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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

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

8 responses »

  1. Catherine Johnson

    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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