Dad Turns 99

Born October 14, 1914, Carl Mesle turns 99 today.  He was born in Sherrill, NY.

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During World War II, dad served in the military. After completing his training as an intelligence officer, he was fortunate to have a position working in the Pentagon.  As thankful as Mom was to have him in a safe location instead of fighting overseas, dad felt it was unfair that he got to stay home in the safety of the Pentagon while his friends had to go into battle. It was that mentality that drove him to serve his community, to take care of the people who needed help.

After leaving military service, dad worked first, as a professional Boy Scout leader, serving under H. Roe Bartle, before accepting a position as a minister in the Community of Christ Church.

His life has been spent in service to his church and to his community.  As he describes it, “I dedicated my life to my church until I turned 65 and then embraced the charitable community.”  (Of course, his faith, and commitment thereto, have never wavered.)

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Until age related frailties limited his ability to actively participate in life outside the Groves, he participated in the activities of Troop 223 of the Boy Scouts; served on the Board of his neighborhood association, and—the list goes on.  He only gave up his prolific writings when his vision failed him.

He has been recognized by many of the numerous civic and charitable organizations he loves and has supported–the Boy Scouts, McCoy Neighborhood Association, the Heartland Foundation, the list goes on.  Perhaps my favorite, is his recognition  received at the Truman Library where he was, I am sure, thrilled to share the stage with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  But he was so gratified by his recent recognition from members of the Independence African-American Community for his commitment to civil rights.

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He has never smoked, consumed alcohol or illegal drugs.  He exercised regularly until his body refused to cooperate.  Even today, he attends daily devotions at the Groves, expressing thanks for the good in his life and the faith that has sustained him.

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Our family is fortunate to experience our mother’s gift of love and dad’s dedication to his faith, his values and his community.  Members of his family and friends who have been a part of his life for up many years shared his birthday with him.

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Meg and her cousins could not have better role models than mom and dad.  Watching their lives so far, I am happy to report that the “apple/s don’t fall far from the trees”.

Happy birthday, dad.  Love ya

The Power of Love is Transcendent: Guest Author, Carl Mesle

Biography:  Carl Mesle is a retired minister with the Community of Christ Church in Independence, Missouri. He is my dad and Meg’s granddad.  Carl has dedicated his life to his church and his community.  He wrote and taught on creating healthy families and healthy children.  He retired as Pastor of the Stone Church in Independence.  At age 97 and in failing health, he wrote what he describes as his “final” letter to the editor of our hometown newspaper.  It was published in the Independence Examiner, May 31, 2012.

The Power of Love is Transcendent

Love–sacrificial, caring love–is the greatest power in the world.  It abolishes hate.  It brings people together in caring communities.  It provides the pathway to unity.  It provides the power to bring couples together and to produce children in caring familities, and it offers the support of relatives and friends.

On the wider community level, it offers peace between nations and cultures and provides a mutually compatible relationship between humans, animals and the resources of nature.  It eliminates warfare.  It is expressed in the care of animals.  It makes it possible for people to labor together to create buildings of beauty and sturdiness.  It provides the foundation of human endeavors, which permit the exploration of the seas and the skies.

Loving and caring for oneself is also essential to living one’s best.  Possibly the most exciting and satisfying element of love is expressed in the intimate, physical experiences in the sexual relationship of mating, but only when it is mutually sought and enjoyed.

There are several kinds of love, that of lovers, that in the everyday working of couples in marriage, that of a parent for a child, that of laying one’s life down for a friend, and that spiritual love exchanged between God and his worshipers.

Please note: the views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the primary authors of Shifting the Balance.  However, we think it is important to encourage the free flow of ideas in order to promote collective action and compromise.  In order to keep the country “in balance” we believe we should all work together, and that means sharing and respecting ideas, including those that may be different from our own.