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The Irony of American

I could have taken the following from any history. It transcends borders. I was unaware that Reinhold Niebuhr wrote the Serenity Prayer.

I chose this passage as it resonated with my writing today and it was the first page I turned to in the book of poetry I used today. What resonated with me was in my writing I draw on the work of John Dewey, Alfred North Whitehead, Plato, and others. The first two lines about hope provide a people with hope. What does it mean to be educated in the 21st Century? This question is partly premised on what it meant to be educated in earlier times. The context of Dewey and Whitehead was in the shadow of the Industrial Revolution. Horace Mann and Thomas Jefferson wrote in the shadow of the American Revolution. The rapid change of their times can give us faith that we will figure out what it means to be educated in these times.

I do not outline well. I get to writing, but, with a dissertation, I have to try outline so I have broken it up a bit. Today, I wrote part of the introductory chapter and sent it to Kathy to make it makes sense. In that I have hope and faith that love will save me.

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime;

therefore, we must be saved by hope.

Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense

in any immediate context of history;

therefore, we must be saved by faith.

Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone;

therefore we are saved by love.


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

10 responses »

  1. I meditated on your words for a few moments…very wonderfully done, your message is inspiring and awesome. Thanks for sharing my friend! Blessings!

  2. Wonderful words… words to come back to, words to take into our being… words which are so true for the times we live in.. thank you

  3. In a particular organization 12 Steps alcoholism recovery many people object to the God thing and rail against people that share their Higher Power as God and then these jerks promote the serenity prayer(the first part only) and have no idea Catholic priest/theologian RN wrote the thing.

    • There are ironies that are not easily explained. I have not had anyone from one of those organizations explain the choice of the prayer although, like you, I have always found it interesting that on one hand there is an attempt to distance and on the other to draw nearer.

  4. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    ….OF GOD…FOR ME!!!!

  5. I regret not being familiar with any of that linked resource–but find this beautiful all the same. The listing quality in the second stanza makes it especially poignant, and the brevity is admirable and the sentiments–the most profound and noble combined.

    My bookshelf needs stocking for sure…I am needing to replenish the ole well, anyway, and really, my double digit overdue at the library is no longer a viable excuse.


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