Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

Living Well

15/09/2011

Summit Silouete - Mt Baker, USA

“We don’t beat the Grim Reaper by living longer, we beat the Reaper by living well and living fully, for the Reaper will come for all of us. The question is what do we do between the time we are born and the time he shows up. It’s too late to do all the things that you’re gonna kinda get around to.”
Randy Pausch

Citizenship, and the Tenacity of Pursuit

08/09/2011

Teddy Roosevelt on "Staying in the Arena"

What does it mean to be a good citizen these days?
Teddy Roosevelt had some definite ideas on the subject. Below is an excerpt from his speech Citizenship in a Republic.
And from where does the term Tenacity of Pursuit come?
Kurt Hahn
, the founder of Outward Bound considered “the tenacity of pursuit” to be one of his key outcomes of a good education.

Kurt Hahn

Says Hahn,  “I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self denial, and above all, compassion.”

TR’s life shows us that hard work, tenacity, and a desire to do the right thing can get you far in life. In the most memorable section of his “Citizenship in a Republic” speech, Roosevelt captured his life philosophy in just a few sentences. “The Man in the Arena” tells us that the man we should praise is the man who’s out there fighting the big battles, even if those battles end in defeat. In our day, when cynicism and aloof detachment are considered hip and cool, TR reminds us that glory and honor come to those “who spend themselves in a worthy cause.”

The Man in the Arena
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

The Invitation

27/06/2010

I have read this to many a program participant around camp in the mountains, and thought I’d share it here.

Hitchhiking in Labrador

The Invitation, By Oriah

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive. (more…)

Americans Who Tell the Truth

23/06/2010

It's About Time

Dutton has published Americans Who Tell The Truth, the book of the first fifty portraits in this series printed in beautiful color with short biographies and an essay by Robert Shetterly about the intent of the project. The book is suitable for all ages, but its target audience is middle and high school. We have published a free curriculum here on this website for teachers to be able to teach American history through the lives of these people.

This book has won the 2006 award of the International Reading Association for intermediate non-fiction.  The Children’s Book Council has named Americans Who Tell the Truth a 2006 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. Read more here

David Korten hit a chord with Agenda for a New Economy and its call for abolishing Wall Street. In his new revised and greatly expanded edition, David fleshes out his vision for a replacement—a decentralized economy based on resilient communities, local businesses, and ecological systems.

Greed is Out - Localism, In

Global greed is out. Local sharing is in. The Wall Street system failed us; this book is a great guide as we build the alternatives.

“… our economic crisis is, at its core, a moral crisis. Our economic institutions and rules, even the indicators by which we measure economic performance, consistently place financial values ahead of life values. They are brilliantly effective at making money for rich people. Our children, families, and communities, and natural systems of Earth have paid an intolerable price.”
Read more on Korten at Yes Magazine

Sir Edmund Hillary Museum, New Zealand

18/11/2009

Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre at Aoraki Mt. Cook Inspires, Gives Glimpse into Hillary’s Character

Hillary Museum in NZ

By Randall Richards
We passed through the Aoraki Mt. Cook area, on New Zealand’s South Island, and made our way through the fancy Hermitage Hotel to find the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. I knew of Hillary the climber, but the display, video presentations, memorabilia and photos portrayed a humble man with astounding climbing ability, a self depreciating style and sense of humor.

He was the first to reach Everest’s summit for a reason. His solid climbing skills, drive and competitiveness all put him in the position with Tenzing Norgay to be the first summiteers on Chomulungma.

Multimedia Displays, with Norgay/Hillary

The reason this story made its way onto this blog, is he seemed to have also been truly a nice guy.  He was loved by his fellow Kiwis. He took care to leave the world a better place than he found it by creating a foundation that built schools and educated those in the Everest region.  One leaves with a good feeling about Sir Ed, after strolling among old photos, his book collection and accounts of his relationships with family, friends and of course his sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
I have a greater respect for Mr. Hillary after having learned more about him at this Alpine Centre Museum dedicated to his life and acheivements.

From the Centre’s Website:

“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”

Hillary, His Early Days

“A tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary, humanitarian, ambassador and one of the world’s greatest explorers, the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region, its people and its place in the universe.

Designed to educate and entertain, the centre features a spectacular state-of-the-art 3D movie, New Zealand’s first full dome digital Planetarium and Museum which documents the pioneering heart of the region and features the impressive Hillary Gallery.

The Hillary Gallery depicts Sir Edmund’s longstanding connection with the region and touches upon his achievements, expeditions and life’s work.  It was here he climbed his first major mountain, achieved a number of impressive first ascents including the difficult south face of Mount Cook, and trained for his Everest and Antarctic expeditions.

Located adjacent to The Hermitage Hotel in the majestic Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre is an opportunity to explore and connect to the national identity and celebrate the cultural characteristics New Zealanders hold dear.”

Yo.

‘Rebuilding’ the ruins of Machu Picchu

26/08/2009
Inca ruins get 'The Treatment'

Inca ruins get 'The Treatment'

By Amanda Richards

Peruvian authorities in charge of archaeological sites seem to have a voracious appetite to ‘rebuild’ the Inca ruins. They seem to think that the ruins need to be ‘reconstructed’ in order for them to become worth something more – ‘puesta en valor’ as the signs tell us.  The ruins in themselves are just not enough.

As we explored the ruins,we realized just how much had been ‘reconstructed’ and continues to be.  At Macchu Pichu for example, you can’t even see the ‘most beautiful wall in the world’ (as described by Hiram Bingham) as it is currently under ‘reconstruction’ and the area is only open to workers carrying bags of cement. It felt strange to watch the ‘ruins’ being rebuilt and made to look ‘tidy and new’.

Building a 'new' Inca wall

Building a 'new' Inca wall

Peter Frost raises this issue in his book ‘ Exploring Cusco’ hoping to ignite some discussion as he argues that there has never been a debate in Peru about this.  No one has ever questioned the authorities. And so the rebuilding of the old ruins – ‘The Treatment’ as Frost describes it, continues unimpeded.

I have to admit that on one hand there is something nice about seeing the ruins ‘new and rebuilt’ like the beautiful, big terraces at Moray for example.  However, I agree with Frost that this theme park approach takes away the ‘mystery, allure and enchantment’ that only our own imaginations can add to the experience of being there at these intriguing and mystical ruins.

Generosity in Peru

04/08/2009

By Amanda Richards
We had been invited for lunch at the  home of Guillermo’s parents-in-law who live in the upper hills of Cusco. Although I had not met them before, Ernistina and her husband were all smiles and welcomed us with hugs and kisses when we arrived.  They appeared very humble and live in a simple home.  Although spartan and with dirt  floors it was clean and comfortable. We sat down to eat and were served soup followed by a lamb stew. The food was delicious and the thing that struck me was that we were given what seemed to be the best meat and they went without any meat at all in their stew. I was a stranger and yet they gave the best of what they had.  It reminded me of being on a train in India when complete strangers who obvioulsy had very little, offered me their food and bought me chai, refusing to accept any payment from me.  There is still this idea that having guests is an honour and it makes me  wonder if this concept is being lost in our western culture.

After lunch we sat outside and again were given the ‘best’  as our chairs were placed in the little bit of sun that was shining in the courtyard. It was a gracious act.

‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give’
Winston Churchill

There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. ‘Tis good to give a stranger a meal, or a night’s lodging. ‘Tis better to be hospitable to his good meaning and thought, and give courage to a companion. We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

This Just In Dept.

18/06/2009

Gratefulness

Gratefulness

A prayer for the  Thanksgiving dinner table or any day.
“This food is a gift of the entire universe — the Earth, the Sun, and much hard work. May we live in a way that makes us worthy to receive it. May we be mindful of our actions and the effect we have on others, and may we be grateful for all that we have.”

From a  retreat weekend with Thich Nhat Hahn
Thanks to former MSI board member John Herrington for supplying this prayer.

The Global Student

11/06/2009
Global Student Alyssa Lanz

Global Student Alyssa Lanz*

Forget the SATs. Forget the “top college” rat race and high-priced American schools.
Writer Maya Frost says it’s time for American students to go global, look abroad, and get a global education, for less.   Everybody knows the straight and narrow, up-and-out formula for American success: good grades, good scores, good college, big debt … good luck.
Many in countries throughout the world know the value of thinking and behaving in terms of “global community” as evidenced by the numbers of foreign students, but American’s have tended to be more insular compared with our global neighbors.

Recent guests on NPR’s On Point in WBUR in Boston with Tom Ashbrook’s, were Maya and Tom Frost, who say “Forget it. There’s a better way. And the path leads abroad — early.”
Stay home studying for SATs and taking on college debt, and you’re guaranteed nothing in this topsy-turvy economy. Go abroad — as early as high school, especially for college, they say — and you’ll find low tuitions, big adventures, and the future.
Listen to the interview: A new American way in the world. Going global, right from the start.

Global Student
Global Student

The book is called: The New Global Student: Skip the SAT, Save Thousands on Tuition, and Get a Truly International Education
Chapter One’s title is: “Creative, Not Crazy, Our Family’s Story”,
It starts with a quote from Thomas A. Edison – “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Frost’s opener starts, “In the summer of 2005 my husband and I decided to sell everything and move abroad. There’s nothing too unusual about that these days-except that we had four teenage daughters at the time, and the youngest of three were about to enter their freshman, junior and senior years of high school. This book is about the lessons they learned, and the loopholes we discovered –while shepherding our kids through high school, into college and beyond.”  She goes on, “Luckily, we stumbled upon a number of affordable, accessible, and stunningly advantageous strategies that American parents anywhere can use to help their kids get both an enriching education and perspective-shifting international experience. Sweet bonus: they add, “We saved a couple hundred thousand dollars in the process.”

She writes, “We’re not on a crusade of any kind and our exodus wasn’t spurred by fear, exasperation or legal problems; it was simply a matter of following our instincts in order to give our kids what we felt would be a series of amazing opportunities for learning and creativity.” Frost says that when others hear their story, “they can’t help but make assumptions about us. Some we found hilarious.” She adds,  “We had a ton of money and/or serious connections.” Their answer..”Hoo-boy! That’s a good one.” They had “no bonus, corporate cushion, windfall or an uncle who died.”

Mt Spirit students in Peru
Mt Spirit students in Peru

Another assumption was that “we were oddball parents”, Their response is: “Quirky, They think we must have been the kind of people you whisper about at parent meetings or avoid when you run into them in the grocery store.” They add, “The boring truth is that we were nice, normal people, leading ordinary lives.”
Another assumption was that they were disconnected or just plain miserable where they were.  Their response: “Well, no more than most people living in suburban America. Another assumption they encountered:  “Our girls were enmeshed in a scandal at school that necessitated a quick exit to protect their social standing.”  Their response was “Sorry- no gossip here.”

Frost says in her book that they had two  “harebrained” ideas.
One,  that they needed to become “flexible and innovative in order to be prepared for an exciting future full of all kinds of impossible-to-predict opportunities.” Harebrained idea number two was that “we wanted our daughters to develop empathy and responsibility in order to become upstanding global citizens.”

Mountain Spirit Institute’s experiential programs in the USA, Peru and New Zealand are about getting students out into the world. Our webpages devoted to Peru cultural immersion for university students have information on college credit, logistics, curriculum  and connections.

Check out some blogs written by young Americans spending time abroad here.
Read Maya Frost’s special message to students here.

Image#1, Credit: mayafrost.com
Alyssa Lanz poses for a snapshot in Egypt while studying at the American University in Cairo, taking classes in Arabic and political science, and working with New Women’s Foundation, a research center in Cairo focusing on women’s rights.

This Just in Department

06/06/2009

“Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Abraham Lincoln