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  • mono 8:03 pm on October 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , David Thoreau, Henry David Thoreau, , Lewis Mumford, , , Organizations, , , Thinking, Walden,   

    Five Quotations for Your Learning Pleasure (Selected by Your Humble Editor on a Rainy Tuesday Evening) 

    You will see throughout this blog, quotations from a handful of thinkers that I admire and learn from. The following are five selected quotations for your learning pleasure.

    Perhaps, one or more of these quotations will help you along with your day or stick with you and re-emerge when the time is right or ripe. More importantly, though, I hope that you will use these words and do something with them. That is, these quotations are seedlings, waiting to be realized by the right person. I don’t know how you will interpret them or what you will do with them. That depends on you and where you are “coming from” with your ways of how you have become mindful of the world. Thank you for your attention.


    “Taking charge of your own learning is a part of taking charge of your life, which is the sine qua non in becoming an integrated person” – Warren Bennis from On Becoming a Leader

    “Live your life skillfully, with grace.
    Dance life so that your expertise appears effortless.
    To develop such skill, immerse yourself in life.
    Pay attention to life’s details.
    Then see how the details fit together as a whole.
    Then put your experiential understanding into further practice.
    Keep upgrading your life.” – David K. Reynolds from Reflections on the Chuang Tzu

    “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett from Westward Ho

    “The ideal personality for the opening age is a balanced personality: not the specialist but the whole man. Such a personality must be in dynamic interaction with every part of his environment and every part of his heritage.” – Lewis Mumford from The Condition of Man

    “We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.” – Henry David Thoreau from Walden and Civil Disobedience

    For more information on the authors quoted here, please visit:

    David K. Reynolds: Reflections on the Chuang Tzu
    Warren Bennis’s Qualities of a Leader
    Samuel Beckett On-line Resources
    Lewis Mumford: Megathinker and Master of the Metaphor
    Henry David Thoreau: American Transcendentalism Web

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  • mono 6:22 am on October 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Conduct of Life, consequences, Der Spiegel, Lewis Mumford, negative leadership, peter ross range, , , Sarah Palin, spiegel online,   

    Words Have Consequences: Sarah Palin meets Der Spiegel 


    Der Spiegel‘s Peter Ross Range, has written an article on Sarah Palin’s use of language and the negative and perhaps hate-inspiring, consequences, that her words may be having on those who are actually listening. What kind of “epistemic communities” are being created by those who choose to truly listen to and understand those words?

    The article can be found here: The Lone Ranger: Palin’s Breathtaking Naivete

    On that note, I leave you on this crisp autumnal morning with a quotation from Lewis Mumford, from his book The Conduct of Life:

    “What our civilization needs today, as a condition for increasing human maturity and for inner renewal, is the cultivation of an exquisite sensitivity and an incomparable tenderness. (153)” – Lewis Mumford

    Perhaps, this will help lead us where we need to go. And yet…

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    • Mark Hollis 10:54 pm on October 14, 2008 Permalink

      Perhaps, like Senator Obama, I am too young. But I was born in 1955. And my family walked in integration marches in the Kansas City area. And every time Dr. King’s speeches were televised, we tuned in. My parents told me this was history being made, as sure as NASA’s attempts to get to the moon “before the decade was out.” I didn’t know if I wanted to be an astronaut or to be a Civil Rights worker like Dr. King.

      That said, I have seen more and more of the Republican rhetoric straying into outright racism, in their current campaign against the Democratic nominee for President as well as past campaigns against immigration. And their future campaign against “entitlements” (the next dirty word they create) will also be based on hate speech, with artfully-crafted code words to move the hearts and minds of the poor who will be taken along for the ride only to be dumped with the refuse.

      I would like to thank Peter Ross Range for amplifying Representative John Lewis’ comments. I suppose what McCain and Palin are doing is “leadership,” but I don’t like the direction it leads.

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