Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A "Holy of Holies"

All those who are intensely interested in education and children need a "Holy of Holies" to where they can retreat when all around them is falling apart. This place allows a person to remain calm in the face of storms. Knowing one has done the best he can at the moment gives comfort while leaving solutions to problems and results of one's efforts up to God. Even if all one's work has turned to ashes, he is able to say, "So let it be. I will build again."

One example of someone who had to build again was Thomas Carlyle, a 19th century Scot essayist. He shared his first draft of his history of the French Revolution with John Stuart Mill. The latter accidentally let his housemaid use the papers to kindle a fire. Carlyle had to reproduce the book from scratch.

Another example is Ernest Hemingway in 1922. Hemingway's first wife, Hadley, was traveling by train to Switzerland carrying a suitcase containing all that Ernest had written up to that point. The case was stolen. Legend has it that when Ernest started writing again, his writing was even better and made him into the author whose works we now cherish.

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