Saturday, June 30, 2012

Men Without Chests

"In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function.  We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise.  We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.  We castrate and we big the geldings be fruitful."

C.S. Lewis
The Abolition of Man

C.S. Lewis

In the Abolition of Man Lewis opens with this:  I doubt whether we are sufficiently attentive to the importance of elementary text books.  

Having just come from a conference on classical education hosted by Hillsdale College, I would have to say I agree.  And then some.

Get a copy of Lewis' The Abolition of Man and read it.  You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Peril of Unchecked Confidence

"It would be much truer to say that a man will certainly fail, because he believes in himself.  Complete self-confidence is not merely a sin, complete self confidence is a weakness."  G.K. Chesterton

Cut and paste the link below to watch the You Are Not Special Speech:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Learning the Truth

Betty Smith's A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN is chock full of wisdom but one particular passage stands out to me.  Katie Nolan's mother, Mary Rommely is explaining the right way to bring up children.  Contrary to Katie's desire to protect her daughter from disappointment, Mary says the following:  "That is what is called learning the truth.  It is a good thing to learn the truth one's self.  To first believe with all your heart, and then not to believe, is good too.  It fattens the emotions and makes them to stretch.  When as a woman life and people disappoint her, she will have had practice in disappointment and it will not come so hard.  In teaching your child, do not forget that suffering is good too.  It makes a person rich in character."

Sage advice.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Make it Count!

In Ron Chernow's remarkable biography of George Washington he lends great insight into the character of the first president.  Always a stickler for manners and appearance, Washington was also very conscious of how he occupied his time.  So much so that in a letter to a young relative he says:  "every hour misspent is lost forever" and "future years cannot compensate for lost days at this period of your life" (12).

Get busy!  Follow your passion.  Make it count.  Every minute and hour counts.