1.The Word “Black”
“I am black. When I look in the mirror, I see myself, but I am not ashamed. God made me. He did not make us no badder than the rest of the folks. The earth is black and all kinds of good things comes out of the earth. Trees and flowers and fruit and sweet potatoes and corn and all that keeps men alive comes right up out of the earth----good old black earth. Coal is black and it warms your house and cooks your food. The night is black, which has a moon, and a million stars, and is beautiful. Sleep is black which gives you rest, so you wake up feeling good. I am black. I feel very good this evening.”
What is wrong with black?”
2. I Love Sports
I love sports and athletics. Sports and athletics are not just building our bodies but also refueling our spirits. They give us energy to continue our work and studies as well as incentive and momentum to create. They help us maintain a positive attitude towards life and stay competitive whenever facing any challenges. Without sports and athletics, we should definitely be in a tedious world living a tedious life.
3. What I have lived for
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind, These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy--ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness—that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what –at last – I have found.
With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.
This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.
4. There is a Lonesome Place in the Sky
Today we meet in sadness to mourn one of the world’s greatest citizens. Sir Winston Churchill is dead. The voice that led nations, raised armies, inspired victories and blew fresh courage into the hearts of men is silenced. We shall hear no longer the remembered eloquence and wit, the old courage and defiance, the robust serenity of indomitable faith. Our world is thus poorer, our political dialogue is diminished and the sources of public inspiration run thinly for all of us. There is a lonesome place against the sky.
5. Struggle on
-----Benjamin L. Hooks
My brothers and sisters…I want you to know that the struggle that we will face through the remaining period of the eighties and on through the twenty-first century will not be an easy one. It is fraught with pitfalls and plagued with setbacks, but we as a people have developed a resiliency which has made it possible for us to survive slavery and vicious discrimination. We must never tire or become frustrated by difficulties. We must transform. stumbling blocks into stepping stones and march on with the determination that we will make America a better nation…
Struggle on: we want more schoolhouses and less jail houses,
Struggle on: We want more books and less weapons,
Struggle on: We want more learning and less vice,
Struggle on: We want more employment and less crime in our communities
Struggle on: We want more justice and less vengeance,
Struggle on: We want more of our children to graduate from high school able to read and write, not more on unemployment lines,
Struggle on: We want more statesmen and less politicians.
Struggle on: We want more workers in our ranks and less cynics,
Struggle on: We want more hope and less dope,
Struggle on: We want more faith and less despair…
6.Six Famous Words
------William Lyon Phelps
“To be or not to be.” Outside the Bible, these six words are the most famous in all the literature of the world. They were spoken by Hamlet when he was thinking aloud, and they are the most famous words in Shakespeare because Hamlet was speaking not only for himself but for every thinking man and woman. To be or not to be ---to live or not to live, to live richly and abundantly and eagerly, or to live dully and meanly and scarcely. A philosopher once wanted to know whether he was alive or not, which is a good question for everyone to put to himself occasionally. He answered it by saying: “I think, therefore I am.”
But the best definition of existence I ever saw was one written by another philosopher who said: “To be is to be in relations.” If this is true, then the more relations a living thing has, the more it is alive. To live abundantly means simply to increase the range and intensity of our relations. Unfortunately we are so constituted that we get to love our routine. But apart from our regular occupation how much are we alive? If you are interested only in your regular occupation, you are alive only to that extent. So far as other things are concerned---poetry and prose, music, pictures, sports, unselfish friendships, politics, international affairs---you are dead .
Contrariwise, it is true that every time you acquire a new interest---even more, a new accomplishment---you increase your power of life. No one who is deeply interested in a large variety of subjects can remain unhappy, the real pessimist is the person who has lost interest.
Bacon said that a man dies as often as he loses a friend. But we gain new life by contacts, new friends. What is supremely true of living objects is no less true of ideas, which are also alive. Where your thoughts are, there will your life be also. If your thoughts are confined only to your business, only to your physical welfare, only to the narrow circle of the town in which you live, then you live in a narrow circumscribed life. But if you are interested in what is going on in China, then you are living in China; if you are interested in the characters of a good novel, then you are living with those highly interesting people; if you listen intently to fine music, you are away from your immediate surroundings and living in a world of passion and imagination.
To be or not to be---to live intensively and richly, or merely to exist, that depends on ourselves. Let us widen and intensify our relations. While we live, let us live!
7. The Four Freedoms
-----Franklin Delano Roosevelt
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peace time life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
The forth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor--anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.
To that new order we oppose the greater conception –the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.
Since the beginning of our American history we have been engaged in change—in a perpetual peaceful revolution—a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions—without the concentration camp or the quick–lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.
This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.
To that high concept there can be no end save victory.
8.Why are You Laughing?
Thus laughter gradually became established as a capacity among virtually all human beings. In addition, laughter’s infectious quality helped distribute it as a characteristic common to all mankind. Laughter was advantageous; therefore it survived.
Everyone likes a good laughter; he brings good cheer with him wherever he goes, the very thought of him makes life more bearable. Even today our most highly paid entertainers are not tragedians but comedians. Laughter is infectious, and most of us go out of our way to acquire the infection. We cannot think that it was otherwise in the earlier days of man’s evolution, and if that was indeed so, then it would follow that the capacity to laugh would tend to become increasingly distributed as a trait common to all men.
In society, laughter became a characteristic that served to “humanized” men because it is essentially a social phenomenon, largely controlled by the civilization in which it takes place. The times change, and the situations about which laughter is acceptable change correspondingly. A few hundred years ago it was socially acceptable to laugh at the infirmities of others; today it is unacceptable. In the western world it is not customary to smile at the reprimands of others, as it is in Japan. Personalities should smile or laugh in their photographs, but college professors should look serious. Each of these examples underscores laughter’s social function.
9.Let Your Mind Wonder
Until recently daydreaming was generally considered either a waste of time or a symptom of neurotic tendencies, and habitual daydreaming was regarded as evidence of maladjustment or an escape from life’s realities and responsibilities. It was believed that habitual daydreaming would eventually distance people from society and reduce their effectiveness in coping with real problems. At its best, daydreaming was considered a compensatory substitute for the real things in life.
As with anything carried to excess, daydreaming can be harmful. There are always those who would substitute fantasy lives for the rewards of real activity. But such extremes are relatively rare, and there is a growing body of evidence to support the fact that most people suffer from a lack of daydreaming rather than an excess of it. We are now beginning to learn how valuable it really is and that when individuals are completely prevented from daydreaming, their emotional balance can be disturbed. Not only are they less able to deal with the pressures of day-to-day existence, but also their self-control and self-direction become endangered.
Recent research indicates that daydreaming is part of daily life and that a certain amount each day is essential for maintaining equilibrium. Daydreaming, science has discovered, is an effective relaxation technique. But its beneficial effects go beyond this. Experiments show that daydreaming significantly contributes to intellectual growth, powers of concentration, and the ability to interact and communicate with others.
Small as it is, the pen has changed the course of history, shaped the destiny of nations, facilitated the commerce of peoples, imprisoned the elusive thoughts of man, recorded events, carried news, and done more work for mankind than all other tools or weapons.
Progress without it would have been almost impossible. The invention of the wheel and screw, the introduction of steam-power, the use of electricity, all these have changed the lives of millions; but the pen has done more. It has removed mountains. It has prepared the way for all advancement. Whatever plans have been drawn up, whatever laws formulated, have come from the pen.
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