Pray for the future for the human race – Hope!

Wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day

North Brooklin, Maine
30 March 1973
Dear Mr. Nadeau:
As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.
Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society—things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.
Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.
(Signed, ‘E. B. White’)
E. B. White won numerous awards in his lifetime, and with good reason. Born in 1899, he was one of the greatest essayists of his time, he wrote children’s books which have gone on to become classics, such as Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web. 

He was also responsible for writing hundreds of wonderful letters.
In March of 1973, he wrote the perfectly formed reply to a Mr. Nadeau, who sought White’s opinion on what he saw as a bleak future for the human race.
(This letter, along with 124 other fascinating pieces of correspondence, can be found in the bestselling book, Letters of Note. For more info, visit Books of Note.)

The Loneliness of Childhood!

Garden at Giverny – Claude Monet 1895

French 1840-1926


If We’re All So Connected, Why are Our Kids so Lonely?

Our children are spending an increasing amount of time staring at screens. And a new study released in January found that children today are struggling with “loneliness or deep levels of unhappiness” as a result of the time they spend on the Internet. The experience of loneliness has always been a part of childhood, of course. But technology, which in some cases can connect children to others virtually, clearly also has the potential to aggravate and introduce new sources of loneliness.

Where can we go to understand the loneliness of childhood? Loneliness is a central theme of Francis Hodges Burnett’s classic, The Secret Garden. The book is a hymn to lonely children and lonely places, lost families and sparse friendships. In this most unhopeful of themes, Burnett gives children the brightest and most hopeful of alternatives, a garden, itself transformed by death and the loneliness of loss. Here is a place where the roots grow deep, and the illusions of what one is and what one has lost fade behind the real sights and scents of life allowed to flourish
Technology will be a part of most children’s lives, in useful (and useless) ways, but teaching children how to step away from their screens, and gravitate toward what can be felt and cultivated in the real world—where they might discover their own secret gardens—will reveal to them the difference between the beauty of stillness and the loneliness of isolation.

Learn to Live – Live to Learn

Russian artist and photographer Nikolai Tolsty composes ingenious photography shots with the help of paper and nature. He carefully cuts out animals’ silhouettes into a sheet of white paper and places them on top of colorful, and stunning backdrops

Russian artist and photographer Nikolai Tolsty composes ingenious photography shots with the help of paper and nature. He carefully cuts out animals’ silhouettes into a sheet of white paper and places them on top of colorful, and stunning backdrops

Three Ways to Prepare Children for Lifelong Learning

1. Ask Questions

Rather than giving answers, adults help children become lifelong learners by helping them identify questions that pique their curiosity. When we help young people make associations between what they are studying at school and the world outside of the classroom, they learn that everything in the universe is connected, that lifelong learning is an endless process.

2. Let Them Fail

Most adults know that learning occurs when we are willing to risk failure. But with today’s focus on high-stakes testing, many parents feel the need to protect their children and teens from setbacks and failure.

With caring and encouragement, adults can help young people use mistakes and failures to facilitate lifelong learning.

3. Give them Learning Experiences

Learning through experience, not just from books, is one of the best ways to give youth the skills they need for lifelong learning, living, and working in the 21st century. Particularly in the teen years, service-learning provides experiences that nurture critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and the ability to see the world as an interconnected community.

“It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.” – Albert Einstein

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” – Socrates

“We learn from failure, not from success!” – Bram Stoker

“Change is the end result of all true learning.” – Leo Buscaglia

“Learning is not child’s play; we cannot learn without pain.” – Aristotle