Change begets change. Nothing propagates so fast. If a man habituated to a narrow circle of cares and pleasures, out of which he seldom travels, step beyond it, though for never so brief a space, his departure from the monotonous scene on which he has been an actor of importance would seem to be the signal for instant confusion. . . . The mine which Time has slowly dug beneath familiar objects is sprung in an instant; and what was rock before, becomes but sand and dust.
A vision of the future has been one of the sustaining marks of the American experience. Without that vision and without the men who devote themselves to realizing that vision, there can be no true American way of life. We must beware of the thoughtless men who proclaim that a particular stage of our social development, or any special set of conditions, is the best that progress can offer. These men would immobilize us in the great stream of history. They would let its great challenges and chances pass us by, . . . forgetting that the American way of life is a way of acting, not a state of inactivity.
Intellect can light up only a small area of the universe. For my part, I should subscribe to the familiar paradox that the more we know, the more we are conscious of our ignorance - the further the intellect has traveled, the smaller it seems relatively to the distance still to be traveled... The intellect does, indeed, take us part of the way; we have no other mode of conveyance; and, in taking us as far as it does, it justifies us in taking the rest on trust... In following the religious account of the universe beyond the point at which it leaves reason behind, and trusting to it as an explanation of the many things that pass our understanding, we are accepting on faith conclusions which are not demonstrated by reason. In other words, we are acting as if a hypothesis were true, which, at the moment, at which we act upon it, is still a hypothesis and not a truth. Nevertheless, it is, I suggest, knowledge, the knowledge which we possess already and which reason has won for us, that makes it reasonable to do so.
Barbara Bush's Family Reading Tips 1. Establish a routine for reading aloud. 2. Make reading together a special time. 3. Try these simple ways to enrich reading aloud with your children: --Move your finger under the words as you read. --Let your child help turn the pages. --Take turns reading words, sentences or pages. --Pause and ask open-ended questions such as, "How would you feel if you were that person?" or "What do you think might happen next?" --Look at the illustrations and talk about them. --Change your voice as you read different characters' words. Let your child make up voices. --Keep stories alive by acting them out. 4. Ask others who take care of your children to read aloud. 5. Visit the library regularly. 6. Let your children see you reading. 7. Read all kinds of things together. 8. Fill your home with opportunities for reading. 9. Keep reading aloud even after your children learn to read.
Barbara Bush (1925 -)
Source: The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
All your life, you have heard yourself denounced; not for your faults, but for your greatest virtues. You have been hated, not for your mistakes, but for your achievements. You have been scorned for all those qualities of character which are your highest pride. You have been called selfish for the courage of acting on your own judgment and bearing sole responsibility for your own life. You have been called arrogant for your independent mind. You have been called cruel for your unyielding integrity. You have been called anti-social for the vision that made you venture upon undiscovered roads. You have been called ruthless for the strength and self-discipline of your drive to your purpose. You have been called greedy for the magnificence of your power to create wealth. You, who've expended an inconceivable flow of energy, have been called a parasite. You, who've created abundance where there had been nothing but wastelands and helpless, starving men before you, have been called a robber. You, who've kept them all alive, have been called an exploiter. You, the purest and most moral man among them, have been sneered at as a 'vulgar materialist.' Have you stopped to ask them: by what right? - by what code? - by what standard?