June 8, 2011

F.L. Lucas: The destiny of mankind is not governed wholly by its “stars.”

It is unlikely that many of us will be famous...

... or even remembered. But not less important than the brilliant few that lead a nation or a literature to fresh achievements, are the unknown many whose patient efforts keep the world from running backward; who guard and maintain the ancient values, even if they do not conquer new; whose inconspicuous triumph it is to pass on what they inherited from their fathers, unimpaired and undiminished, to their sons. Enough, for almost all of us, if we can hand on the torch, and not let it down; content to win the affection, if it may be, of a few who know us and to be forgotten when they in their turn have vanished. The destiny of mankind is not governed wholly by its “stars.” -- Heavy sentences by Joseph Epstein - The New Criterion
Posted by Vanderleun at June 8, 2011 8:54 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Nice quote. It is going in my archive.

Being famous, I would think, is over rated.

People barely knowing you will project their ideals upon you and build a fantasy caricature of who they think you are (Napoleans coined terms of 'making faces'). Anytime you step outside those boundaries, you upset and disillusion another teenager or child-man.

Let them worship you after you are dead. Then they can mytholgize you all they want and you are not constircted by their disapproval.

Frankly, if they just stuck with the message and not the messenger, they might actully have a fighting change of 'getting it right'.

Oh well.

OTOH... give me a chance to be rich anyday. Famous? Nah...


One more thing:

That was a nice essay that you linked to. As said, making an essay readable is an art form. In this era of the internet where boring means intellectual death, it takes on more importance than ever.

When the author of the essay talked about teaching the art of writing, it reminded me of words by Antoine de Saint-Exupery:

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

"If you want to build a ship don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

Posted by: cond0010 at June 8, 2011 1:03 PM

I've been complaining about America's obsession with American Idol and Dancing With The Stars a lot since the 2008 elections. But recently Americans voted for the likes of Idol winner Scotty McCreery, an All-American baby-faced small town Christian kid whose solid family, community and faith were highlighted as much as his talent was, as well as Bristol Palin, who placed third in a season of DWTS. Sorry, celebs - when allowed honest voting, America DOES still choose GOOD over evil, achievement over hype, humility over ego.

Posted by: RedCarolina at June 8, 2011 6:53 PM

Reminds me of a favorite quote:

“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”

John W. Gardner, Secretary of Health Education and Welfare under JFK and author of “Excellence.”

Posted by: RJL at June 9, 2011 7:44 AM

Nice quote.

Posted by: Vanderleun at June 9, 2011 7:49 AM

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