Leave a comment below & share with us what meaning you have given your life today.
As a thinker, one should only think of self-education. The education of youth by others is either an experiment, conducted on one yet unknown and unknowable, or a leveling on principle, to make the new character, whatever it may be, conform to the habits and cutoms that prevail: in both cases, therefore, something unworthy of the thinker – the work of parents and teachers, whom an audaciously honest person has called nos ennemis naturels.
One day, when in the opinion of the world one has long been educated, one discovers onself: that is where the task of the thinker begins; now the time has come to invoke his aid – not as an educator but as one who has educated himself and thus has experience.
from The Wanderer And His Shadow
Yesterday was Rememberance Day here in Canada. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month we pause for two minutes of silence to remember all those who have sacrificed themselves in times of war so that we may enjoy our freedom. From the Boar War at the turn of the 20th Century to the current conflict against ISIS in Syria & Iraq, our Armed forces have fought to uphold the principals of our country & to keep our way of life safe from tyranny & terror.
It is also the 100th anniversary of the writting & publishing of John McCræ’s famous poem In Flanders Fields:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Three incredible stanzas that powerfully capture the terror, honour & bravery of soldiers at war. The poem is recited by school children every Rememberance Day & is even used as inspiration by sports teams (most notably by the Montreal Canadians). However, I have always felt that the last three lines are the most important – especially in the context of Rememberance Day & remembering the sacrifices made by soldiers of the past & soldiers of the present. “If ye break faith with us who die//We shall not sleep, though poppies grow//In Flanders fields.” If we forget the sacrifices, bravery & the horrors of war – as well as what our brave men & women fought for our freedom is hallow. Though we wear poppies above our hearts every November, we must understand their symbolism & their significance. We cannot break faith, we cannot take freedom for granted. Lest we forget…
“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”
I am currently about half way through writing a short little book entittled “The Journey” that I hope to publish in order to get this project going. I want this book to be short, to the point & work as a first step to get Individuals interested in a community whose sole goal & raison-d’être is to help everyone lead an happier & more fulfilled life. It is the first step to achieving this goal.
LIFE IS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION
“I just need to start writing…”
That is what I told myself this morning after thinking about the many different possible ways to go about this project. So here I go.
At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.
Do you take me as a scarecrow?
Do I not yearn to fly?
Crucified and stuffed with straw, condemned to live a lie
The image of a lonely Scarecrow protecting a farmer’s field is an archetype most of us can envision instantly. There they stand, lonely & protective – yet ultimately powerless. As Captain Vulpine says in his amazing song: “condemned to live a lie”
“We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact.”
– Jean Paul Sartre
About a week or so ago I posted some Sartre quotes & promised to share my thoughts on this famous Existentialist’s words. The above quote has always sparked deep ideas in my mind. Let me expand on some of my thoughts…
We are born, creatures in this existence, with endless Possibility laid out before us. Anything & everything is Possible. All it takes is for us to decide – to Choose what we want. Yet the problem is we rarely know what we want. Sure, we are told a lot of things as we grow up & experience the world around us. Our parents, our teachers, our friends & society in general tell us all about the good life & what we should expect & want out of it. Yet do any of these things Truly equate with what we want as Individuals?
“Et bien, tuer toutes les Philosophes!”
(Well then, kill all the Philosophers!)
There was once a golden age of thought when men & women would ask those deeper & more meaningful questions. Those most important questions that seem vital to our very existence. Various discussions would follow & Individuals would share their ideas & their experiences – hoping to find Truth.
That is what it is all about in the end.