Friday, February 25, 2005

The unlikely education one finds when stumbling upon quotes

Was reading last night and stumbled upon this quote by Horace Mann, “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” The sentence led to pleasant thoughts of my father and all the many victories he had won for humanity – considering the belief that we are put on this earth to help others. I was enjoying the different memories of gestures I’ve witnessed from my father, feeling somewhat content by the thoughts and very much proud of him. But then I got to wondering who the heck Horace Mann was, which might seem ignorant of me if you know, but I did not. So be it. Turns out Mr. Mann was a pretty generous guy with his victories for humanity. He’s the literal father of the public education system, and successfully advocated that libraries be free to the public. In short, Mann believed that we can improve ourselves, and he dedicated his life to establishing free, public, non-sectarian education for every man and woman. He successfully argued that a country’s economic wealth would increase through an educated public. Quite the visionary - this was the early-1800s. Knowing how very important education and learning were to my father, I feel a certain swelled satisfaction and pride that a quote from Horace Mann would remind me of my own Dad. And let me tell you, whether I knew who he was or not, I am certain that my father knew exactly who Horace Mann was.

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