I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position. Attitude keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right, there is no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.
I hope to change things for the better, For 30 years this country has been about left versus right. Now we want to change things on the inside: national service, education, housing, a middle class that cannot finish the month.
I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our [children]
I say statecraft is soulcraft. Just as all education is moral education because learning conditions conduct, most legislation is moral legislations because it conditions the action and the thought of the nation in broad and important spheres in life.
I should wish to see a world in which education aimed at mental freedom rather than imprisoning the minds of the young in a rigid armor of dogma calculated to protect them though life against the shafts of impartial evidence.
I think it's only in a crisis that Americans see other people. It has to be an American crisis, of course. If two countries fight that do not supply the Americans with some precious commodity, then the education of the public does not take place. But when the dictator falls, when the oil is threatened, then you turn on the television and they tell you where the country is, what the language is, how to pronounce the names of the leaders, what the religion is all about, and maybe you can cut out recipes in the newspaper of Persian dishes.
I've always believed in education and in good teaching that is guided by truth. But after a lifetime of educational pursuit, I now ask, what is true education and who decides on what is good teaching? This search has taken me through the spiritual, the delusional, social, physical, the psychological, the philosophical -- and back again. And I have made the most important educational discovery of my career, the most important discovery of my whole life: It is only through kindness that any true lesson can be taught and that I'm only here to help my students find that kindness. They are all my education, they are all my good teaching, they are my truth, they are my kindness.
If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man's future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual's total development lags behind?
If you sincerely desire a _truly_ well-rounded education, you must study the extremists, the obscure and "nutty". You need the balance! Your poor brain is already being impregnated with middle-of-the-road crap, twenty-four hours a day, _no matter what_. Network TV, newspapers, radio, magazines at the supermarket... even if you never watch, read, listen, or leave your house, even if you are deaf and blind, the _telepathic pressure alone_ of the uncountable normals surrounding you will insure that you are automatically well- grounded in consensus reality.
Innately, children seem to have little true realistic anxiety. They will run along the brink of water, climb on the window sill, play with sharp objects and with fire, in short, do everything that is bound to damage them and to worry those in charge of them, that is wholly the result of education; for they cannot be allowed to make the instructive experiences themselves.