The Importance Of Ceremony and Memorial Day


This is a response to #the one-word prompt “Ceremony” by “The Daily Post.”

Earlier today (well yesterday), I went to a local #memorial #ceremony honoring all military servicemen #and women who gave their lives for this country, the United Staes and freedoms we enjoy in it. As well as the families and loved ones #of those who made said sacrifice. It was a very touching and moving ceremony; though just one of many taking place across the county today. Some with a little more prompt & circumstance than others, some with less, but all with profound meaning behind them.

There are times when ceremonies can get a little long winded and still, but that does not take away the #importance of having a ceremony service for essential things/events.  That is to pass down and remember to future generations. Ceremonies are times of reflection and contemplation. So too with ceremonies on Memorial #Day, and Memorial Day its self.

Memorial Day is not just a day to remember the sacrifice of those who died defending the freedoms we enjoy in this great nation, it is a day to honor them by celebrating their lives, sharing memories of them with others; no different than at funerals. This also helps with those who suffer in silence every day the loss of those great men and women we honor today. To all who served in the military of the United States and made the supreme sacrifice; we salute you!

The Importance of Mentors


This is a response to #the one-word prompt “Mentor” by “The Daily Post.”

Who were your #mentors in life? Who are your mentors? Have you or are you currently being a mentor to someone? Throughout our lives, we all have had and/or will have mentors to help us along the way. Those special, important few that stand out in our lives  above all others we know and will come to know in our lives as having a very large impact in the direction we take on the “road #of life.”

Mentors offer to us, individuals, to look up to and encourage us in our lives and our pursuits. They are there to give advice, to point out our gifts and faults and to help us correct our faults and improve on and grow our gifts. While mentors can and often are family members and one’s parents, usually when we talk of who our mentors in life have been/are, we are talking of those who we have met in our lives outside of family relations. Teachers, college professors, and coaches being among some of the most common mentors one will have in life.

Having a mentor/s in life can be and is very helpful in growing and advancing in life, but so too is being a mentor to someone. Not only are you helping out someone as you were helped out in your life journey but the relationship between mentor and mentoree is not a one-way street. It is very much two-way with each one giving and receiving. The mentor can learn from his/her mentoree just as much if not more as the mentoree gets from the mentor.

I know who most of my mentors have been so far in my life (a couple previous college professors, and friends from church). I also know of some who while did not really mentor me pre say did give me great advice and/or insight at one time that played a big part in my life.

I am extremely grateful to have had them in my life and to have learned from them. I have not really been a mentor my self as far as I know per say, but have given advice and have been there for others in the past (which is what a mentor does). I look forward to the day when I do become a “fulltime” mentor to someone where I can help out as I have been so far in life.

So who are your mentors in life and have you been a mentor yourself yet? Please do share your thoughts and viewpoints on the subject. All are welcomed and wanted. 

The Importance of having a Love of Literature


But #the Cyclops is also one #of the many examples, in the Odyssey, of people who are sub- political, and that is the first thing we are meant to notice about the island. For Odysseus reckons up the place with the eye of #a landsman and a leader. The Cyclopes have excellent bottom land for growing grain; the fields lie overrun with weeds. The Cyclopes have wild grapes growing everywhere; they do nothing with them. They have a harbor for ships; they do no sailing. They herd, and that is all. They have no marketplace. They have no assemblies. Each Cyclopes is the despot over his wife and offspring, and every family ignores its neighbors. –Anthony Esolen, “Out of the Ashes Rebuilding American Culture” 

The quote above by Anthony in his book is in the context of the #importance of the “Polis” or political place and the importance that Ancient Greeks put into it and how it is very important to the United States historically. His going back to and using the Odyssey to make his argument is both very informative and beautifully well done. In the end, Anthony’s arguments not only make the case for the usefulness of the “Polis or political life” to civilization and Western and American in particular, but it also indirectly makes the case for why reading and studying great #literature and the “classics” is so important to humans and human civilization.

As we see from the quote above great literature is not just about telling a great exciting story about heroes and monsters and such. It is about life and how to live and get along with fellow human beings. Great literature is about offering up lessons on life in new creative ways that the attended audience will pick up and listen to. It is also about answering the “great questions” of human existence and of the times. This is very true of the epic mid-evil saga Beowulf. Beowulf besides being about monsters and a hero “kicking ass” is also chuck full of lessons about life from the virtues required to be a hero, the conflict of good and evil, and how humans are supposed to get along and how they don’t get along.

What great literature is at heart are stories, but not just any stories, but stories of learning; for we as humans learn best with being told stories. Great literature is admired, remembered and told throughout the ages because of the fact that they don’t just entertain but tell/answer something of great significance about life, the world, and/or human existence and the meaning of life.

Going back to Anthony and his quoting of the Odyssey, he was arguing the case in his book that American society needed to return to a “polis” like based society where everyone was a part of the “political life” and did their part to help each other and society function. He quoted from Odyssey because he believed that its underlying purpose was to teach those who read it (Ancient Greeks) the importance of the “Polis.” If one is going to argue for a “polis” mentality in society than one obviously has to go back to the civilization that came up with and practiced the idea, the Greeks. Then, of course why not make the point by using what the Greeks used to teach the importance of the “polis” to political life, stories.

I have engaged in this meditation upon the Odyssey for several reasons. First, it was the Greeks who gave us the very word, polis, from which is derived our word for action that has to do with the passage of laws: political. Second, it was the Greeks who invented the study of political structures: Aristotle famously says, in his Politics, that man is a zoon politikon, a political animal. Third, the Greeks bequeathed to us also the form of government we have or believe we have, in part: democracy. And yet-this is my most impressing reason-those same Greeks would not recognize what we have as political at all, but as a corruption of the political, transformed in part by our cultivation of idiocy. –Anthony Esolen

This here is what Literature is all about, finding a new and creative way to teach the importance of and the values of the way things are the way they are in the world and society and why. For Odyssey, and the Greeks, it was what exactly the “polis” was and its importance to society and the “political life.” For the Greeks, it was the everyday interaction of everyone in society and their participation in the political life of the “polis;” that is “getting along with people.” One of the things that was important to the life of the “polis” was that one had to be small to function properly and that the bigger one got the more problems that would emerge to break one down. This was one of the messages in the Odyssey and why literature/stories are so good when they offer up lessons or discuss the questions of life.