I’m back…

“The only constant in life is change.”  – Heraclitus 

In all the time since my last post, there have been personal changes and changes throughout the world. Many of them are troubling. I’ve no doubt that each of you has concerns regarding the state of affairs both where you live and the world at large. 

Always a reader, I often turn to books and the comfort they give. There is a world of wisdom between the covers, questions to ponder and perhaps even shifts in our way of thinking and/or living. 

“If you haven’t changed your mind lately how can you be sure you still have one?”    –  Peace Resource Project ( https://www.peaceproject.com/)

For now, this blog will share quotes, even if I don’t agree with all of them. There may be a few musings, rants and possibly a poem or two… and I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings that these words stir if indeed they do.   Perhaps you will take a moment and share one of your own favorites? At times there may be a focus on a particular author. There are other times when two, three or even more will join it.  On his excellent blog, Charles French will set up a mythical table of authors that one might choose to encounter. Find Charles here: https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/  I do hope he will forgive me for borrowing from that delicious idea and creating a Café setting where the invited allow us to sit in and listen, ask questions and perhaps simply reflect on their thoughts.  We will, of course, have our excellent French wine on the table. 

It can be wonderful to read from the great philosophers throughout time and acknowledge some shared beliefs. Truth be told, I find I get much more out of the ones I don’t agree with as it makes me dig deeper into my beliefs, challenges me and question myself. I can’t believe anything that I haven’t thought through exhaustively.  Okay, the caveat here is that intuition can have its way as well but here we are having an Empath’s moment…

“It is always advisable to perceive clearly our ignorance.” – Charles Darwin

Thank you to all who chose to join me on this journey. Let us see what we can discover?

Bisous,

Lea

 

Emma Lazarus: She spins within her tomb

 

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

“The woman power of this nation can be the power which makes us whole and heals the rotten community now so shattered by war and poverty and racism. I have great faith in the power of women who will dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to the task of remaking our society.” – Coretta Scott King

 

“I think that the roots of racism have always been economic, and I think people are desperate and scared. And when you’re desperate and scared you scapegoat people. It exacerbates latent tendencies toward – well, toward racism or homophobia or anti-Semitism.” – Henry Louis Gates    

 

The New Colossus

 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles, From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breath free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

                            – Emma Lazarus

 

Imagine the poem she would have written had she foreseen the cages crammed with humanity seeking asylum. Her vision of America and her words do not reflect its reality. The golden door has been slammed shut in the faces of the homeless, tempest-tost and many others. Yet the welcome mat is out for criminals who can afford to line the pockets of the government. Perhaps some of you will be inspired to write what might be more realistic given the current climate in America? 

 

Bisous,

Léa

Wednesday’s Words to Ponder

“People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.”     – Eric Hoffer  

“ It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak.”                    – Eric Hoffer

 

Eric Hoffer – 25 July, 1902 – 21 May, 1983

Born in New York City to immigrant parents (Alsace) he authored ten books. His first book, The True Beliver, was recognized as a classic and received critical acclaim from Scholars and laymen alike. In the author’s own opinion his finest work was, The Ordeal of Change. Shortly before his death, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Regan. An early reader, he read voraciously in both English and German.

In 1920, after the death of his father, he departed New York for Los Angeles by bus. With three hundred dollars to his name, he spent the next decade living on L.A.’s skid row. Taking any job that came his way he tried selling, oranges, door to door. Alas, he discovered he was a natural and at the end of his first day, dismayed by his success.  

In the thirties, he began following the migrants harvesting crops across California. During a sojourn in the hopes of discovering gold he found himself snowed through the winter. He made great use of that time when he discovered the essays of Michel de Montaigne which would have a profound effect on his perspective.

During the 1940’s he arrived in San Francisco and after being rejected by the military for war duty, he took to working as a longshoreman. A voracious reader since childhood, he continued this passion and began to write his stories. He stayed working on the docks until retirement at age 65.

In 1970 he endowed the Lili Fabilli and Eric Hoffer Laconic Essay Prize for students, faculty and staff at the University of California, Berkeley.

Bisous,

Léa

Wednesday’s words to ponder…

“Any person of honor chooses rather to lose his honor than to lose his conscience.”  – Michel de Montaigne  

“The public weal requires that men should betray, and lie, and massacre; let us leave this commission to men who are more obedient and more supple.”                      – Michel de Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne was an influential and key figure of the French Renaissance. The father of modern skepticism is best known for his essays which are among the best ever composed. Furthermore, it is he who is credited with establishing the essay as a recognized genre in literature and was the first to use the word essay when speaking of his writings. Among the most famous writers influenced by the essays of Montaigne were Isaac Asmiov, René Decartes and William Shakespeare.

Bisous,

Léa

The Abstract Principle of Equality

e-Tinkerbell

It was 1871 when Swiss philosopher Henry Frèderic Amiel  pondered on the nature of democracy in his “Journal Intime”. It is impressive how Amiel in few clear words nails effectively the problems implied by a representation where one is worth one despite merit, experience, education etc. and foresees the processes that will shape the world as we know it. Of course, he could not predict how the impact of modern means of communications would have made the development of those processes more dangerous and faster with the consequences we know worldwide, however, his intuition has become astonishingly and bitterly true.

“The masses will always be below the average. Besides, the age of majority will be lowered, the barriers of sex will be swept away, and democracy will finally make itself absurd by handing over the decision of all that is greatest to all that is most incapable. Such…

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