Mark Twain on educations vs. more jails

On Supporting Education or Building Jails

“Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog.”
-Mark Twain

Allowing schools to slowly wither through lack of funding only means money will be spent later building a jail – social institutions are funded by the public’s priorities. We should consider the implications of what it means when we build a school versus when we build a jail.

More fully supporting one will diminish the other.

Image credit: Todd Petrie, courtesy flickr

On Not Learning from History and Electing Presidents

“History has tried hard to teach us that we can’t have good government under politicians. Now, to go and stick one at the very head of the government couldn’t be wise.”
-Mark Twain in the New York Herald, August 26, 1876

The process of becoming president requires a man of unique skill and talent, most of which are ill-suited for real leadership.

Yeah, so what’s my point?

Here we go again…

On Learning Wisdom, Eventually

“We chase phantoms half the days of our lives. It is well if we learn wisdom even then, and save the other half.” - Mark Twain

There comes a time in one’s life where he may question, finally, all the distractions of youth that have taken so much time and energy, and see them for what they are: nameless, faceless phantoms of fear and want , without merit or purpose.

Even then, after one has given over half a life to such imaginary phantoms and ghosts, it is worthwhile to to finally see what is important, and then to pursue only that.

On the Real Value of a Good Education

“Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.”
-Mark Twain

A good education is never finished. And the best education teaches unending curiosity in the knowledge that what one knows pales in comparison to what one doesn’t know.

On Another New Year’s Eve

“New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.”
-Mark Twain

New Years Eve is one of the saddest holidays of the year; no it is the saddest. People only look happy because they’ve had too much to drink, many with the notion that it is for the last time.