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The Courage to Be New

Robert Frost wrote this interesting poem. It is unclear what the underlying topic was, but it was possibly written after one of the World Wars.It seems with the passing of Pete Seeger thinking about violence and its meaning, if there is any, is appropriate. There isn’t reason, but it seems human nature to overlook the violence beginning in daily life.

The courage to be new is real in many settings. It is hard to change practices and become someone new, although what human being is about, always transforming. We become caught in a vice of busyness that doesn’t let us see past routines or see into them for that matter. Children likely see past much better and then, as they grow up, they are stymied. The courage to stop violence begins with the person, the self. When I look in, I find spaces where light shines in and helps me walk the path with a little more courage.

I hear the world reciting
The mistakes of ancient men,
The brutality and fighting
They will never have again.

Heartbroken and disabled
In body and in mind
They renew talk of the fabled
Federation of Mankind.

But they’re blessed with the acumen
To suspect the human trait
Was not the basest human
That made them militate.

They will tell you more as soon as
You tell them what to do
With their ever breaking newness
And their courage to be new.

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

8 responses »

  1. This is so true! Let’s all wake up new tomorrow.

    Reply
  2. At first glance I misread the title as “The Courage to be Now”. But suppose “now” is as positive as “new”.

    Reply
  3. this reminds me of another awesome quote–something to the effect: it is good God hides the truth of life from the young; else they would not have the heart to continue…something like that…was it Steinbeck? Twain/ Churchill? i dunno, but i think that is the esprit behind rendering it new…that newness of self itself…the untested, maybe…

    do you know this quote…? (paraphrased…)

    Reply

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