Thursday, June 21, 2012

Prayer for Serenity through the Change

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Purpose of History

"We ought not to look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past error, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience."--George Washington

Thursday, June 14, 2012

On Genius

The labours of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind.--Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, 50.

. . . though that advantage may sometimes be found in learning from their mistakes (as was the case with Frankenstein).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Moral Decline in History

"History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline."--General Douglas McArthur

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Boring and Exciting--Synonyms?

While talking to a friend recently (who will remain unnamed), I was just thinking about what makes people exciting.  It's not being able to change the world.  It's not being President of the United States or running some high-powered attorney firm.  It's doing the small things right that lead to the big things.  The things that really change a nation aren't always the things that stand out.  They're little things--like being dedicated to God, and to family, and to hard work.

The little things that are a part of good character and good relationships are also the building blocks of a strong church, a strong nation, and a better world.  Sometimes things that look boring on the surface are actually the most exciting in the long room.  It is possible to being both boring and exciting, so I am working to compile a list of some personal characteristics that are more advantageous than we might first think.  Please add your own ideas.

#1: Being willing to work hard until finishing a job rather than being sidetracked by the next shiny plan that comes along is valuable because it makes success achievable.

#2: Taking the responsibility of learning and growing for oneself rather than just expecting maturity to fall in one's lap is important because it speeds progress toward any charted goal.

#3: Learning how to really sacrifice for others that are close by rather than giving only when it is convenient and fun or only when it makes us look better to those outside our little circle enables us to make a difference locally as well as in countries around the world.

#4: Listening attentively is a skill much prized because it creates an environment suitable for growth.

#5: Being willing to sincerely apologize and quickly change when wrong removes many obstacles from the path to progress.

Don't worry if you feel boring or too normal because you do not have the noticeable talent of some others in your acquaintance.  Take responsibility.  Work hard.  Make small changes.  Some of the things that are not so glitzy at first--the things that take a lot of hard work rather than a little bit of talent--are the really important things that make the future look bright.  Maybe boring and exciting are synonyms after all.

See.  Boring things can be exciting!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Learning from History

"Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?"--Voltaire

Let each of us resolve to be "[one] so wise."