Friday, January 27, 2006

 

Clippings

"Admittedly, the economic needs of a society are bound to be reflected to some rational degree within the policies and purposes of public schools. But, even so, there must be something more to life as it is lived by six-year-olds, or by teenagers, for that matter, than concerns about 'successful global competition.' Childhood is not merely basic training for utilitarian adulthood. It should have some claims upon our mercy, not for its future value to the economic interests of competitive societies but for its present value as a perishable piece of life itself."

-- Jonathan Kozol (source)

*

"Nothing is more shameful for a man than to found his title to esteem, not on his own merits, but on the fame of his ancestors. The glory of the Fathers is doubtless to their children a most precious treasure; but to enjoy it without transmitting it to the next generation, and without adding to it yourselves, this is the height of imbecility."

-- Charles Sumner, "The True Grandeur of Nations" (1845)

*

"To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread. It will be a great day for America, incidentally, when we begin to eat bread again, instead of the blasphemous and tasteless foam rubber that we have substituted for it. ... Something very sinister happens to the people of a country when they begin to distrust their own reactions as deeply as they do here, and become as joyless as they have become."

-- James Baldwin, from The Fire Next Time

*

"There are old poops who will say that you do not become a grown-up until you have somehow survived, as they have, some famous calamity--the Great Depression, the Second World War, vietnam, whatever. Storytellers are responsible for this destructive, not to say suicidal myth. Again and again in stories, after some terrible mess, the character is able to say at last, 'Today I am a woman. Today I am a man. The end.'"

-- Kurt Vonnegut, from A Man Without a Country

*

"Rats and roaches live by competition under the law of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy."

-- Wendell Berry


Collective Improvisation:
Hello there Caleb. Glad you're posting again. I very much enjoyed Clippings, particularly the last three.

I've been thinking today about the relationship between justice and mercy. Can co-exist or are they mutually exclusive? I'm leaning towards the latter.

Any thoughts?

Posted by Anonymous Marcia on 1/28/2006 03:30:00 PM : Permalink  

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