Educator Positive Quotes

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Positive expectations are the mark of the superior personality.
Brian Tracy (Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed)
Life is like a game of chess. To win you have to make a move. Knowing which move to make comes with IN-SIGHT and knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are acculated along the way. We become each and every piece within the game called life!
Allan Rufus (The Master's Sacred Knowledge)
Life is like a sandwich! Birth as one slice, and death as the other. What you put in-between the slices is up to you. Is your sandwich tasty or sour? Allan Rufus.org
Allan Rufus
Black and Third World people are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade their responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.
Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)
One cannot expect positive results from an educational or political action program which fails to respect the particular view of the world held by the people. Such a program constitutes cultural invasion, good intentions notwithstanding.
Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
Open the window of your mind. Allow the fresh air, new lights and new truths to enter.
Amit Ray (Walking the Path of Compassion)
If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired or not networking, then you are using it wrong.
Germany Kent
Hard work does not go unnoticed, and someday the rewards will follow
Allan Rufus (The Master's Sacred Knowledge)
He said positive liberty is self-mastery—the rule of the self, by the self. To have positive liberty, he explained, is to take control of one’s own mind; to be liberated from irrational fears and beliefs, from addictions, superstitions and all other forms of self-coercion.
Tara Westover (Educated)
I want my children to understand the world, but not just because the world is fascinating and the human mind is curious. I want them to understand it so that they will be positioned to make it a better place
Howard Gardner
Positive thinking can be contagious. Being surrounded by winners helps you develop into a winner.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder)
Never let your fear of the unknown and things being too difficult make your choices for you in life. One of the saddest lessons in life is finding out that your fear made the situation worse than what it was and a braver person stole the dream you gave up on.
Shannon L. Alder
Schools in amerika are interested in brainwashing people with amerikanism, giving them a little bit of education, and training them in skills needed to fill the positions the capitalist system requires. As long as we expect amerika's schools to educate us, we will remain ignorant.
Assata Shakur (Assata: An Autobiography)
At the end of your lives you will not be judged by academic successes, the degrees or diplomas earned, the positions held, the material wealth acquired, or power and prestige, but rather on the basis of what you have become as persons and what you are in conduct and character.
Howard W. Hunter
[Said during a debate when his opponent asserted that atheism and belief in evolution lead to Nazism:] Atheism by itself is, of course, not a moral position or a political one of any kind; it simply is the refusal to believe in a supernatural dimension. For you to say of Nazism that it was the implementation of the work of Charles Darwin is a filthy slander, undeserving of you and an insult to this audience. Darwin’s thought was not taught in Germany; Darwinism was so derided in Germany along with every other form of unbelief that all the great modern atheists, Darwin, Einstein and Freud were alike despised by the National Socialist regime. Now, just to take the most notorious of the 20th century totalitarianisms – the most finished example, the most perfected one, the most ruthless and refined one: that of National Socialism, the one that fortunately allowed the escape of all these great atheists, thinkers and many others, to the United States, a country of separation of church and state, that gave them welcome – if it’s an atheistic regime, then how come that in the first chapter of Mein Kampf, that Hitler says that he’s doing God’s work and executing God’s will in destroying the Jewish people? How come the fuhrer oath that every officer of the Party and the Army had to take, making Hitler into a minor god, begins, “I swear in the name of almighty God, my loyalty to the Fuhrer?” How come that on the belt buckle of every Nazi soldier it says Gott mit uns, God on our side? How come that the first treaty made by the Nationalist Socialist dictatorship, the very first is with the Vatican? It’s exchanging political control of Germany for Catholic control of German education. How come that the church has celebrated the birthday of the Fuhrer every year, on that day until democracy put an end to this filthy, quasi-religious, superstitious, barbarous, reactionary system? Again, this is not a difference of emphasis between us. To suggest that there’s something fascistic about me and about my beliefs is something I won't hear said and you shouldn't believe.
Christopher Hitchens
I am but too conscious of the fact that we are born in an age when only the dull are treated seriously, and I live in terror of not being misunderstood. Don't degrade me into the position of giving you useful information. Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Oscar Wilde (The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde)
The most incredible architecture Is the architecture of Self, which is ever changing, evolving, revolving and has unlimited beauty and light inside which radiates outwards for everyone to see and feel. With every in breathe you are adding to your life and every out breathe you are releasing what is not contributing to your life. Every breathe is a re-birth.
Allan Rufus (The Master's Sacred Knowledge)
Unless we take that first step into the unknown, we will never know our own potential!
Allan Rufus (The Master's Sacred Knowledge)
Act as if it was, and it will be.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Note and Quote to Self – What you think, say and do! Your life mainly consists of 3 things! What you think, What you say and What you do! So always be very conscious of what you are co-creating!
Allan Rufus (The Master's Sacred Knowledge)
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and higher education positively fortifies it.
Stephen Vizinczey
NOTE TO SELF – BOOMERANG EFFECT My words, thoughts and deeds have a boomerang effect. So be-careful what you send out!
Allan Rufus (The Master's Sacred Knowledge)
You start to live when you commit your life to cause higher than yourself. You must learn to depend on divine power for the fulfillment of a higher calling.
Lailah GiftyAkita
Quotes and notes to self – Find your inner peace! Don’t be caught up in your outer world. Pay greater attention to your inner world
Allan Rufus
Radical empathy, on the other hand, means putting in the work to educate oneself and to listen with a humble heart to understand another's experience from their perspective, not as we imagine we would feel. Radical empathy is not about you and what you think you would do in a situation you have never been in and perhaps never will. It is the kindred connection from a place of deep knowing that opens your spirit to the pain of another as they perceive it. Empathy is no substitute for the experience itself. We don't get to tell a person with a broken leg or a bullet wound that they are not in pain. And people who have hit the caste lottery are not in a position to tell a person who has suffered under the tyranny of caste what is offensive or hurtful or demeaning to those at the bottom. The price of privilege is the moral duty to act when one sees another person treated unfairly. And the least that a person in the dominant caste can do is not make the pain any worse.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
The deepness of your mind produces the thickness of your thoughts.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Enlightenment is the Goal - Love is the Game - Taking steps are the rules! - Allan Rufus
Allan Rufus
This idea that children won't learn without outside rewards and penalties, or in the debased jargon of the behaviorists, "positive and negative reinforcements," usually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we treat children long enough as if that were true, they will come to believe it is true. So many people have said to me, "If we didn't make children do things, they wouldn't do anything." Even worse, they say, "If I weren't made to do things, I wouldn't do anything." It is the creed of a slave.
John C. Holt (How Children Fail (Classics in Child Development))
Note to Self – Thoughts design my energy! My thoughts WILL design the energy that moves me!
Allan Rufus
5 Ways To Build Your Brand on Social Media: 1 Post content that add value 2 Spread positivity 3 Create steady stream of info 4 Make an impact 5 Be yourself
Germany Kent
Formal education and current position can define your worthiness. What makes you extraordinary is defined by your attitude towards others.
Ashish Patel
Countries with a high percentage of nonbelievers are among the freest, most stable, best-educated, and healthiest nations on earth. When nations are ranked according to a human-development index, which measures such factors as life expectancy, literacy rates, and educational attainment, the five highest-ranked countries -- Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands -- all have high degrees of nonbelief. Of the fifty countires at the bottom of the index, all are intensly religious. The nations with the highest homicide rates tend to be more religious; those with the greatest levels of gender equality are the least religious. These associations say nothing about whether atheism leads to positive social indicators or the other way around. But the idea that atheists are somehow less moral, honest, or trustworthy have been disproven by study after study.
Greg Graffin
Education, if it means anything, should not take people away from the land, but instill in them even more respect for it, because educated people are in a position to understand what is being lost. The future of the planet concerns all of us, and all of us should do what we can to protect it. As I told the foresters, and the women, you don't need a diploma to plant a tree.
Wangari Maathai (Unbowed)
The job facing production managers focuses on how to help their team maintain hope while also addressing the sometimes brutal or dismal facts of their situation. If the truth of their position remains unseen, they will never grow the skills necessary to resolve it.
Raymond Wheeler (Lift: Five Practices Great Managers Do Consistently: Raise Performance and Morale - See Your Employees Thrive)
Giving birth does not make you a mother. Being there daily in good times and bad to provide, care, comfort, teach, sing, feed, clothe, encourage, discipline, clean, hug, pray, listen, cry, experience, protect, kiss, read, advocate, bandage, educate, coach, cheer, laugh, play and love unconditionally...well, that's a mother.
C. Toni Graham
I prayed that our growth would be as strong and determined as the seeds of coconut palms, boldly reaching skyward toward the sun diligently boring deeper into the earth to secure a firm foundation for the beautiful, durable, fruit-bearing trees they would become. For me, Mhonda was the place to continue the growth of the still young but strong roots of my tree planted in Kifungilo. This was my life now, the life I’d prayed for, the life that would provide me with an education and would open doors. I wanted this life very much. I told my wavering spirit to bear with me because, just like the coconut palm, I would sway and bend and bruise, but I would survive. I would have to become the tree in the African saying: ‘The tree that bends with the wind does not break.
Maria Nhambu (Africa's Child (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #1))
You have to prepare physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to conquer any mountain.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Challenges are part of life. Overcoming them makes you a stronger person.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Whenever the need for some pretense of communication arises, those who profit from our oppression call upon us to share our knowledge with them. In other words, it is the responsibility of the oppressed to teach the oppressors their mistakes. I am responsible for educating teachers who dismiss my children’s culture in school. Black and Third World people are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.
Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)
With adequate planning, passion and perseverance, you can achieve the God-given goals.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Being frozen into the passive position of an object whose very existence depends on the eye of its beholder turn the educated modern Western women into a harem slave.
Fatema Mernissi (Scheherazade Goes West: Different Cultures, Different Harems)
We should always be clear that animal exploitation is wrong because it involves speciesism. And speciesism is wrong because, like racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-semitism, classism, and all other forms of human discrimination, speciesism involves violence inflicted on members of the moral community where that infliction of violence cannot be morally justified. But that means that those of us who oppose speciesism necessarily oppose discrimination against humans. It makes no sense to say that speciesism is wrong because it is like racism (or any other form of discrimination) but that we do not have a position about racism. We do. We should be opposed to it and we should always be clear about that.
Gary L. Francione
Educators may bring upon themselves unnecessary travail by taking a tactless and unjustifiable position about the relation between scientific and religious narratives. We see this, of course, in the conflict concerning creation science. Some educators representing, as they think, the conscience of science act much like those legislators who in 1925 prohibited by law the teaching of evolution in Tennessee. In that case, anti-evolutionists were fearful that a scientific idea would undermine religious belief. Today, pro-evolutionists are fearful that a religious idea will undermine scientific belief. The former had insufficient confidence in religion; the latter insufficient confidence in science. The point is that profound but contradictory ideas may exist side by side, if they are constructed from different materials and methods and have different purposes. Each tells us something important about where we stand in the universe, and it is foolish to insist that they must despise each other.
Neil Postman (The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School)
Your words control your life, your progress, your results, even your mental and physical health. You cannot talk like a failure and expect to be successful.
Germany Kent
Don't promote negativity online and expect people to treat you with positivity in person.
Germany Kent
Every great achiever is inspired by a great mentor.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Art, literature, and philosophy are attempts to found the world anew on a human freedom: that of the creator; to foster such an aim, one must first unequivocally posit oneself as a freedom. The restrictions that education and custom impose on a woman limit her grasp of the universe...Indeed, for one to become a creator, it is not enough to be cultivated, that is, to make going to shows and meeting people part of one's life; culture must be apprehended through the free movement of a transcendence; the spirit with all its riches must project itself in an empty sky that is its to fill; but if a thousand fine bonds tie it to the earth, its surge is broken. The girl today can certainly go out alone, stroll in the Tuileries; but I have already said how hostile the street is: eyes everywhere, hands waiting: if she wanders absentmindedly, her thoughts elsewhere, if she lights a cigarette in a cafe, if she goes to the cinema alone, an unpleasant incident can quickly occur; she must inspire respect by the way she dresses and behaves: this concern rivets her to the ground and self. "Her wings are clipped." At eighteen, T.E. Lawrence went on a grand tour through France by bicycle; a young girl would never be permitted to take on such an adventure...Yet such experiences have an inestimable impact: this is how an individual in the headiness of freedom and discovery learns to look at the entire world as his fief...[The girl] may feel alone within the world: she never stands up in front of it, unique and sovereign.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
Thus I must contradict you when you go on to argue that men are completely unable to do without the consolation of the religious illusion, that without it they could not bear the troubles of life and the cruelties of reality. That is true, certainly, of the men into whom you have instilled the sweet -- or bitter-sweet -- poison from childhood onwards. But what of the other men, who have been sensibly brought up? Perhaps those who do not suffer from the neurosis will need no intoxicant to deaden it. They will, it is true, find themselves in a difficult situation. They will have to admit to themselves the full extent of their helplessness and their insignificance in the machinery of the universe; they can no longer be the centre of creation, no longer the object of tender care on the part of a beneficent Providence. They will be in the same position as a child who has left the parental house where he was so warm and comfortable. But surely infantilism is destined to be surmounted. Men cannot remain children for ever; they must in the end go out into 'hostile life'. We may call this 'education to reality. Need I confess to you that the whole purpose of my book is to point out the necessity for this forward step?
Sigmund Freud (The Future of an Illusion)
positive liberty is self-mastery—the rule of the self, by the self. To have positive liberty, he explained, is to take control of one’s own mind; to be liberated from irrational fears and beliefs, from addictions, superstitions and all other forms of self-coercion.
Tara Westover (Educated)
We can only reach the highest height, if we encourage each other.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
The victory over our inner self is a daily struggle. Be strong and do not give up.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
If you are in a position where you can reach people, then use your platform to stand up for a cause. HINT: social media is a platform.
Germany Kent
Grit, persistence, adaptability, financial literacy, interview skills, human relationships, conversation, communication, managing technology, navigating conflicts, preparing healthy food, physical fitness, resilience, self-regulation, time management, basic psychology and mental health practices, arts, and music—all of these would help students and also make school seem much more relevant. Our fixation on college readiness leads our high school curricula toward purely academic subjects and away from life skills. The purpose of education should be to enable a citizen to live a good, positive, socially productive life independent of work.
Andrew Yang (The War on Normal People: The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future)
I wish you all an ego free driven day!
Allan Rufus (The Master's Sacred Knowledge)
Everyone at some point in life have faced rejection and failure, it is part of the process to self realisation.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Never seek to please anyone. Seek to evolve thyself.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
We must never forget our teachers, our lecturers and our mentors. In their individual capacities have contributed to our academic, professional and personal development.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
If someone who wanted to learn to dance were to say: For centuries, one generation after the other has learned the positions, and it is high time that I take advantage of this and promptly begin with the quadrille--people would presumably laugh a little at him, but in the world of spirit this is very plausible. What, then, is education? I believed it is the course the individual goes through in order to catch up with himself, and the person who will not go through this course is not much helped by being born in the most enlightened age.
Søren Kierkegaard
Life gives us experiences for personal development. Appreciate the lessons and be a learner.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
You may encounter many disappointments. Be strong. Tell yourself, “I am good enough, I will try again.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
If you are willing to be a self-learner, you will develop yourself.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
You have to make an enemy a friend to conquer his or her evil intentions.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Go forward and conquer any mountain on your path.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
D'you ever wonder what it would be like if our positions were reversed?' I ask. At Jack's puzzled look I continue. 'If we whites were in charge instead of you Crosses?' 'Can't say it's ever crossed my mind,' Jack shrugs. 'I used to think about it a lot,' I sigh. 'Dreams of living in a world with no more discrimination, no more prejudice, a fair police force, an equal justice system, equality of education, equality of life, a level playing field...
Malorie Blackman (Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1))
Women in this country must become revolutionaries. We must refuse to accept the old, the traditional roles and stereotypes…We must replace the old, negative thoughts about our femininity with positive thoughts and positive action affirming it, and more. But we must also remember that we will be breaking with tradition, and so we must prepare ourselves educationally, economically, and psychologically in order that we will be able to accept and bear with the sanctions that society will immediately impose upon us.
Shirley Chisholm
Life is hope. Hope is faith. Faith is believe. Believe is possibilities. Possibility is miraculous. Miraculous is divine. Divine is supernatural. Supernatural is spiritual.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
We have the oddest conversations.” “I find this conversation more than odd. It’s positively shocking.” “Why? Because I understand the principle of a logarithm? I know you’re used to speaking to me in small, simple words, but I did have the finest education England can offer a young aristocrat. Attended both Eton and Oxford.” “Yes, but . . . somehow, I never pictured you earning high marks in maths.
Tessa Dare (A Week to be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2))
Challenges are part of life; We weaken our spirit, when we act in fear and lose hope. But we strengthen our spirit, when we fearlessly with faith and hope, rise up to meet and conquer the challenges.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The education provided must therefore encourage the development in each citizen of three things; an inquiring mind; and ability to learn from what others do, and reject or adapt it to his own needs; and a basic confidence in his own position as a free and equal member of the society, who values others and is valued by them for what he does and not for what he obtains.
Julius Nyerere
76. David Hume – Treatise on Human Nature; Essays Moral and Political; An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding 77. Jean-Jacques Rousseau – On the Origin of Inequality; On the Political Economy; Emile – or, On Education, The Social Contract 78. Laurence Sterne – Tristram Shandy; A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy 79. Adam Smith – The Theory of Moral Sentiments; The Wealth of Nations 80. Immanuel Kant – Critique of Pure Reason; Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals; Critique of Practical Reason; The Science of Right; Critique of Judgment; Perpetual Peace 81. Edward Gibbon – The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; Autobiography 82. James Boswell – Journal; Life of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D. 83. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier – Traité Élémentaire de Chimie (Elements of Chemistry) 84. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison – Federalist Papers 85. Jeremy Bentham – Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation; Theory of Fictions 86. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Faust; Poetry and Truth 87. Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier – Analytical Theory of Heat 88. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel – Phenomenology of Spirit; Philosophy of Right; Lectures on the Philosophy of History 89. William Wordsworth – Poems 90. Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Poems; Biographia Literaria 91. Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice; Emma 92. Carl von Clausewitz – On War 93. Stendhal – The Red and the Black; The Charterhouse of Parma; On Love 94. Lord Byron – Don Juan 95. Arthur Schopenhauer – Studies in Pessimism 96. Michael Faraday – Chemical History of a Candle; Experimental Researches in Electricity 97. Charles Lyell – Principles of Geology 98. Auguste Comte – The Positive Philosophy 99. Honoré de Balzac – Père Goriot; Eugenie Grandet 100. Ralph Waldo Emerson – Representative Men; Essays; Journal 101. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter 102. Alexis de Tocqueville – Democracy in America 103. John Stuart Mill – A System of Logic; On Liberty; Representative Government; Utilitarianism; The Subjection of Women; Autobiography 104. Charles Darwin – The Origin of Species; The Descent of Man; Autobiography 105. Charles Dickens – Pickwick Papers; David Copperfield; Hard Times 106. Claude Bernard – Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine 107. Henry David Thoreau – Civil Disobedience; Walden 108. Karl Marx – Capital; Communist Manifesto 109. George Eliot – Adam Bede; Middlemarch 110. Herman Melville – Moby-Dick; Billy Budd 111. Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Brothers Karamazov 112. Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary; Three Stories 113. Henrik Ibsen – Plays 114. Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace; Anna Karenina; What is Art?; Twenty-Three Tales 115. Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The Mysterious Stranger 116. William James – The Principles of Psychology; The Varieties of Religious Experience; Pragmatism; Essays in Radical Empiricism 117. Henry James – The American; The Ambassadors 118. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche – Thus Spoke Zarathustra; Beyond Good and Evil; The Genealogy of Morals;The Will to Power 119. Jules Henri Poincaré – Science and Hypothesis; Science and Method 120. Sigmund Freud – The Interpretation of Dreams; Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis; Civilization and Its Discontents; New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis 121. George Bernard Shaw – Plays and Prefaces
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading)
Therefore, there will be much opposition to him from his people who want to lead and not be followers of others. Especially the middle class, the black Christian preachers, and the college and university students who feel so proud of their worldly education and positions.
Elijah Muhammad (Message To The Blackman In America)
Advising: “I think you should … “ “How come you didn’t … ?” One-upping: “That’s nothing; wait’ll you hear what happened to me.” Educating: “This could turn into a very positive experience for you if you just … “ Consoling: “It wasn’t your fault; you did the best you could.” Story-telling: “That reminds me of the time … “ Shutting down: “Cheer up. Don’t feel so bad.” Sympathizing: “Oh, you poor thing … “ Interrogating: “When did this begin?” Explaining: “I would have called but … “ Correcting: “That’s not how it happened.
Marshall B. Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life)
[W]hat counts as ‘realistic’, what seems possible at any point in the social field, is defined by a series of political determinations. An ideological position can never be really successful until it is naturalized, and it cannot be naturalized while it is still thought of as a value rather than a fact. Accordingly, neoliberalism has sought to eliminate the very category of value in the ethical sense. Over the past thirty years, capitalist realism has successfully installed a ‘business ontology’ in which it is simply obvious that everything in society, including healthcare and education, should be run as a business. … [E]mancipatory politics must always destroy the appearance of a ‘natural order’, must reveal what is presented as necessary and inevitable to be a mere contingency, just as it must make what was previously deemed to be impossible seem attainable.
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass
It may well be that the chemist or physiologist is right when he decides that he will become a better chemist or physiologist if he concentrates on his subject at the expense of his general education. But in the study of society exclusive concentration on a speciality has a peculiarly baneful effect: it will not merely prevent us from being attractive company or good citizens but may impair our competence in our proper field—or at least for some of the most important tasks we have to perform. The physicist who is only a physicist can still be a first class physicist and a most valuable member of society. But nobody can be a great economist who is only an economist—and I am even tempted to add that the economist who is only an economist is likely to become a nuisance if not a positive danger.
Friedrich A. Hayek (Studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics)
An indigenous culture with sufficient territory, and bilingual and intercultural education, is in a better position to maintain and cultivate its mythology and shamanism. Conversely, the confiscation of their lands and imposition of foreign education, which turns their young people into amnesiacs, threatens the survival not only of these people, but of an entire way of knowing. It is as if one were burning down the oldest universities in the world and their libraries, one after another — thereby sacrificing the knowledge of the world's future generations.
Jeremy Narby (The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge)
What does it mean to be truly educated? I think I can do no better about answering the question of what it means to be truly educated than to go back to some of the classic views on the subject. For example the views expressed by the founder of the modern higher education system, Wilhelm von Humboldt, leading humanist, a figure of the enlightenment who wrote extensively on education and human development and argued, I think, kind of very plausibly, that the core principle and requirement of a fulfilled human being is the ability to inquire and create constructively independently without external controls. To move to a modern counterpart, a leading physicist who talked right here [at MIT], used to tell his classes it's not important what we cover in the class, it's important what you discover. To be truly educated from this point of view means to be in a position to inquire and to create on the basis of the resources available to you which you've come to appreciate and comprehend. To know where to look, to know how to formulate serious questions, to question a standard doctrine if that's appropriate, to find your own way, to shape the questions that are worth pursuing, and to develop the path to pursue them. That means knowing, understanding many things but also, much more important than what you have stored in your mind, to know where to look, how to look, how to question, how to challenge, how to proceed independently, to deal with the challenges that the world presents to you and that you develop in the course of your self education and inquiry and investigations, in cooperation and solidarity with others. That's what an educational system should cultivate from kindergarten to graduate school, and in the best cases sometimes does, and that leads to people who are, at least by my standards, well educated.
Noam Chomsky
Make a freaking impact and start providing value! Let money come to you! Look around outside your world, stop being selfish, and help your fellow humans solve their problems. In a world of selfishness, become unselfish. Need something more concrete? No problem. Make 1 million people achieve any of the following: Make them feel better. Help them solve a problem. Educate them. Make them look better (health, nutrition, clothing, makeup). Give them security (housing, safety, health). Raise a positive emotion (love, happiness, laughter, self-confidence). Satisfy appetites, from basic (food) to the risqué (sexual). Make things easier. Enhance their dreams and give hope. … and I guarantee, you will be worth millions.
M.J. DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime!)
Although I am a political liberal, I believe that conservatives have a better understanding of moral development (although not of moral psychology in general—they are too committed to the myth of pure evil). Conservatives want schools to teach lessons that will create a positive and uniquely American identity, including a heavy dose of American history and civics, using English as the only national language. Liberals are justifiably wary of jingoism, nationalism, and the focus on books by “dead white males,” but I think everyone who cares about education should remember that the American motto of e pluribus, unum (from many, one) has two parts. The celebration of pluribus should be balanced by policies that strengthen the unum.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
A tax-supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state...The most vindictive resentment may be expected from the pedagogic profession for any suggestion that they should be dislodged from their dictatorial position; it will be expressed mainly in epithets, such as "reactionary," at the mildest. Nevertheless, the question to put to any teacher moved to such indignation is: Do you think nobody would willingly entrust his children to you to pay you for teaching them? Why do you have to extort your fees and collect your pupils by compulsion?
Isabel Paterson (The God of the Machine (Library of Conservative Thought))
The church knows that an educated man is an unbeliever. That is why there is a continual struggle on the part of the clergy to adulterate education with superstition. To maintain their untenable position they must keep the people shackled to a form of mental slavery. Both fear and superstition are forms of a contagious disease. The ignorance of man produced natural fears of the elements of nature. What he could not understand he attributed to malevolent spirits whose primary purpose was to punish and harm him. Under this spell it seems almost incredible that he ever advanced from his state of primitive ignorance. His fears produced such fantastic monsters of the air that it was first necessary to relieve his tormented mind of these terrifying myths of ghosts and gods before he was able to acquire even the simplest rudiments of knowledge. Man's ignorance and fears made him an easy prey of priests. His gullibility was such that he believed everything he was told. He soon became a slave to these liars and hypocrites.
Joseph Lewis (An Atheist Manifesto)
In this world, the optimists have it, not because they are always right, but because they are positive. Even when wrong, they are positive, and that is the way of achievement, correction, improvement, and success. Educated, eyes-open optimism pays; pessimism can only offer the empty consolation of being right. The one lesson that emerges is the need to keep trying. No miracles. No perfection. No millennium. No apocalypse. We must cultivate a skeptical faith, avoid dogma, listen and watch well, try to clarify and define ends, the better to choose means.
David S. Landes
The cultural situation in America today (and indeed in all Western societies) is determined by the cultural earthquake of the nineteen-sixties, the consequences of which are very much in evidence. What began as a counter-culture only some thirty years ago has achieved dominance in elite culture and, from the bastions of the latter (in the educational system, the media, the higher reaches of the law, and key positions within government bureaucracy), has penetrated both popular culture and the corporate world. It is characterized by an amalgam of both sentiments and beliefs that cannot be easily catalogued, though terms like 'progressive,' 'emancipators or 'liberationist' serve to describe it. Intellectually, this new culture is legitimated by a number of loosely connected ideologies— leftover Marxism, feminism and other sexual identity doctrines, racial and ethnic separatism, various brands of therapeutic gospels and of environmentalism. An underlying theme is antagonism toward Western culture in general and American culture in particular. A prevailing spirit is one of intolerance and a grim orthodoxy, precisely caught in the phrase "political correctness.
Peter L. Berger
Father, brother, lover — he'd never really declared himself any of them. Certainly not the lover part, thought if Celaena had been another sort of girl, and if Arobynn had raised her differently , perhaps it might have come to that. He loved her like family, yet he put her in the most dangerous positions. He nurtured and educated her, yet he'd obliterated her innocence the first time he'd made her end a life. He'd given her everything, but he'd also taken everything away. She could no sooner sort out her feelings toward the King of the Assassins that she could count the stars in the sky.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.4))
I ran across an excerpt today (in English translation) of some dialogue/narration from the modern popular writer, Paulo Coelho in his book: Aleph.(Note: bracketed text is mine.)... 'I spoke to three scholars,' [the character says 'at last.'] ...two of them said that, after death, the [sic (misprint, fault of the publisher)] just go to Paradise. The third one, though, told me to consult some verses from the Koran. [end quote]' ...I can see that he's excited. [narrator]' ...Now I have many positive things to say about Coelho: He is respectable, inspiring as a man, a truth-seeker, and an appealing writer; but one should hesitate to call him a 'literary' writer based on this quote. A 'literary' author knows that a character's excitement should be 'shown' in his or her dialogue and not in the narrator's commentary on it. Advice for Coelho: Remove the 'I can see that he's excited' sentence and show his excitement in the phrasing of his quote.(Now, in defense of Coelho, I am firmly of the opinion, having myself written plenty of prose that is flawed, that a novelist should be forgiven for slipping here and there.)Lastly, it appears that a belief in reincarnation is of great interest to Mr. Coelho ... Just think! He is a man who has achieved, (as Leonard Cohen would call it), 'a remote human possibility.' He has won lots of fame and tons of money. And yet, how his preoccupation with reincarnation—none other than an interest in being born again as somebody else—suggests that he is not happy!
Roman Payne
If we take the position that an assessment that veganism is morally preferable to vegetarianism is not possible because we are all “on our own journey,” then moral assessment becomes completely impossible or is speciesist. It is impossible because if we are all “on our own journey,” then there is nothing to say to the racist, sexist, anti-semite, homophobe, etc. If we say that those forms of discrimination are morally bad, but, with respect to animals, we are all “on our own journey” and we cannot make moral assessments about, for instance, dairy consumption, then we are simply being speciesist and not applying the same moral analysis to nonhumans that we apply to the human context.
Gary L. Francione
Today, more than a quarter century later, we must ask what has happened to that uplifting vision; why does it seem to be fading instead of becoming more clear? Why, per Freedom House, is democracy now “under assault and in retreat”? Why are many people in positions of power seeking to undermine public confidence in elections, the courts, the media, and—on the fundamental question of earth’s future—science? Why have such dangerous splits been allowed to develop between rich and poor, urban and rural, those with a higher education and those without? Why has the United States—at least temporarily—abdicated its leadership in world affairs? And why, this far into the twenty-first century, are we once again talking about Fascism? ONE REASON, FRANKLY, IS DONALD TRUMP. IF WE THINK OF FASCISM as a wound from the past that had almost healed, putting Trump in the White House was like ripping off the bandage and picking at the scab
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
So what have I learned that is helpful? Well, if you are white, like I am, you can't get rid of the privilege you have, but you can use it for good. Don't say I don't even notice race! like it's a positive thing. Instead, recognize that differences between people make it harder for some to cross a finish line, and create fair paths to success for everyone that accommodate those differences. Educate yourself. If you think someone's voice is being ignored, tell others to listen. If your friend makes a racist joke, call him out on it, instead of just going along with it. If the two former skinheads I met can have such a complete change of heart, I feel confident that ordinary people can, too.
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
It could be said that a liberal education has the nature of a bequest, in that it looks upon the student as the potential heir of a cultural birthright, whereas a practical education has the nature of a commodity to be exchanged for position, status, wealth, etc., in the future. A liberal education rests on the assumption that nature and human nature do not change very much or very fast and that one therefore needs to understand the past. The practical educators assume that human society itself is the only significant context, that change is therefore fundamental, constant, and necessary, that the future will be wholly unlike the past, that the past is outmoded, irrelevant, and an encumbrance upon the future -- the present being only a time for dividing past from future, for getting ready. But these definitions, based on division and opposition, are too simple. It is easy, accepting the viewpoint of either side, to find fault with the other. But the wrong is on neither side; it is in their division... Without the balance of historic value, practical education gives us that most absurd of standards: "relevance," based upon the suppositional needs of a theoretical future. But liberal education, divorced from practicality, gives something no less absurd: the specialist professor of one or another of the liberal arts, the custodian of an inheritance he has learned much about, but nothing from.
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
The benefits of a philosophy of neo-religious pessimism are nowhere more apparent than in relation to marriage, one of modern society’s most grief-stricken arrangements, which has been rendered unnecessarily hellish by the astonishing secular supposition that it should be entered into principally for the sake of happiness. Christianity and Judaism present marriage not as a union inspired and governed by subjective enthusiasm but rather, and more modestly, as a mechanism by which individuals can assume an adult position in society and thence, with the help of a close friend, undertake to nurture and educate the next generation under divine guidance. These limited expectations tend to forestall the suspicion, so familiar to secular partners, that there might have been more intense, angelic or less fraught alternatives available elsewhere. Within the religious ideal, friction, disputes and boredom are signs not of error, but of life proceeding according to plan.
Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion)
What, after all this time, is the purpose of mass schooling supposed to be? Reading, writing, and arithmetic can’t be the answer, because properly approached those things take less than a hundred hours to transmit — and we have abundant evidence that each is readily self-taught in the right setting and time. Why, then, are we locking kids up in an involuntary network with strangers for twelve years? Surely not so a few of them can get rich? Even if it worked that way, and I doubt that it does, why wouldn’t any sane community look on such an education as positively wrong? It divides and classifies people, demanding that they compulsively compete with each other, and publicly labels the losers by literally de-grading them, identifying them as “low-class” material. And the bottom line for the winners is that they can buy more stuff! I don’t believe that anyone who thinks about that feels comfortable with such a silly conclusion. I can’t help feeling that if we could only answer the question of what it is that we want from these kids we lock up, we would suddenly see where we took a wrong turn. I have enough faith in American imagination and resourcefulness to believe that at that point we’d come up with a better way — in fact, a whole supermarket of better ways.
John Taylor Gatto (Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling)
Enthusiasm is the first step," she said. "Artfulness comes later." "I hope I didn't disappoint you." "I'm not displeased, Jovanno. Hells, having a lover that's new to the dance means you can train him properly. Give me a few nights and I'll have you whipped into proper form." "The Asino brothers ... they always, well, they always invited me to go with them when they went out. To buy it, you know." "There's no shame in doing that. And there's no shame in not having done it. But those two are hounds, Jovanno. Any woman could smell it a mile away. Sometimes a run with the hounds is just what you're in the mood for, but in the end they'll always roll around in muck and shit on your floor." "Oh, they've got an endearing side," said Jean. "It comes out once a month, when the first moon is full. They're like backwards werewolves.
Scott Lynch (The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3))
I would not tell this court that I do not hope that some time, when life and age have changed their bodies, as they do, and have changed their emotions, as they do -- that they may once more return to life. I would be the last person on earth to close the door of hope to any human being that lives, and least of all to my clients. But what have they to look forward to? Nothing. And I think here of the stanza of Housman: Now hollow fires burn out to black, And lights are fluttering low: Square your shoulders, lift your pack And leave your friends and go. O never fear, lads, naught’s to dread, Look not left nor right: In all the endless road you tread There’s nothing but the night. ...Here it Leopold’s father -- and this boy was the pride of his life. He watched him, he cared for him, he worked for him; the boy was brilliant and accomplished, he educated him, and he thought that fame and position awaited him, as it should have awaited. It is a hard thing for a father to see his life’s hopes crumble into dust. ...I know the future is with me, and what I stand for here; not merely for the lives of these two unfortunate lads, but for all boys and all girls; for all of the young, and as far as possible, for all of the old. I am pleading for life, understanding, charity, kindness, and the infinite mercy that considers all. I am pleading that we overcome cruelty with kindness and hatred with love. I know the future is on my side. Your Honor stands between the past and the future. You may hang these boys; you may hang them by the neck until they are dead. But in doing it you will turn your face toward the past... I am pleading for the future; I am pleading for a time when hatred and cruelty will not control the hearts of men. When we can learn by reason and judgment and understanding that all life is worth saving, and that mercy is the highest attribute of man. ...I am sure I do not need to tell this court, or to tell my friends that I would fight just as hard for the poor as for the rich. If I should succeed, my greatest reward and my greatest hope will be that... I have done something to help human understanding, to temper justice with mercy, to overcome hate with love. I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar Khayyám. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love, I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love.
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
Nowadays, being “connected” means 24/7 availability. Emailing, texting, Twittering, calling, keeping one’s website and Facebook status current seem essential to being and remaining relevant in the world. In addition to the positive impact of globally interconnecting humanity, the information era is also contributing to the creation of a high-tech, low-touch society. It is impacting language, the publishing world, education, and social revolts. Neurologists and other pundits, including Nicholas Carr in his Atlantic article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, point out the paradoxical downsides of not setting healthy boundaries or applying discipline to how we engage technology. Some have gone so far as to suggest that it is making us “spiritually stupid” by keeping us too distracted to participate in spiritual practices. But how about this: can using technology with mindfulness lead to beneficial social and spiritual connection?
Michael Bernard Beckwith (Life Visioning: A Transformative Process for Activating Your Unique Gifts and Highest Potential)
Collateral learning in the way of formation of enduring attitudes, of likes and dislikes, may be and often is much more important than the spelling lesson or lesson in geography or history that is learned. For these attitudes are fundamentally what count in the future. The most important attitude that can be formed is that of desire to go on learning. If impetus in this direction is weakened instead of being intensified, something much more than mere lack of preparation takes place. The pupil is actually robbed of native capacities which otherwise would enable him [sic] to cope with the circumstances that he meets in the course of his life. We often see persons who have had little schooling and in whose case the absence of set schooling proves to be a positive asset. They have at least retained their native common sense and power of judgement, and its exercise in the actual conditions of living has given them the precious gift of ability to learn from the experiences they have.
John Dewey (Experience and Education)
[L]iberals insist that children should be given the right to remain part of their particular community, but on condition that they are given a choice. But for, say, Amish children to really have a free choice of which way of life to choose, either their parents’ life or that of the “English,” they would have to be properly informed on all the options, educated in them, and the only way to do what would be to extract them from their embeddedness in the Amish community, in other words, to effectively render them “English.” This also clearly demonstrates the limitations of the standard liberal attitude towards Muslim women wearing a veil: it is deemed acceptable if it is their free choice and not an option imposed on them by their husbands or family. However, the moment a woman wears a veil as the result of her free individual choice, the meaning of her act changes completely: it is no longer a sign of her direct substantial belongingness to the Muslim community, but an expression of her idiosyncratic individuality, of her spiritual quest and her protest against the vulgarity of the commodification of sexuality, or else a political gesture of protest against the West. A choice is always a meta-choice, a choice of the modality of choice itself: it is one thing to wear a veil because of one’s immediate immersion in a tradition; it is quite another to refuse to wear a veil; and yet another to wear one not out of a sense of belonging, but as an ethico-political choice. This is why, in our secular societies based on “choice,” people who maintain a substantial religious belonging are in a subordinate position: even if they are allowed to practice their beliefs, these beliefs are “tolerated” as their idiosyncratic personal choice or opinion; they moment they present them publicly as what they really are for them, they are accused of “fundamentalism.” What this means is that the “subject of free choice” (in the Western “tolerant” multicultural sense) can only emerge as the result of an extremely violent process of being torn away from one’s particular lifeworld, of being cut off from one’s roots.
Slavoj Žižek (Living in the End Times)
The political merchandisers appeal only to the weak­nesses of voters, never to their potential strength. They make no attempt to educate the masses into becoming fit for self-government; they are content merely to manipulate and exploit them. For this pur­pose all the resources of psychology and the social sciences are mobilized and set to work. Carefully se­lected samples of the electorate are given "interviews in depth." These interviews in depth reveal the uncon­scious fears and wishes most prevalent in a given so­ciety at the time of an election. Phrases and images aimed at allaying or, if necessary, enhancing these fears, at satisfying these wishes, at least symbolically, are then chosen by the experts, tried out on readers and audiences, changed or improved in the light of the information thus obtained. After which the political campaign is ready for the mass communicators. All that is now needed is money and a candidate who can be coached to look "sincere." Under the new dispen­sation, political principles and plans for specific action have come to lose most of their importance. The person­ality of the candidate and the way he is projected by the advertising experts are the things that really mat­ter. In one way or another, as vigorous he-man or kindly father, the candidate must be glamorous. He must also be an entertainer who never bores his audience. Inured to television and radio, that audience is accustomed to being distracted and does not like to be asked to con­centrate or make a prolonged intellectual effort. All speeches by the entertainer-candidate must therefore be short and snappy. The great issues of the day must be dealt with in five minutes at the most -- and prefera­bly (since the audience will be eager to pass on to something a little livelier than inflation or the H-bomb) in sixty seconds flat. The nature of oratory is such that there has always been a tendency among politicians and clergymen to over-simplify complex is­sues. From a pulpit or a platform even the most con­scientious of speakers finds it very difficult to tell the whole truth. The methods now being used to merchan­dise the political candidate as though he were a deo­dorant positively guarantee the electorate against ever hearing the truth about anything.
Aldous Huxley
In the car inching its way down Fifth Avenue, toward Bergdorf Goodman and this glamorous party, I looked back on my past with a new understanding. This sickness, the “endo-whatever,” had stained so much—my sense of self, my womanhood, my marriage, my ability to be present. I had effectively missed one week of each month every year of my life since I was thirteen, because of the chronic pain and hormonal fluctuations I suffered during my period. I had lain in bed, with heating pads and hot-water bottles, using acupuncture, drinking teas, taking various pain medications and suffering the collateral effects of them. I thought of all the many tests I missed in various classes throughout my education, the school dances, the jobs I knew I couldn’t take as a model, because of the bleeding and bloating as well as the pain (especially the bathing suit and lingerie shoots, which paid the most). How many family occasions was I absent from? How many second or third dates did I not go on? How many times had I not been able to be there for others or for myself? How many of my reactions to stress or emotional strife had been colored through the lens of chronic pain? My sense of self was defined by this handicap. The impediment of expected pain would shackle my days and any plans I made. I did not see my own womanhood as something positive or to be celebrated, but as a curse that I had to constantly make room for and muddle through. Like the scar on my arm, my reproductive system was a liability. The disease, developing part and parcel with my womanhood starting at puberty with my menses, affected my own self-esteem and the way I felt about my body. No one likes to get her period, but when your femininity carries with it such pain and consistent physical and emotional strife, it’s hard not to feel that your body is betraying you. The very relationship you have with yourself and your person is tainted by these ever-present problems. I now finally knew my struggles were due to this condition. I wasn’t high-strung or fickle and I wasn’t overreacting.
Padma Lakshmi (Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir)
This, to be sure, is not the entire truth. For there were individuals in Germany who from the very beginning of the regime and without ever wavering were opposed to Hitler; no one knows how many there were of them—perhaps a hundred thousand, perhaps many more, perhaps many fewer—for their voices were never heard. They could be found everywhere, in all strata of society, among the simple people as well as among the educated, in all parties, perhaps even in the ranks of the N.S.D.A.P. Very few of them were known publicly, as were the aforementioned Reck-Malleczewen or the philosopher Karl Jaspers. Some of them were truly and deeply pious, like an artisan of whom I know, who preferred having his independent existence destroyed and becoming a simple worker in a factory to taking upon himself the “little formality” of entering the Nazi Party. A few still took an oath seriously and preferred, for example, to renounce an academic career rather than swear by Hitler’s name. A more numerous group were the workers, especially in Berlin, and Socialist intellectuals who tried to aid the Jews they knew. There were finally, the two peasant boys whose story is related in Günther Weisenborn’s Der lautlose Aufstand (1953), who were drafted into the S.S. at the end of the war and refused to sign; they were sentenced to death, and on the day of their execution they wrote in their last letter to their families: “We two would rather die than burden our conscience with such terrible things. We know what the S.S. must carry out.” The position of these people, who, practically speaking, did nothing, was altogether different from that of the conspirators. Their ability to tell right from wrong had remained intact, and they never suffered a “crisis of conscience.” There may also have been such persons among the members of the resistance, but they were hardly more numerous in the ranks of the conspirators than among the people at large. They were neither heroes nor saints, and they remained completely silent. Only on one occasion, in a single desperate gesture, did this wholly isolated and mute element manifest itself publicly: this was when the Scholls, two students at Munich University, brother and sister, under the influence of their teacher Kurt Huber distributed the famous leaflets in which Hitler was finally called what he was—a “mass murderer.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
We are committed to involving as many people as possible, as young as possible, as soon as possible. Sometimes too young and too soon! But we intentionally err on the side of too fast rather than too slow. We don’t wait until people feel “prepared” or “fully equipped.” Seriously, when is anyone ever completely prepared for ministry? Ministry makes people’s faith bigger. If you want to increase someone’s confidence in God, put him in a ministry position before he feels fully equipped. The messages your environments communicate have the potential to trump your primary message. If you don’t see a mess, if you aren’t bothered by clutter, you need to make sure there is someone around you who does see it and is bothered by it. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins. The sermon begins in the parking lot. Assign responsibility, not tasks. At the end of the day, it’s application that makes all the difference. Truth isn’t helpful if no one understands or remembers it. If you want a church full of biblically educated believers, just teach what the Bible says. If you want to make a difference in your community and possibly the world, give people handles, next steps, and specific applications. Challenge them to do something. As we’ve all seen, it’s not safe to assume that people automatically know what to do with what they’ve been taught. They need specific direction. This is hard. This requires an extra step in preparation. But this is how you grow people. Your current template is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently getting. We must remove every possible obstacle from the path of the disinterested, suspicious, here-against-my-will, would-rather-be-somewhere-else, unchurched guests. The parking lot, hallways, auditorium, and stage must be obstacle-free zones. As a preacher, it’s my responsibility to offend people with the gospel. That’s one reason we work so hard not to offend them in the parking lot, the hallway, at check-in, or in the early portions of our service. We want people to come back the following week for another round of offending! Present the gospel in uncompromising terms, preach hard against sin, and tackle the most emotionally charged topics in culture, while providing an environment where unchurched people feel comfortable. The approach a church chooses trumps its purpose every time. Nothing says hypocrite faster than Christians expecting non-Christians to behave like Christians when half the Christians don’t act like it half the time. When you give non-Christians an out, they respond by leaning in. Especially if you invite them rather than expect them. There’s a big difference between being expected to do something and being invited to try something. There is an inexorable link between an organization’s vision and its appetite for improvement. Vision exposes what has yet to be accomplished. In this way, vision has the power to create a healthy sense of organizational discontent. A leader who continually keeps the vision out in front of his or her staff creates a thirst for improvement. Vision-centric churches expect change. Change is a means to an end. Change is critical to making what could and should be a reality. Write your vision in ink; everything else should be penciled in. Plans change. Vision remains the same. It is natural to assume that what worked in the past will always work. But, of course, that way of thinking is lethal. And the longer it goes unchallenged, the more difficult it is to identify and eradicate. Every innovation has an expiration date. The primary reason churches cling to outdated models and programs is that they lack leadership.
Andy Stanley (Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend)