Tag: 2020 March Quote of the Day 

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March was another full month of Quote of the Day posts, with many making the Main Feed. Help Ricochet by sharing your favorite quote on the Quote of the Day April Signup Sheet. We make it easy to “Start a Conversation” by including tips for finding great quotes. Don’t be an April Fool and sign […]

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Quote of the Day: Plague Year

 

It was about the beginning of September, 1664, that I, among the rest of my neighbours, heard in ordinary discourse that the plague was returned again in Holland; for it had been very violent there, and particularly at Amsterdam and Rotterdam, in the year 1663, whither, they say, it was brought, some said from Italy, others from the Levant, among some goods which were brought home by their Turkey fleet; others said it was brought from Candia; others from Cyprus. It mattered not from whence it came; but all agreed it was come into Holland again.

We had no such thing as printed newspapers in those days to spread rumours and reports of things, and to improve them by the invention of men, as I have lived to see practised since. But such things as these were gathered from the letters of merchants and others who corresponded abroad, and from them was handed about by word of mouth only; so that things did not spread instantly over the whole nation, as they do now. But it seems that the Government had a true account of it, and several councils were held about ways to prevent its coming over; but all was kept very private. — Defoe, Daniel. A Journal of the Plague Year 

QOTD: Every Instant of Every Life

 

The “Lord’s Prayer” is not to be prayed with resignation: “Father, what will happen will happen,” or “Since it’s an order, I’ll obey”–as though we were being called to attention by a spiritual commander-in-chief. Such an attitude would indicate that “the servant does not know what the master is doing” (John 15:15), which is not at all the case. He who has given up his life guides us along his path, making us acquainted with God’s will so that we do it freely. And the will of God is that each of us contributes to the salvation of mankind. Once we know this, a prodigious perspective opens up before us, affecting both our prayers and daily existence.

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I am a safety professional. I am familiar with plenty of cases where people did not follow the rules and people ended up dead. Trevor Kletz has the highly readable What Went Wrong? and Still Going Wrong – find them in your library for some stories that will raise the hair on your neck. Alternatively, […]

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QOTD: Further Language from Truthful James

 

I have taken life-long satisfaction in the writings of L. M. Montgomery, a Canadian author most well known for Anne of Green Gables. Re-reading one of her collections of short stories the other day (Chronicles of Avonlea*), I came across the following quote:

Do I sleep, do I dream, do I wonder and doubt?
Is things what they seem, or is visions about?

Quote of the Day: Amazing Grace

 

During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world were discussing whether any one belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? Other religions had different versions of gods appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate went on for some time until C. S. Lewis wandered into the room. “What’s the rumpus about?” he asked, and heard in reply that his colleagues were discussing Christianity’s unique contribution among world religions. In his forthright manner Lewis responded, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.”–From Christianity Today

This post isn’t a theological disquisition on grace, and whether it is solely dispositive of, or required for, one’s excellent and non-horribly-thermal, prospects in the afterlife. Or about whether or not “works” count even more than faith or grace, or if they count as much, or if they count not at all. I have neither the scholarly chops, nor the temerity to expound on those subjects, beyond a rather insistent gut hunch that, in accepting Christ as my savior, I’m bound to give His precepts on how to live a Christian life at least a pretty good college try, and that many of those precepts involve living a certain way, and doing certain things (and not doing certain other things). He may not be all about the old quid pro quo, but I guess I am, somewhat anyway, and I do my very imperfect best from day-to-day to try to hold up my end of the deal. He may have infinite patience, but I have deeply-ingrained ideas about things like fairness, and I just don’t think it’s right or proper to try His patience too far.

This post is about a time in my life when, I believe, I saw God’s grace in action. It’s a story whose roots go back almost forty years:

Quote of the Day: The Closing of the American Mind

 

“In looking at [a teen-ager leaving home for the first time] we are forced to reflect on what he should learn if he is to be called educated; we must speculate on what the human potential to be fulfilled is. In the specialties we can avoid such speculation, and the avoidance of them is one of specialization’s charms. But here it is a simple duty. What are we to teach this person? The answer may not be evident, but to attempt to answer the question is already to philosophize and to begin to educate….

“The University has to stand for something. The practical effects of unwillingness to think positively about the contents of a liberal education are, on the one hand, to ensure that all the vulgarities of the world outside the university will flourish within it, and, on the other, to impose a much harsher and more illiberal necessity on the student– the one given by the imperial and imperious demands of the specialized disciplines unfiltered by unifying thought….

Quote of the Day: Transcending our Illusions

 

“We suffer primarily not from our vices or our weaknesses, but from our illusions. We are haunted, not by reality, but by those images we have put in their place.” — Daniel Boorstin

Trying to get an honest perspective on our lives can be a most difficult venture. You’ll notice that I didn’t call for our seeing reality clearly; every single person’s reality is unique to himself/herself. In fact, I’d argue that there is no objective reality, at least not one that we can perceive and agree upon.

Instead of understanding that elusive reality, we could be working to make the world a better place; but we spend a great deal of our time focused inward, trying to perfect ourselves, freeing ourselves from our “vices or our weaknesses.” Frankly, my vices are fairly harmless; a glass of wine with dinner or a chocolate chip cookie afterward. And I rarely focus on my weaknesses (at least that I’m aware of), because they are just as innocuous at this point in my life.

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“Help, Help I’m being oppressed!”  Peasant, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I had not heard the word oppression before watching this hilarious British comedy.  However, I knew one thing: I wanted to oppress the {expletive} out of that peasant.  Every time I heard the word oppression, oppress, or oppressor, it was used by whiny […]

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Programmers are isolated. They sit in their cubicle; they don’t think about the larger picture. To my mind, a programmer is not an engineer, because an engineer is somebody who starts with a social problem that an organization or a society has and says, “OK, here’s this problem that we have- how can we solve […]

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Quote of the Day: The Ballad of Davy Crockett

 

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
Greenest state in the land of the free
Raised in the woods so he knew ev’ry tree
Kilt him a ba’ar when he was only three
Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier!

My family first descended on the United States on October 29, 1963, when we arrived at Boston’s Logan Airport and settled for a year in a cramped second-story apartment in Brookline, MA.

I was in the fourth grade and attended Edward Devotion Elementary School, JFK’s alma mater. When Kennedy was shot, just three weeks after we arrived, the grief was palpable. Dad was a Fellow at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs, and the entire area came to a standstill.

Quote of the Day: The Outsider

 

“Because our politics has always rewarded those who can successfully claim the mantle of the outsider—now even more than usual—the temptation to approach our institutions antagonistically, or to avoid them altogether, has grown very strong. When we look for solutions, we tend to look not to institutions but to individuals, movements, ideals, or maverick outsiders.” — Yuval Levin, A Time to Build

The preference for the “outsider” is more dominant than ever: that’s probably the reason Donald Trump was elected. He was not only an outsider to the federal government but an outsider to any kind of government. And people were looking for a person who had no ties to government programs or agendas, and who was prepared to stir up the swamp; in many ways, that’s just what Donald Trump promised and what he has done.

The Democrats, on the other hand, seem determined to vote for a different kind of “outsider”: Bernie Sanders, who has been in the Senate seemingly forever, but has never supported a democratic republic; he is a self-identified socialist. He has always championed communism, socialism, countries like Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela. In spite of everything that this country has made available to him, he fights for an imaginary “little guy,” a supposedly impoverished middle class, and is blind to the irony of his condemnation of billionaires, when he lives in a mansion and has millions himself.

Quote of the Day: Credibility and the Wolf

 

“A lot of the fear comes directly from the loss of trust in institutions. The press, WHO, the official authorities are no longer implicitly believed by everyone. This is the cost of deceit. When you finally tell the truth your cred is gone.” – Richard Fernandez

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“The changing character of the native population, brought about through unremarked pressures on porous borders; the creation of an increasingly unwieldy and rigid bureaucracy, whose own survival becomes its overriding goal; the despising of the military and the avoidance of its service by established families, while its offices present unprecedented opportunity for marginal men to […]

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The Quote of the Day is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. You don’t have to be intelligent, pithy, or eloquent yourself. You can share a written passage that you find interesting, or even something from a favorite movie. You can present the naked quote, or add your thoughts on how it applies […]

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