Americans, no longer dreaming

5 Dec

The Victorian Contexts gives a good overview of the world of Charles Dickens.

Charity begins at home, and justice begins next door.

Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

Charles Dickens

“Mr Jarndyce, and prevented his going any farther, when he had remarked that there were two classes of charitable people: one, the people who did a little and made a great deal of noise; the other, the people who did a great deal and made no noise at all.”

Charles Dickens (Bleak House)

Throughout history there have been great empires who eventually challenged each other for dominance in a variety of areas. One of the most interesting historical rivalries was between Athens and Sparta. See, PBS’ The Two Faces of Greece: Athens and Sparta which has a table comparing the two cultures.

David Barboza has an interesting article in the New York Times, Shanghai Schools Push Students to the Top of Tests. A couple of observations about the test results are the discipline which is stressed in Chinese schools and the legacy of Confucian thought which givesChinese culture an appreciation of education.Information about the Programme forInternational Assessment (PISA) test can be found at the PISA site. What PISA is describes the test. Discipline and a culture which supports education are certainly key to the success of Chinese students, but another key element is that Chinese students have dreams.

Dreams are the touchstones of our character.
Henry David Thoreau

Child Fund and the Alliance have conducted a survey of children around the globe about their hopes. Huffington Post is reporting in the story, Child Fund Alliance Survey: Kids In Developing Countries Dream Of Better Education (SLIDESHOW):

To find out what kids around the world dream of when it comes to pursuing the best life they can imagine, the ChildFund Alliance surveyed 5,100 children throughout Africa, Asia, the Americas and the United States. The nonprofit, which works with vulnerable kids in 56 countries, asked privileged kids and children in need questions about their ideal jobs and how they would improve their countries as president.

The survey concluded that those in developing countries are focused on education, while kids in the United States have the chance to set their sights on the arts and sports.

See, American Dream Deferred: We Now Embrace More Modest, Personal Goals By Martha C. White

Perhaps, the diminished ability to dream at this juncture in time has to do with how Americans perceive the challenges at this point in time to themselves and their country.

It is worth reading about the Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian War reshaped the Ancient Greek world. On the level of international relations, Athens, the strongest city-state in Greece prior to the war’s beginning, was reduced to a state of near-complete subjection, while Sparta became established as the leading power of Greece. The economic costs of the war were felt all across Greece; poverty became widespread in the Peloponnese, while Athens found itself completely devastated, and never regained its pre-war prosperity.[1][2] The war also wrought subtler changes to Greek society; the conflict between democratic Athens and oligarchic Sparta, each of which supported friendly political factions within other states, made civil war a common occurrence in the Greek world.

More than education supremacy is at stake.

Have we gone back to the world of Charles Dickens?

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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