We must pass through the darkness, to reach the light.
Why do so many young people literally die to belong to fraternities, sororities, and other college social organizations? The answer is complicated, but here is a starting point:Ever since the medieval universities were founded, young people have done whatever it takes to gain acceptance, to break with their past lives, to achieve a sense of power, to carve out a society of their own that isn't quite what their tutors and teachers had in mind. In the United States, hazing and drinking have been endemic since colonial days.
Hank Nuwer, Wrongs of Passage, p
Her eyes beginning to water, she went on, So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice. It doesn't have to be something you see it could be a scent - perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches the autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground. Please look for these things, and cherish them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the stuff of life. The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy. The things we often take for granted. We must make it important to notice them, for at any time...it can all be taken away. The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester. Every once in a while, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us, and I try to appreciate all of those things that sometimes we all overlook. Take notice of something special you see on your lunch hour today. Go barefoot. Or walk on the beach at sunset. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double-dip ice cream cone. For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.http://www.theallengroup.com/members/newsletter0101.html
Anon., from a story The Teacher
Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs. We are, and must be, one and all, burdened with faults in this world: but the time will soon come when, I trust, we shall put them off in putting off our corruptible bodies; when debasement and sin will fall from us with this cumbrous frame of flesh, and only the spark of the spirit will remain, - the impalpable principle of light and thought, pure as when it left the Creator to inspire the creature: whence it came it will return; perhaps again to be communicated to some being higher than man - perhaps to pass through gradations of glory, from the pale human soul to brighten to the seraph! Surely it will never, on the contrary, be suffered to degenerate from man to fiend?No; I cannot believe that: I hold another creed: which no one ever taught me, and which I seldom mention; but in which I delight, and to which I cling: for it extends hope to all: it makes Eternity a rest - a mighty home, not a terror and an abyss. Besides, with this creed, I can so clearly distinguish between the criminal and his crime; I can so sincerely forgive the first while I abhor the last: with this creed revenge never worries my heart, degradation never too deeply disgusts me, injustice never crushes me too low: I live in calm, looking to the end.
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre, ch.
GOD, give us men! A time like this demands Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands; Men whom the lust of office does not kill; Men whom the spoils of office can not buy; Men who possess opinions and a will; Men who have honor; men who will not lie; Men who can stand before a demagogue And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking! Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog In public duty, and in private thinking; For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds, Their large professions and their little deeds, Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps, Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.
The wisest is he that knows only that he knows nothing. God only knows. We mortals are only troubled with morbid little ideas, sired by circumstance and damned by folly. The human head can absorb only the flavorings of its surroundings. We assume that our faith political and our creed religious are founded upon our reason, when they are really made for us by social conditions over which we had little control.The book is becoming rare but some can still be found on the internet. It was printed and hard bound using private funds. Number of copies unknown. It bears no Library of Congress number. See also, Brann and the Iconoclast University of Texas Press, author Charles Carver, date 1957
William Cowper Brann, Brann, the
It was a folly, with the materiality of this daily life pressing so intrusively upon me, to attempt to fling myself back into another age; or to insist on creating a semblance of a world out of airy matter . . . This wiser effort would have been, to diffuse thought and imagination through the opaque substance of to-day, and thus make it a bright transparency . . . to seek resolutely the true and indestructible value that lay hidden in the petty and wearisome incidents and ordinary characters with which I was now conversant. The fault was mine. The page of life that was spread out before me was dull and commonplace, only because I had not fathomed its deeper import. A better book than I shall ever write was there . . . These perceptions came too late . . . I had ceased to be a writer of tolerably poor tales and essays, and had become a tolerably good Surveyor of the Customs. That was all.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet