The Very Spring and Root

An engineer's adventures in education (and other musings).

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jfk

Happy birthday to a war hero, former President, and among the last of a dying breed of gunslingers.

Many are fond of quoting him, but take a quick minute to reflect on this day: What would it mean if you took these words personally? How would you change the way you live your life, if at all? What if these exhortations were delivered personally, to you directly and no one else? No answer required, just the thought.

Notable quotes:

Now the trumpet summons us again -not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are-but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”-a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself. […] The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it-and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

A nation which has forgotten the quality of courage which in the past has been brought to public life is not as likely to insist upon or regard that quality in its chosen leaders today – and in fact we have forgotten.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.

I look forward to a great future for America – a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.

I’m an idealist without illusions.

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.

Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.

Modern cynics and skeptics… see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.

No one has been barred on account of his race from fighting or dying for America, there are no white or colored signs on the foxholes or graveyards of battle.

Too often we… enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.

Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.

— John Fitzgerald Kennedy.



Educated to Death: 0170: Dear teachers, students, and other dissidents

Link: Educated to Death: 0170: Dear teachers, students, and other dissidents

Food for thought.. Click on the link in the reblog at the bottom of this post to take you to the full post on educatedtodeath to which I am responding.

I agree that teachers are likely the most effective way to slow or reverse the pervasive spread of disinformation, disinterestedness, and disaffection in our society. But I’m not sure I would agree with the implication (as I read it) that our times are worse in any measure than any others, or that we are on some irreversibly downward spiral into a corporate-controlled conspiracy state. 

I do see a world that, as ever, needs fixing. Some problems we have as humans may never be solved, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try… it is in the good faith effort at change, the application of moral courage in a dark world, that moves us forward as individuals and as a species. And so long as there are enough individuals who sense the urgency and rally to the call, we will persevere.

It is interesting that the more I explore the last half century or so of American society, the more I see how many of the moral questions of the 1960’s remain fervently alive today. As was the case then, the solution is to strive with purpose and all one’s heart towards what is good, and know that you did your part.

” Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself. […] The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.”

— John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

educatedtodeath:

#education #SOSchat #revolution #occupyedu

We’ve been conditioned to do nothing more than consume. While we hear whispers of competing in a global market, and communicating and collaborating on a grand scale, these are but whispers. These are whispers that are intended to silence the would be…



Quote  Comment

For education … is the mainspring of our economic and social progress … it is the highest expression of achievement in our society, enriching and ennobling human life.

– John F. Kennedy



To Bear the Burden of a Long Twilight Struggle

After all the inspiration of BTR Selection Day, the very next day I visited the JFK Presidential Library and Museum. Many points of the visit were highly inspirational, and served to highlight my feelings from the previous day. However, two moments in particular stood out.

The second is harder to convey, as it involved watching Jacqueline Kennedy in a black veil watch her dead husband’s casket pass draped in a flag while bagpipes played.

The first was simply to watch JFK’s Inaugural Address in full, on a large screen. While many of the specific quotes from this speech were familiar, I had never before seen the speech in its entirety. I cried not only because of the power of his words, but for the sad fact that much of the evil and decay in the world that he decried is still here today, 50 years later, and in some cases even worse. Is this the best we can do? Where are the gunslingers like this man today? Is our idealism dead?

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans–born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage–and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

United there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided there is little we can do–for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

Now the trumpet summons us again–not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need–not as a call to battle, though embattled we are– but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”–a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.

The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it–and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.




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