Monday, February 27, 2012

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

“All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts. In a justly ordered universe...individual responsibility must be absolute. A man’s weakness and strength, purity and impurity, are his own, and not another man’s; they are brought about by himself, and not by another; and they can only be altered by himself, never by another. His condition is also his own, and not another man’s. His suffering and his happiness are evolved from within. As he thinks, so he is. As he continues to think, so he remains.”

“A strong man cannot help a weaker unless that weaker is willing to be helped, and even then the weak man must become strong of himself; he must, by his own efforts, develop the strength which he admires in another. None but himself can alter his condition. It has been usual for men to think and to say, "Many men are slaves because one is an oppressor; let us hate the oppressor." Now, however, there is amongst an increasing few a tendency to reverse this judgment, and to say, "One man is an oppressor because many are slaves; let us despise the slaves."

“The truth is that oppressor and slave are co-operators in ignorance, and, while seeming to afflict each other, are in reality afflicting themselves. A perfect Knowledge perceives the action of law in the weakness of the oppressed and the misapplied power of the oppressor; a perfect Love, seeing the suffering, which both states entail, condemns neither; a perfect Compassion embraces both oppressor and oppressed. He who has conquered weakness, and has put away all selfish thoughts, belongs neither to oppressor nor oppressed. He is free.”

What Is School For?
Because we are so influenced by cultural thinking, often without even knowing it.

Because we do not challenge our assumptions, the status quo, or even ourselves enough.

And especially, because we view the church as a school instead of a family, the same problems that we have in our schools, we will have in our churches--regardless of how much we try to compartmentalize our lives.

All of life is interconnected and will affect the other parts.

The following excerpt by Seth Godin on the purpose of schools in the 20th century United States is just as applicable to the institutional church, if not more-so. 

As Robert Anthony said, "A lesson that has taken us far too long to learn is that the opposite of bravery is not cowardice, but conformity."

Godin writes,

"A hundred and fifty years ago, adults were incensed about child labor. Low-wage kids were taking jobs away from hardworking adults. Sure, there was some moral outrage about seven-year-olds losing fingers and being abused at work, but the economic rationale was paramount. Factory owners insisted that losing child workers would be catastrophic to their industries and fought hard to keep the kids at work—they said they couldn’t afford to hire adults."

"It wasn’t until 1918 that nationwide compulsory education was in place. Part of the rationale used to sell this major transformation to industrialists was the idea that educated kids would actually become more compliant and productive workers. Our current system of teaching kids to sit in straight rows and obey instructions isn’t a coincidence—it was an investment in our economic future."

"The plan: trade short-term child-labor wages for longer-term productivity by giving kids a head start in doing what they’re told. Large-scale education was not developed to motivate kids or to create scholars."

"It was invented to churn out adults who worked well within the system."