Twenty Hours in America

More than anytime in recent history, America’s destiny is not of our own choosing.

We did not seek, nor did we provoke an assault on our freedoms and our way of life.  We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with evil.

Yet the true measure of a peoples’ strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arrive.

Forty-four people were killed a couple of hours ago at Kennison State University. Three swimmers from the men’s team were killed and two others are in critical condition.

When after having heard the explosion from their practice facility, they ran into the fire to help get people out.

Ran into the fire

The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight.

They’re our students, and our teachers, and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels.

But every time we think we’ve measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and and we’re reminded that that capacity may well be limitless.

This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard, we will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars.

God bless their memory. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

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Undecideds

Good morning.

My prayers are with Ronnie Burke’s family today, I know yours are too. My prayers are with Officer Rafael Martinez and his family – they are not struggling with the loss of a child, but they are struggling with a terrible truth. My prayers are with those families, and with this one.

You know, I find myself on days like this casting about… for someone to blame. I blame the kid he stole a car. I blame the parents, why couldn’t they teach him better? I blame the cop, did he need to fire? I blame everyone I can think of and I am filled with rage.

And then I try and find compassion. Compassion for the people I blame. Compassion for the people I do not understand. Compassion. Doesn’t always work so well.

I remember as a young man listening on the radio to Dr. King in 1968, he asked of us compassion and we responded. Not necessarily because we felt it but because he… convinced us that if we could find compassion, if we could, express compassion, and if we could just pretend compassion, it would heal us, so much more than vengeance could.

And he was right, it did. But not enough.

What we’ve learned this week is that more compassion is required of us and an even greater effort is required of us. And we are all, I think, everyone of us, tired. We’re tired of understanding. We’re tired of waiting. We’re tired of trying to figure out why our children are not safe and why our efforts to make them safe seem to fail. We’re tired.

But, we must know that we have made some progress. And blame will only destroy it. Blame will breed more violence and we have had enough of that. Blame will not rid our streets of crime, and drugs, and fear and we have had enough of that. Blame will not strengthen our schools, or our families, or our workforce – blame will rob us of those things. And we have had enough of that.

And so I ask you today to dig down deep with me and find that compassion in your hearts. Because it will keep us on the road. And we will walk together, and work together. And slowly, slowly, too slowly, things will get better.

God bless you. God bless you, and God bless your children.

santos

 

Why I Hate School But Love Education by Suli Breaks

So you want to get a degree. Why? Let me tell you what society will tell you: It increases your chances of getting a job, provides you with an opportunity to be successful, your life will be a lot less stressful. Education is the key.

Now let me tell you what your parents will tell you: Make me proud. It increases your chances of getting a job, provides you with an opportunity to be successful, your life will be a lot less stressful. Education is the key.

Now let’s look at that statics. Steve Jobs – net worth, 7 billion. RIP. Richard Branson – net worth, 4.2 billion. Oprah Winfrey – net worth, 2.7 billion. Mark Zuckerberg, Henry Ford, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates, now here comes the coup de grâce. Looking at these individuals, what’s your conclusion? Neither of them, in being successful, ever graduated from a higher learning institution.

Now some of you will protest, like, you know only money is the medium by which one measures worldly success. And some of you will even have the nerve to say, “I don’t do it for the money.” So what are you studying for? To work for a charity? Need more clarity? Let’s look at the statics.

Jesus. Muhammad. Socrates. Malcolm X. Mother Teresa. Spielberg. Shakespeare. Beethoven. Jesse Owens. Muhammad Ali. Sean Carter. Michael Jeffrey Jordan. Michael Joseph Jackson. Were either of these people unsuccessful? Or… uneducated?

All I’m saying is that if there was a family tree, hard work and education would be related; but school would probably be a distant cousin. ‘Cause if education is the key then school is the lock. Because it rarely ever develops your mind to the point where it can perceive red as green and continue to go when someone else says stop.

Because as long as you follow the rules and pass the exams, you’re cool. But are you aware that examiners have a checklist, and if your answer is something outside of the box the automatic response is a cross. And then they claim that school expands your horizons and your visions. Well tell that to Malcolm X who dropped out of school and is world renowned for what he learned in a prison.

Proverbs 17:16. It does a fool no good to spend money on an education. Why? Because he has no common sense. George Bush. Need I say more? Education is about inspiring one’s mind not just filling their head.

And take this from me because I’m an “educated man” myself who only came to this realization after countless nights in the library with a can of red bull keeping me awake ’til dawn and another can in the morn’. Falling asleep in between piles of books which probably equated to the same amount I had spent on my rent.

Memorize equations, facts and dates right down to the letter. Half of which I would never remember, and half of which I would forget straight after the exam and before the start of the next semester. Asking anyone if they had notes for the last lecture.

I often found myself running to class just so I could find a spot on which I could rest my head and fall asleep without making a scene. Ironic, because that’s the only time I ever spent in university chasing my dreams. And then after nights with a dead mind I then find myself in a queue of half-awake student zombies waiting to hand in an assignment. Maybe that’s why they called it a dead-line.

And then after three years of mental suppression and frustration, my “proud mother” didn’t even turn up to my graduation.

Now I’m not saying that school is evil and there’s nothing to gain, all I’m saying is, understand your motives and reassess your aims because if you want a job working for someone else then help yourself. But then that would be a contradiction because you wouldn’t really be helping yourself, you’d be helping somebody else. There’s a saying which says, “If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help build theirs.”

Redefine how you view education, understand its true meaning. Education is not just about regurgitating facts from a book on someone else’s opinion on a subject to pass an exam. Look at it. Picasso was educated in creating art. Shakespeare was educated in the art of all that was written. Colonel Harland Sanders was educated in the art of creating Kentucky fried chicken.

I once saw David Beckham take a free kick. I watched as the side of his Adidas sponsored boot hit the painted leather of the ball at an angle which caused it to travel towards the skies as though it was destined for the heavens. And then as it reached the peak of its momentum, as though it changed its mind, it switched directions.

I watched as the goal keeper froze, as though reciting to himself the law of physics and as though his brain was negotiating with his eyes that it was indeed witnessing the spectacle of the leather swan that was swooping towards it, and then reacting. But only a fraction of a millisecond too late. And before the net of the goal embraced the FIFA sponsored ball that was the prodigal son returning home, and the country that I live in erupted into cheers, I looked at the play and thought… Damn.

Looking at David Beckham, there’s more than one way to be an educated man.

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