Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rethinking One's Place in the World

You can never really study people, you can only get to know them.
C. S. Lewis

History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.

The young people that we work with crave a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves. Politicians, too, have discovered this longing within their young constituents. In a speech delivered during the 2000 presidential election season, Senator John McCain of Arizona urged young people to remember the sacrifices of the past:

They fought for love, for love of an idea—that America stood for something greater than the sum of our individual interests. . . . Cynicism is suffocating the idealism of many Americans, especially among our young. . . . When we quit seeing ourselves as part of something greater than our self-interest then civic love gives way to the temptations of selfishness, bigotry and hate . . .

This call connected with many young voters, and even those who could not yet vote, and energized the campaign. These young people desperately wanted to be a part of something in which they could believe.

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