Curtis Dahlgren
September 4, 2015
Bracing for College Orientation Week, part II (another best of)
By Curtis Dahlgren

"We OWN this country; not you [lawyer-politicians]." – Clint Eastwood

"Send me men to match my mountains." – capitol complex, Sacramento

THOSE KINDS OF MEN SEEM TO BE MISSING IN AMERICA. As a "laboratory experiment," the bankrupt state of California is the end-product of a system of Higher Education that has been out of control ever since S.I. Hayakawa left it. The protesters who used to sit in the gutters of the street now seem to be sitting on the benches of courts and legislatures. Even the U.S. Supreme Court could soon be run by people whose only real qualification is knowing the politically-correct definition of "empathy" (go along to get along).

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist . . . What I
must do is all that concerns me, not what people think."

Years ago, a college professor in Chicago used to tell his students on the first day of class that their goal should be to become
really educated and that they could not consider themselves really educated unless they could answer "yes" to the following questions:

- "Can you look an honest man or a pure woman straight in the eye?"

- "Will a lonely dog follow you down the street?"

- "Do you think washing dishes or hoeing corn is as compatible with high thinking as piano playing or golf?"

- "Could you be happy alone?"

- "Can you look into the sky at night and see beyond the stars?" **

[excerpted from "Leaves of Gold," 11th edition (subtitled "An Anthology of Prayers, Memorable Phrases, Inspirational Verse and Prose from the Best Authors of the World, Both Ancient and Modern")]

MAYBE if we had more good "Prose" in our lives, we wouldn't need so much Prozac or so many sleeping pills. Many tears have been shed since we stopped looking "beyond the stars." If tears were "telescopes," September 11, 2001 should have brought God into very sharp focus, but instead, our "popular culture" and the media have moved us totally in the opposite direction.

Higher education considers itself the very avant-garde, or vanguard, of "societal evolution," but radio host Michael Savage says that society has "sunk to a point lower than Rome or the Wiemar Republic in Germany." I agree, and so would the writers in "Leaves of Gold":

    "Educate men without religion and you make them but clever devils." – Duke of Wellington

    "True religion is the foundation of society. When that is once shaken by contempt the whole fabric cannot be stable or lasting." – Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

    "Learning is not wisdom: knowledge is not necessarily vital energy. The student who has to cram through a school or college course, who has made himself merely a receptacle for the teacher's thoughts and ideas, is not educated; he has not gained much. He is a reservoir, not a fountain. One retains, the other gives forth." – J.E. Dinger
An anonymous author in "Leaves of Gold" gets down to the "nitty-gritty":

"Few things could be culturally more deplorable than that today the average college graduate, who fancies himself educated, should never have read the book of Job, should be unfamiliar with Isaiah, and should be hardly able to identify those mighty men of valor, Joshua, Gideon, [etc.] . . . For this is nothing less than a loss of racial memory, a forgetfulness of our cultural heritage that is as serious in the life of nations as is for the individual the loss of personality attendant upon neurotic disease . . . ."

In other words, if all you can do is parrot what your professor says, you haven't learned much!

P.S. For the rest of the column, you can go to www.RenewAmerica.com/columns/Dahlgren/110826

** The other day I was telling a young man that at 4:30 that morning the sky was so clear, at first glance through the trees, one of the planets was so bright that I thought it was a new moon. He said, "I don't like to look at the sky!"

Talk about a culture gap, eh? I once had a personalized license plate that said "LOOK UP." Some people didn't get it. Maybe they're just into the "eat, drink, be merry" stuff. If you feel a little guilty, just hope that there IS no God. Hope that you will never see a life after death? Is that not weird or what?

PPS: I'm hoping RenewAmerica has some new visitors this week. I went to my high school class' 55th year reunion last weekend, and gave away a few dozen copies of my book "Massey-Harris 101"; I hope they will want to read more here, and they might want to go to my account of our 50th: www.RenewAmerica.com/columns/Dahlgren/100917

In that one I told how I had had a dream shortly before the reunion, and in the dream I was speaking to a member of the class who is actually deceased. I asked her if she was going to be at the reunion, and Kathy said YES.

© Curtis Dahlgren

 

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

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