All posts by rgsmith

Graduation and Beyond

I wasn’t there today, but I was there years ago to see the pomp and celebration of four years of accomplishment for the young men and women of West Point. I have also lectured at the Air Force Academy and was impressed with the collective as well as the individual dedication of the cadets and instructors. All of the service academies graduations engender a spectacular ceremony that wells with emotion and precipitates deep patriotic pride and a foreboding bellicose prognostication.Pride because these new spirits of…

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Violence Begets…

Some how, we adults, as teachers, parents, neighbors, and even strangers, need to increase our vigilance for the signs of juvenile aberrant behavior, and to speak up when we see it. More importantly, we need to be ever cognizant of the reality that we are the prime examples for our children. We set societies criteria through our acts of kindness and through our acts of violence. We especially need to teach our young that violence, in all its forms: attack, anger, greed, or jealously, is…

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About Poetry…It’s OK to read. It won’t hurt!

Since today is President John F. Kennedy’s birthday, I am reminded of what he said about poetry at the dedication of the Robert Frost Library. “When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitation. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.” I would add to that…Poetry precipitates emotion into…

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Contention

Look at the reality television shows today masquerading as redeeming entertainment. Watch the violent talk shows, listen to the argumentative broadcast pundits. Read the headlines, look at the covers of the national news magazines. Most of what we see and read is based on contention, conflict, and conquest. Perhaps we have become a society of contentious citizens, of non-compromising ideologues; a land of absolutists. If so, we might want to rethink our stand, for cemented thought always hardens into a shape that may not fit…

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