For many years I have been asking myself why intelligent children act unintelligently at school. The simple answer is, Because they're scared. I used to suspect that children's defeatism had something to do with their bad work in school, but I thought I could clear it away with hearty cries of Onward! You can do it! What I now see for the first time is the mechanism by which fear destroys intelligence, the way it affects a child's whole way of looking at, thinking about and dealing with life. So we have two problems, not one: to stop children from being afraid and then to break them of the bad thinking habits into which their fears have driven them.What is most surprising of all is how much fear there is in school. Why is so little said about it. Perhaps most people do not recognize fear in children when they see it. They can read the grossest signs of fear; they know what the trouble is when a child clings howling to his mother; but the subtler signs of fear escaping them. It is these signs, in children's faces, voices and gestures, in their movements and ways of working, that tell me plainly that most children in school are scared most of the time, many of them very scared. Like good soldiers, they control their fears, live with them and adjust themselves to them. But the trouble is and here is a vital difference between school and war, that the adjustments children make to their fears are almost wholly bad, destructive of their intelligence and capacity. The scared fighter may be the best fighter, but the scared learner is always a poor learner.
John Holt
There are some who are still weak in faith, who ought to be instructed and who would gladly believe as we do. But their ignorance prevents them...we must bear patiently with these people and not use our liberty; since it brings to peril or harm to body or soul...but if we use our liberty unnecessarily and deliberately cause offense to our neighbor, we drive away the very one who in time would come to our faith. Thus St. Paul circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3) because simple minded Jews had taken offense; he thought: what harm can it do, since they are offended because of ignorance? But when, in Antioch, they insisted that he out and must circumcise Titus (Gal. 2:3) Paul withstood them all and to spite them refused to have Titus circumcised... He did the same when St. Peter...it happened in this way: when Peter was with the Gentiles he ate pork and sausages with them, but when the Jews came in, he abstained from this food and did not eat as he did before. Then the Gentiles who had become Christians though: Alas! we, too, must be like the Jews, eat no pork and live according to the law of Moses. But when Paul learned that they were acting to the injury of evangelical freedom, he reproved Peter publicly and read him an apostolic lecture, saying: If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? (Gal. 2:14). Thus we, too, should order our lives and use our liberty at the proper time, so that Christian liberty may suffer no injury and no offense be given to our weak brothers and sisters who are still without the knowledge of this liberty.
Martin Luther
Though I am sometimes reluctant to admit it, there really is something 'timeless' in the Tyndale/King James synthesis. For generations, it provided a common stock of references and allusions, rivalled only by Shakespeare in this respect. It resounded in the minds and memories of literate people, as well as of those who acquired it only by listening. From the stricken beach of Dunkirk in 1940, faced with a devil’s choice between annihilation and surrender, a British officer sent a cable back home. It contained the three words 'but if not…' All of those who received it were at once aware of what it signified. In the Book of Daniel, the Babylonian tyrant Nebuchadnezzar tells the three Jewish heretics Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that, if they refuse to bow to his sacred idol, they will be flung into a 'burning fiery furnace.' They made him an answer: 'If it be so, our god whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and he will deliver us out of thy hand, o King. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.' A culture that does not possess this common store of image and allegory will be a perilously thin one. To seek restlessly to update it or make it 'relevant' is to miss the point, like yearning for a hip-hop Shakespeare. 'Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward,' says the Book of Job. Want to try to improve that for Twitter?
Christopher Hitchens
Let there be light! Abba! Father, let there be light!In our dark moments we cry; let there be light!Light to show us the way; light to shine before all others!Light to see through darkness; light to change all staleness!Let there be light! Abba! Father, we cry, let there be light!Let there be light! Abba! Father, let there be light!The future is always truly uncertain; let there be light!Light to shine on the snares of darkness; light to take steps with calmness!Light for us to see our paths well; light for us to understand your ways well!Let there be light! Abba! Father, we cry, let there be light!Let there be light! Abba! Father, let there be light!We do not know who is coming in the darkness; let there be light!Light to blindfold the attacker; light to change the sinner!Light to give us power; light to make all things better!Let there be light! Abba! Father, we cry, let there be light!Let there be light! Abba! Father, let there be light!We need freedom to do your work; let there be light!Light to free us from bondage; light to escape attackers’ carnage!Light to lead us into your sonship; Light to empower our sonship!Let there be light! Abba! Father, we cry, let there be light!Let there be light! Abba Father, let there be light!We need your light to know the truth; let there be light!Light to enlighten our understanding; light to overcome misunderstanding!Light to withstand strongholds; light to empower our goals!Let there be light! Abba! Father, we cry, let there be light!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah