Encouraged to Discover

From the article “The Moral Contortions of the New University” by Justin Smith, in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

I believe that students, for the sake of their own thriving as human beings, should be required to study at university only things that have nothing to do with their own life up until that point. Curricula should not be made to be “relatable.” Students should be encouraged rather to discover and cultivate relations to ideas, values, and traditions they had not previously known to exist.

He was talking specifically about education, but I would expand the scope.  I think the survival of the Western world depends on it.

We are now a multiracial, multilingual, multicultural country, and that’s never going to change.  We have to find a way to get along with each other.  That means we all have to learn more, know more, accept more.

If this degenerates into a cultural struggle for dominance, we’re going to tear our world apart and be left with nothing.

–•–

You can read his whole article HERE, at Chronicle.com, but let me warn you: that site is a nightmare.  It kept blocking the content and telling me to turn off my ad-blocker, which would have been fair enough had I been using one.

I was not.

You’ve got about three seconds before it blanks the screen, and in that time you can hit CTRL-A to select everything and CRTL-C to copy everything.  Then paste it into Notebook or a word processor to read it.

“I always knew it’d come to this…”

“Your friend hasn’t learned his limitations, and he’s not going to make it if he continues.” ~William S Burroughs on Kurt Cobain, to Cobain’s tour manager (source)

Full lyrics HERE.

I remember when I first heard of his death on the radio. It wasn’t the ending I’d hoped for, but it was the one I expected. I took a deep breath, and exhaled slowly.

He had been in the news just the week before, having been hospitalized for an accidental drug overdose. I thought at the time that an overdose that massive could not have been “accidental.” I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

The press was absolutely brutal. “He was successful! He was rich! He was young! He was popular!” They didn’t understand how someone who had checked all of the boxes wasn’t happy. They portrayed him as a spoiled brat who just couldn’t be pleased.

It never occurred to them that their formula could be flawed.

May You Be Content

Prayer of St. Thérèse of Lisieux

May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

The Same

Excerpted from an interview with Werner Herzog:

Q:  There’s a theory that all life on Earth came from a meteorite. Do you think that’s possible…?

A:  If you expand the question, it wouldn’t surprise me if we found life somewhere outside of our solar system, or even within our solar system, because we share the same chemistry with the universe. We share the same physics with the universe. And we share the same history with the universe. So with trillions and trillions and trillions of stars out there, it’s highly likely that somewhere there are some forms of life.

I like knowing that me and the universe are the same.

You can read more of the interview HERE.

I was busy

“I lied and said I was busy. I was busy, but not in a way most people understand. I was busy taking deep breaths. I was busy silencing irrational thoughts. I was busy calming a racing heart. I was busy telling myself I am okay. Sometimes this is my busy, and I will not apologize for it.” ~Brittin Oakman

A&L

There are a lot of wonderful things on the internet, but they can be hard to find.

That’s why I’d like to recommend a site to you: Arts & Letters Daily.

They link to just three articles per day, one in each of the following categories: “Articles of Note,” “New Books,” and “Essays & Opinions.”

When you’re looking for more than politics and pop culture and want to read something with a little more meat to it, give them a look. They do an amazing job of curating the web, bringing you only the best.

Remember

“If today gets difficult, remember the smell of coffee, the way sunlight bounces off a window, the sound of your favorite person’s laugh, the feeling when a song you love comes on, the color of the sky at dusk, and that we are here to take care of each other.” ~Nanea Hoffman

Won’t They, Comrade?

Paul Laurence Dunbar had a sense of rhythm very similar to Rudyard Kipling. His works are in the public domain and may be downloaded freely from Project Gutenberg, HERE. There are multiple formats available, including EPUB, Kindle, plain text, and HTML for on-line reading.

The Voice of the Banjo
by Paul Laurence Dunbar

In a small and lonely cabin out of noisy traffic’s way,
Sat an old man, bent and feeble, dusk of face, and hair of gray,
And beside him on the table, battered, old, and worn as he,
Lay a banjo, droning forth this reminiscent melody:

“Night is closing in upon us, friend of mine, but don’t be sad;
Let us think of all the pleasures and the joys that we have had.
Let us keep a merry visage, and be happy till the last,
Let the future still be sweetened with the honey of the past.

“For I speak to you of summer nights upon the yellow sand,
When the Southern moon was sailing high and silvering all the land;
And if love tales were not sacred, there’s a tale that I could tell
Of your many nightly wanderings with a dusk and lovely belle.

“And I speak to you of care-free songs when labour’s hour was o’er,
And a woman waiting for your step outside the cabin door,
And of something roly-poly that you took upon your lap,
While you listened for the stumbling, hesitating words, ‘Pap, pap.’

“I could tell you of a ‘possum hunt across the wooded grounds,
I could call to mind the sweetness of the baying of the hounds,
You could lift me up and smelling of the timber that ‘s in me,
Build again a whole green forest with the mem’ry of a tree.

“So the future cannot hurt us while we keep the past in mind,
What care I for trembling fingers,– what care you that you are blind?
Time may leave us poor and stranded, circumstance may make us bend;
But they ‘ll only find us mellower, won’t they, comrade?– in the end.”

Sometimes

“Sometimes, carrying on– just carrying on– is the superhuman achievement.” ~Albert Camus

Simon and Harrison

Their voices blend so well together. It’s obvious they know a thing or two about harmony.

Joy, too

via Draw & Wings

Are we the masqueraders?

Full lyrics HERE.