The following is an excerpt from one of my favorite Civil War novels, The Killer Angels, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975. We are approaching the point in our World History class (after first semester final exams next week) where we would normally be covering the...
“For this is wrong, if anything is wrong: not to enlarge the freedom of a love with all the inner freedom one can summon. We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.”...
I am downtown doing some lesson planning tonight at what is starting to slowly become my home away from home: the Eslite bookstore in downtown Taichung. I have always loved hanging out at bookstores and had really been hoping to find a good one quickly after arriving...
“No mistake is worse than greed, no calamity is worse than discontent; no fault is more worrisome than desire for gain. Therefore the sufficiency of contentment is always enough.” –Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching ...
"To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?"
"Everyone who wants to know what will happen ought to examine what has happened: everything in this world in any epoch has their replicas in antiquity."
"He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"What is history, but a fable agreed upon?"
"If history were told in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten."
"No greater mistake can be made than to imagine that what has been written latest is always the more correct; that what is written later on is an improvement on what was written previously; and that every change means progress."
"Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it."
"Whoever controls the present, controls the past. Whoever controls the past, controls the future."
"Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity."
"Time is a fluid condition which has no existence except in the momentary avatars of individual people. There is no such thing as 'was'--only 'is'."
"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see."
"To me, history ought to be a source of pleasure. It isn't just part of our civic responsibility. To me, it's an enlargement of the experience of being alive, just the way literature or art or music is."
"It is the great arrogance of the present to forget the intelligence of the past."
"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."
"That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach."
"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."
"There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good."
"The past is a source of knowledge, and the future is a source of hope. Love of the past implies faith in the future."
-Stephen E. Ambrose
"History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation."
"History is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perforce happen again."
-George R.R. Martin
"May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children."
-Rainer Maria Rilke
"Time flows in the same way for all human beings; every human being flows through time in a different way."
"Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle...the wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round...even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is in everything where power moves."
-Black Elk of the Lakota Sioux, "Black Elk Speaks"