Welcome to ATG’s “Thinker Thoughts”, an initiative intended to help us THINK more deeply and deliberately amid the hurried pace of life’s existence.
Every Friday, we’re posting our “Thinker Thoughts”, a short quote to reflect on from a recent commentary. Give it a think and let us know your thinker thoughts!
This week’s Thinker Thoughts come from an article in the April 2017 issue of The Atlantic, “Professor Caveman: Why Bill Schindler is teaching college students to live like early humans“, by Richard Schiffman:
Welcome to ATG’s “Thinker Thoughts”, a new initiative intended to help us THINK more deeply and deliberately amid the hurried pace of life’s existence.
Every Friday, we’ll post our Thinker Thoughts, a short quote to reflect on from a recent commentary. Give it a think and let us know your thinker thoughts!
This week’s Thinker Thoughts come from the New York Times‘ op-ed, “Check This Box if You’re a Good Person” (April 4, 2017), written by Rebecca Sabky, a former admissions director at Dartmouth College:
Until admissions committees figure out a way to effectively recognize the genuine but intangible personal qualities of applicants, we must rely on little things to make the difference. Sometimes an inappropriate email address is more telling than a personal essay. The way a student acts toward his parents on a campus tour can mean as much as a standardized test score. And, as I learned from that custodian, a sincere character evaluation from someone unexpected will mean more to us than any boilerplate recommendation from a former president or famous golfer…Colleges should foster the growth of individuals who show promise not just in leadership and academics, but also in generosity of spirit.”
“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.” (Genesis 1:1-4)
Light is indeed good as we are reminded in the opening days of March that we will not be held forever frozen in the cold, dark abyss of winter. Around the 7th day of March each year, it begins to dawn on us that Daylight Savings time is just a wisp of wind around the corner and that the extra light will do us “good.” Good because it helps to bring us out of winter’s hibernating stupor and good because it reassures us that there is order in the universe – that we can find consistency and dependability in the rhythmic coming and going of seasons. Read more
“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” –Agnes Sligh Turnbull, American Novelist (1888-1982)
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
–Anatole France, French Novelist (1844-1924)
Anyone who has loved and lost a dog will appreciate Lucy Dawson’s sketches in her book, Dogs Rough & Smooth, originally published in 1937.
Dawson (1870-1954) was a popular British illustrator known for her paintings and sketches of a variety of dog breeds and was commissioned by the Royal Family to paint the Queen Mother’s favorite Corgi, Dookie. The book, her second of dog sketches following Dogs As I See Them, was republished in 2016 with a foreword by Susan Orlean, an author of several books including Rin Tin Tin and a contributor to several publications, including the New Yorker, Smithsonian Magazine and the New York Times. Read more
“In the beginning was Power, intelligent, loving, energising. In the beginning was the Word, supremely capable of mastering and moulding whatever might come into being in the world of matter. In the beginning there were not coldness and darkness: there was Fire.”
–Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), French Philosopher & Paleontologist
“The imagination is a palette of bright colors. You can use it to touch up memories – or you can use it to paint dreams.” –Robert Brault, American operatic tenor
In honor of Memorial Day, we salute all of those who courageously gave their lives to protect our great nation and the values it espouses by highlighting the military’s steadfastness, discipline, order, bravery, humility, integrity and respect, reflected in the below excerpts, creed and poems.
Happy Memorial Day!
“Virtue & The Soldier’s Soul” (taken from Endowed by Their Creator: A Collection of Historic Military Prayers 1774-Present, 2012)
“Virtue is the ‘animating spirit’ of the American military and is the ‘keynote’ of a Commander’s sworn duty of exemplary behavior, supervision and correction.” Read more
“Earth laughs in flowers.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet, 1803-1882
“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.”
–William Wordsworth, English poet, 1770-1850
“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson Read more
“The ordinarily decent impulses the ordinary man learned at his mother’s knee are our last line of defense against the wickedness of overweening power at home and abroad.” –John Dos Passos (novelist, 1896-1970)
The importance of mothers is beautifully captured in the below excerpt from the book, What Jackie Taught Us: Lessons from the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Tina Santi Flaherty (2004):
“The memory of our mother never leaves us – the good, the bad, and the ugly. That Jackie Kennedy Onassis was an exceptionally good mother even her harshest detractors readily acknowledge. Motherhood was what mattered most to Jackie. She believed that absolutely nothing came before the welfare of her children. Indeed, she referred to her efforts in raising Caroline and John Jr. as the best thing she’d ever done, saying she wanted to be remembered for that achievement more than for any other. She once remarked, ‘If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.’”