from purity comes wisdom and humanity.

A well-rounded education should be centered on the humanities. Learn and then teach others how to see that spark of divinity buried deep within the human soul. Know it well, for that spark is a star that shines just north of Alaska.