I've most of my life been an observer and analyst.
I was not conscious of this at an early age. But now I can be classified as this kind of creature, thinking observing and analyzing.
But isn't that the way all human beings were designed to be?
Eyes, ears, nose—and once one smells something he tries analyzing what it is and where it comes from.
Dogs are good at sniffing. Even at analyzing. What about thinking? 'Often pretty good at that too, sometimes better than “thinking creatures,” so-called.
Hawks are great observers.
What makes us so different? Our observation is not merely for the moment, to be utilized immediately for practical survival purpose. Some of it is, but much of it remains to be analyzed later for its broader implication.
Then there's what we call our thinking. We are perhaps better at passing thought on to others, perhaps better organized at doing it. We have teachers and professors.
My earliest interests within the great teaching machine, what is known as the university, were in what is referred to as philosophy and later in economics. These along with teaching are usually viewed by society as the most impractical of interests, let alone occupations.
Participation is the social form of practicality.
It was the most intelligent of friends who told me that I should turn the critical aspects of my observations into a participating type of profession. Something that would relate to my interest in cities.
It wasn't until the philosophy professor that I admired most indicated that one could not make a good living as a philosopher, as they were non-participants, that I turned to another somewhat philosophical study, but perhaps more practical, that of economics.
It was long after I was deeply into economics that I came across these two words side by side, describing practical action, “city planning.” Not long after that I found two similar and more meaningful words, “city planner.” That's when I became a practical creature, thinking, observing and analyzing everything that had to do with city planning and its development.
I even got the job as a director of city planner, telling architects and engineers, real estate people and developers how we were going to do things. I even got involved in politics in order to get things done.
My greatest experience came in England in the London planning office, where we were able to actually design the city and every element in it and for the human purpose of having people live there happily. We planned and developed new towns from scratch. Only the great emperors had that great power.
On returning to the United States, I was too “educated” to be practical and to be a participant. But I had returned to to take on the job of instruction and of doing more research in the big teaching machine. But found that I was needed to fill-in the slot of University Planner.
Great. Now I could create universities as well. I studied universities both here and in Europe, visiting with those involved in their planning. And still I could teach others as to how to influence the shape of things around them.
But I was meant to plan cities. So while remaining at the university I started my own city planning consulting firm and became involved in the planning of small towns, generally within a radius of about 30 miles of Milwaukee. This after being associated with an architectural firm that had begun to provide that service for a time.
So observation and analysis for the purpose of participating in the development of habitat of human beings became who I am.
Today's technology has made it possible for me to put all this together and apply it on a day to day basis absent the real participation. Now that seems merely to be philosophy. “But a philosopher is greatest beyond his own land.”
So while observing, analyzing and even thinking, remaining in my own land is more desirable than being great abroad.
This will not be read by many nor its full meaning of significance to many of those readers. This was not so much to be read as to be on record. Not everything goes on record. But even so, being on record, isn't it to be read?