Who and What is the Happy Warrior
This blog is a representation, in conversational form, of my voyage to wrap my arms around the world in which Mr. Worsdworth's warrior finds happiness.
(Standing disclaimer: Luckily tests of spelling accuracy ended in 4th grade otherwise I would still be in Elementary School. Be forewarned, spelling errors ahead. I subscribe to the wisdom of a great man who said, "I have utmost disdain for a man who can only spell a word one way." -Benjamin Franklin)
Monday, January 31, 2011
"We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to humanity." -Stride Toward Freedom, pp. 94
"You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." -Wisdom of MLK, Jr., pp. 205
Saturday, January 29, 2011
"A civilization can founder as readily in the face of moral and spiritual bankruptcy as it can through financial bankruptcy."
-Where do we go From Here, pp. 186
Wow, what would be the peril for a society that is dangerously bereft of moral, spiritual and financial stability?... And the bonus quote is a beautifully expressed truth (one of my favorites):
"No work is insignificant. If a man is called a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'"
-Wisdom of MLK, Jr., pp. 2
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
"The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals."
-Wisdom of MLK, Jr., pp. 52
Monday, January 24, 2011
"We are not going to allow this conflict in Birmingham to deteriorate into a struggle between black people and white people. The tension in Birmingham is between justice and injustice."
-Wisdom of MLK, Jr., pp. 26
Friday, January 21, 2011
Well, since Martin Luther King, Jr. is solidly on my short-list of amazing people (and yes I am fully aware that he, like everyone else had some mortal shortcomings), I will make an effort to provide a thought a day from his own writings for the next little while. Most of these will be extremely short but they have great depth and demand our ponderous attention. Here is the first:
"Every nation is an heir of a vast treasury of ideas and labor to which both the living and the dead of all nations have contributed. Whether we realize it or not, each of us lives eternally 'in the red'."
-Where Do We Go From Here?, pp. 181
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Our current economic difficulties: A little context is illustrative... and suggests that we can survive this
In 1893 the United States economy sank into its worst depression ever. Six hundred forty-two banks closed and an incredible sixteen thousand companies shuttered their doors. The most actively traded company on the New York Stock Exchange - National Cordage - went belly-up. Giant pillars of the economy such as the Northern Pacific Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad crumbled. America had experienced economic downturns before, but this was much bigger, lasting for four frightening years, from 1893 to 1898. At one point, four million workers were idle - more than one-fourth of a labor force of fifteen million - at a time of no government support for the unemployed.
I understand from firsthand experience the current difficulties but I submit the following as a fact: things could be much worse.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Unfortunately this law is violated with frequency by politicians, agencies and the news media when responding to extreme events. This type of involuntary (and sometimes negligent) socio-slaughter was evident in reaction to Hurricane Katrina, to the Gulf Oil Spill and is already rampant in reaction to the shooting in Tuscon. Actions, reports, claims, accusations and uninformed conjecture have a negative effect and can create more social harm than the event itself.
The evolution of disasters and extreme events have a natural life cycle. There is a time and a place for both altruistic generosity, for greiving and for a critical evaluation of cause. When these are out of place and out of their normal time frame it is as if a patient undergoing delicate heart surgery were cut open without anesthesia and without sufficient equipment at the cardiologists beckon call. This is the reason why I consider the following statement --from an individual ,a so called public servant who should be an expert in establishing public peace, who should know better-- the most irresponsible and the most injurious action subsequent to the actual shooting:
I do not care what political tendencies you (my reader) may have. This type of rush to judgement and assignment of blame is socially detrimental. The nearly instantaneous politicization of this shooting is a social tragedy. We must hold our public officials, our political representatives AND our news media accountable for the damage they are facilitating. The body politic cannot be so roughly treated during such traumatic experiences without grave consequence to our future wellbeing.
Friday, January 7, 2011
This is both comforting and disconcerting. I am a lover of learning and involved in the world of research (what I like to equate with "discovery"). I have found, however, that rarely do we discover anything that was not known previously. The area that may contradict this assertion is the natural or "hard" sciences where, for example, we've advanced in our understanding from atoms to nutrinos to quarks to leptons to dark matter... but even with regard to these, the intellectual processes of discovery underlying the addition to our store of knowledge is largely the same. What is more, the human elements that cause debate, disagreement and resistence to these "new" conceptions of the world around us are the same that faced Copernicus and Galileo.
The same human (you might say social or psychological) challenges that bedeviled our predecessors of the Roman, Ottoman or 18th century British empire face us today. I am amazed to find in the writings of Epictetus, Voltaire and Edmund Burke discussions that are entirely applicable to our most contemporary problems even though these (used simply as examples, when we could just as easily have identified Aurelius, Adam Smith and Mao) lived two hundred, four hundred and a thousand years ago. Perhaps a specific quote will better help me make my point. Consider Voltaire's observations on the nature of human beings and the operation of society from this short excerpt:
Take a view of the Royal Exchange in London, a place more venerable than many courts of justice, where the representatives of all nations meet for the benefit of mankind. There the Jew, the Mahometan, and the Christian transact together, as though they all professed the same religion, and give the name of infidel to none but bankrupts. There the Presbyterian confides in the Anabaptist, and the Churchman depends on the Quaker's word.
At the breaking up of this pacific and free assembly, some withdraw to the synagogue, and others to take a glass. This man goes and is baptized in a great tub, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost: that man has his son's foreskin cut off, whilst a set of Hebrew words (quite unintelligible to him) are mumbled over his child. Others retire to their churches, and there wait for the inspiration of heaven with their hats on, and all are satisfied.
If one religion only were allowed in England, the Government would very possibly become arbitrary; if there were but two, the people would cut one another's throats; but as there are such a multitude, they all live happy and in peace.
-the more things change, the more they stay the same.
-those who do not know history are doomed to repeat its darkest chapters (I took a little editorial liberty on that one).
the answers (to so many of our contemporary challenges) are out there... they have already played themselves out in the history of mankind.