Education and a nation’s destiny
Do you believe a nation’s destiny is in its learning and amount of information it acquires — or in its character?
Recently, a special book (Leaves of Gold — copyright 1938 — given to me by my parents at 16 because mother said everyone should have a copy of this book) caught my attention while dusting my book shelf. Opening the book I had never taken time to read and settling in the middle of my floor with book in lap and joy in heart … I read!
An hour passed with me still reading the gift I had never opened and enjoyed. I thought of all the gifts in God’s big storehouse in Heaven that are unopened simply because His children overlook divine opportunities and miss blessings here. Then, I thought of gifts from God we take for granted or do not open to enjoy. I bowed my head and had a little talk with my parents and my Savior, telling them thank you for treasures of time, close relationships, and great gifts I have been blessed with and haven’t always appreciated or embraced with gratitude.
Then, this story stirred as did love for my Lord and loved ones. I confessed, “Mother, this story is for you. If Jesus meets you and daddy on Heaven’s street of gold today, I hope He tells you I’m reading and writing a story from Leaves of Gold. I remember not being very excited about this gift when you gave it to me; yet, 50 years later I am reading and enjoying this treasure. I’m writing about education and a nation’s destiny.
Writing love stories that encourage readers to cherish time with the Lord and loved ones is a great gift God gave in 2006. I’m so thankful I opened it, have been blessed to write 670 good news stories, and look forward to sharing many more. Thank you for my gifts Mother, Daddy, and God. I love you.
Section XI of my book focuses on education which is my cup of tea. Hopefully, sharing these writings will cause us all to ponder where we are as a nation and pray for education and school systems from sea to shining sea.
“A Nation’s Destiny by Talley. A nation’s destiny is not in its learning or the amount of information it acquires — it’s in its character. The heart of culture is the culture of the heart. The only way to form character is through religion. Find me another way and I’ll accept it. The only system of education worthy of the name of system, much less education, is that one which literally and actually inculcates the eternal truth of morality, not only by teaching, but by hour-by-hour example. I do not speak as a politician. I am speaking as an expert. I am not a theorist. The reason I dare speak is that every day, every hour, I am face to face with the real thing here, with the facts.”
Example by John Ruskin. Education does not mean teaching people what they do not know. It means teaching them to behave as they do not behave. It is not teaching the youth the shapes of letters and the tricks of numbers, and then leaving them to turn their arithmetic to roguery, and their literature to lust. It means, on the contrary, training them into the perfect exercise and kingly continence of their bodies and souls. It is a painful, continual and difficult work to be done by kindness, by watching, by warning, by precept, and by praise, but above all — by example!
Who is Educated? — Unknown Author — a professor in Chicago gave the following test to his students and told them they were not really educated unless they could answer yes to all the questions. Has your education given you sympathy with all good causes and made you espouse them? Has it made you public spirited? Has it made you a brother to the weak? Have you learned how to make friends and to keep them? Do you know what it is to be a friend yourself? Can you look an honest man or a pure woman straight in the eye? Do you see anything to love in a little child? Will a lonely dog follow you down the street? Can you be high minded and happy in the meaner drudgeries of life? Are you good for anything to yourself? Can you look out on the world and see anything but dollars and cents? Can you look into the sky at night and see beyond the stars? Can your soul claim relationship with the Creator?
Insurance by George Washington — Cultivate literature and useful knowledge, for the purpose of qualifying the rising generation for patrons of good government, virtue and happiness.
Wisdom by Pope — A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
Read by Thoreau — Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.
Influence by F.S. Groner — James Garfield said that a log with a student on one end and his teacher on the other end was his ideal college. The point in it all is that personal contact and direct interest in the individual student by an instructor of lofty character is the main thing in any institution of learning.
Education by Aristotle — All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends upon the education of the youth.
Educate with Religion by Duke Wellington — Educate men without religion and you make of them but clever devils.
School Dedication by Scott — Let us now with earnest hearts and with exalted faith and hope solemnly consecrate this building to its high and holy purpose … May the students find here every condition necessary to a true and enlightened education. Especially, may their teachers be examples of excellence in scholarship and character, seekers after goodness and truth, lovers of children, enthusiasts and adepts in the finest of all arts, the inspiration of the souls.
May the rooms be pervaded with an atmosphere of mental and moral life and may no child pass from this school to a higher grade or outer world without having been made more intelligent, more thoughtful, more courageous, more virtuous, and in every way more capable of wise and just, of useful and noble living. To this end, may the blessing of God by upon child and parent, upon pupil and teacher, upon principal and superintendent and upon everyone whose influence will in any degree affect the work of education as it shall be conducted within these walls.”
The above quotes and thoughts on education were written over 80 years ago, as the copyright of Leaves of Gold is 1938! Education and teaching as a calling and career are near and dear to my heart, as they surely are to all reading this story. What quotes and thoughts on education would we read in a Leaves of Gold with a copyright date of 2019?
In closing, ponder on our nation’s destiny, on character, on education, on standing for prayer to be put back in schools, and on all Americans following The Golden Rule!
Becky Spell Vann is the owner/operator of Tim’s Gift Love Ministry.