More than fifty years have passed since I was a boy residing at Astor Home.
The tools I learned and that have been with me throughout my journey since I left Astor have provided me with support, resource and a moral code to live by.
These tools included: patience, practice and a love for learning. The same tools it takes to master many subject areas and to become master in a profession (i.e., Astronaut, Doctor, Engineer, etc.). I became confident, open to learning, open to new things and respectful of wisdom.
These tools were not all obtained right away of course, and sometimes I intentionally ignored smart choices (the usual diversions of youth: breaking rules and regulations).
However, through trials, errors, successes and failures, these tools became useful: in my education, my development as a man, father and citizen. Astor left an indelible influence on me.
My primary and still most useful tool became a major lifetime resource:
Learning to use the Astor Library was instrumental and defined my sense of wonder, growth and my future. There were times and still are times, when I can’t stop reading. My scope had been broadened and amazing doors opened for me.
During those times, music or stories were played over the Public Announcement system.
We fell asleep listening to classical music or classic stories (Peter and the wolf); and Broadway Tunes (name a show I can sing you a song from it) and many Disney tunes.
Today, I sleep with a television or audio playlist set to very low volume, the stresses of the day are quickly and easily forgotten, I relax and get to sleep.
It brought lots of comfort to me then and continues to do so. I passed this along to my children and we all have a love and find enjoyment for all music genres stem!
Whenever I recall my life’s journey, sometimes I recollect complicated situations and have forgotten memories. However, I always feel the influence of Astor and how I relied on my tools to help me learn I still have much to learn to be The Master of myself!