“…We can tell our children that school is important until we’re blue in the face, they’re not stupid. They see the loudest applause is for the kids on the field. They know teachers are paid poorly and don’t drive fancy cars. They know people plan Super Bowl parties but mock the National Spelling Bee. In other words, they see the hypocrisy, and we can’t expect society to correct itself. If we want to have any lasting influence on the way our kids approach education — the way future generations approach education — then we have to grab our pom-poms and paint our faces and celebrate intellectual curiosity with the same vigor we do their athletic achievements.”—Why I’m raising my son to be a nerd - CNN.com (via lavvocato)
“[Rap] expresses the desire of young black people to reclaim their history, reactivate forms of black radicalism, and contest the powers of despair and economic depression that presently besiege the black community. Besides being the most powerful form of black musical expression today, rap projects a style of self into the world that generates forms of cultural resistance and transforms the ugly terrain of ghetto existence into a searing portrait of life as it must be lived by millions of voiceless people…it should be promoted as a worthy forms of artistic expression and cultural projections and an enabling source of black juvenile and communal solidarity.”—
Michael Eric Dyson.
…someone should tell that to Soulja Boy, Gucci Mane and the like. Just sayin’…
“Charity is no substitute for justice. If we never challenge a social order that allows some to accumulate wealth—even if they decide to help the less fortunate—while others are short-changed, then even acts of kindness end up supporting unjust arrangements. We must never ignore the injustices that make charity necessary, or the inequalities that make it possible.”—Michael Eric Dyson (via krystallizashun)
“There are enabling insights in poststructuralism that to me are very important… But if political theory is to go to school with the poets and the musicians, as it ought to, it means then that it has to put a premium on forms of critical intelligence and creative imagination that go beyond simply being parasitic on the host of the humanist tradition. It needs to go beyond skepticism. In the end you’ve got to be constructive. You’ve got to be creative. You’ve got to not just pull the rug from under prevailing paradigms. You’ve got to generate new paradigms based on the ones that came before.”—Cornel West (via whoisrobdavis)
“The proper method for hastening the decay of error, is not, by brute force, or by regulation which is one of the classes of force, to endeavour to reduce men to intellectual uniformity; but on the contrary by teaching every man to think for himself.”—William Godwin - Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793)
You know, there is an old Native American legend that goes something like this:
An old Cherokee told his grandson about a legendary battle that goes on inside all the people of the earth. He said, “Grandson, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. And they battle with each other all the time.” The grandson thought about it for a minute, and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”
Now this is an incredibly poignant legend, I think, because it unpacks human nature. First of all, it recognizes, and validates, the fact that good and evil exist in humanity. The two wolves the grandfather speaks of to his grandson, embody, or literarily reify, the concepts of ‘good’ and ‘evil’. One wolf is evil, and the other good. As we grow, and develop, we wax ever aware that ‘good’ and truth are in the world; as well as ‘evil’ and lies. And while the theme of living a good life, or at least one that an individual chooses to live, is salient, one that I think springs forth pertains to romantic relationships.
What I mean here is that when two people are engaged in a relationship, something of the same ilk can be said for them. Within them, possibly, are two baby wolves: the good and evil wolves’ children. Perhaps. Bear with me.
So in the relationship, there are the two individuals. Those two, in keeping with the flow of the legend, have two wolves within them right? Which are? Good and Evil. Good guess. Then, I submit to you, there are two little wolves, which are love and/or commitment, and temptation/lust/dishonesty. These wolves are the offspring of good and evil wolves, respectively. So when in a relationship there is temptation everywhere. There is always the potential for either partner to hurt the other either by cheating, or lying, or emotionally/physically abusing the other. There are many ways partners can hurt each other. But I digress. I aim simply to speak on the issues of cheating and trust; so back to those wolves. We have the Trust/commitment/ love baby wolf, and the Lustful/Dishonest/lying baby wolf. My thing is, love is a gamble. It is essentially giving someone else permission to hurt you; to potentially crush your heart and the bond you both have – but it’s trusting them not to. Love will forever remain the product of the work of two disciplined, compassionate, forgiving, and patient custodians; and those who cannot summon these qualities will endure an amazing struggle in pursuit of it.
What I really mean to say is: just like the impulses of good and evil which we must temper and guide within ourselves, when in love, as far as fidelity goes, there are temptations and other factors to resist to sustain and preserve the love and bond between two partners. If we feed the wolf of lust and dishonesty and temptation we should expect it vanquish the better nature of ourselves - or the good wolf of trust, commitment and love. So when we really love, and mean it, we are saying that of all that which is tempting - which may arouse lustful passion and thereby deceit - we will discipline and deny ourselves those things for the preservation and sustaining of a bond I hold near and dear to my heart. We say that I will feed the wolf of goodness and honor and love, not the one of evil and temptation. It’s tough to navigate and figure out, I’m sure, but this is us; good and bad are out there, but it’s on the inside where, in our hearts and minds, we have to resolutely take our stand as to which wolf we will feed; which person we will be. But be warned; upon making that choice, the toughest challenge ensues: living it.
Saturday, June 04, 2011 // Spiritual Maturity is for Ministry by Rick Warren
Your attitude must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life. Matthew 20:28 (LB)
We are commanded to serve God. Jesus was very clear: “Your attitude must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life” (Matthew 20:28 LB).
For Christians, service is not something to be tacked onto our schedules if we can spare the time. It is the heart of the Christian life. Jesus came “to serve” and “to give”—and those two verbs should define your life on earth, too.
Jesus taught that spiritual maturity is never an end in itself. Maturity is for ministry! We grow up in order to give out. It is not enough to keep learning more and more. We must act on what we know and practice what we claim to believe. Study without service leads to spiritual stagnation.
The last thing many believers need is to go to another Bible study. They already know far more than they are putting into practice. They need to exercise their spiritual muscles by serving others.
Serving is the opposite of our natural inclination. Most of the time we’re more interested in “serve us” than service. But, as we mature in Christ, the focus of our lives should increasingly shift to living a life of service. The mature follower of Jesus stops asking, “Who’s going to meet my needs?” and starts asking, “Whose needs can I meet?”