On the Real Value of a Good Education

A good education is a mindset. A drive to satisfy never ending curiosity

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“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 Spelling

Mark Twain on spelling - there's more than one way to skin a cat

Please mountain the premicies tidy. Thank you.

I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.
-Mark Twain

Mark Twain would not abide spellcheck.

On the Power of Humor

Don't take anything too seriously. A good sense of humor serves us well in life

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Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.
-Mark Twain

A person harboring resentment or fear is best served by finding their sense of humor.

On Another New Year’s Eve

Another useless New Year's Eve

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“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.

A Letter From Santa Claus

A Letter from Santa ClausBy Mark Twain

I have received and read all the letters which you and your little sister have written me… I can read your and your baby sister’s jagged and fantastic marks without any trouble at all. But I had trouble with those letters which you dictated through your mother and the nurses, for I am a foreigner and cannot read English writing well.

You will find that I made no mistakes about the things which you and the baby ordered in your own letters – I went down your chimney at midnight when you were asleep and delivered them all myself – and kissed both of you, too… But there were one or two small orders which I could not fill because we ran out of stock…

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On the Meaning of Christmas

Seeing clearly the true meaning of Christmas - Mark Twain's words in letter to a friend“The xmas holidays have this high value: that they remind Forgetters of the Forgotten, & repair damaged relationships.”
-Mark Twain, letter to Carlotte Welles, 30 December 1907

Christmas is love. All else obscures its essential meaning.

Image credit: caruba, courtesy Flickr


On Keeping an Open Mind and Freeing a Human Soul

“Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world – and never will.”
-Mark Twain

Freedom begins with keeping an open mind.

On Learning to See

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
-Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

It is with our eyes that we look, but only with our imagination that we see.

On Textbooks in Texas

“The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.”
-Mark Twain, Following the Equator

For the Texas Board of Education, America wasn’t founded on the principal of the separation of church and state, every good capitalist is actually a free-market conservative, McCarthy wasn’t really that bad, and Thomas Jefferson had nothing to do with inspiring revolution in 18th-century America.

And the ink dries on prejudice in Texas.

On Empathy and the Law of Proportion

“Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.”
-Mark Twain, “Which Was the Dream

All loss is profound. Comfort is found by seeing equally in other’s sorrow – and joy – a measure of our own.