"Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do."
Marcus Tullius Cicero,
#Marcus Tullius Cicero
#Laura Ingalls Wilder
Literary Birthday - 7 February
Happy Birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder, born 7 February 1867, died 10 February 1957
- The Little House books are stories of long ago. Today our way of living and our schools are much different; so many things have made living and learning easier. But the real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with the simple pleasures; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
- The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.
- Persons appear to us according to the light we throw upon them from our own minds.
- Suffering passes, while love is eternal.
- Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears, then don’t remember me at all.
Wilder was an American author who wrote novels inspired by her childhood experiences during the 1800s on the Western frontier. The Little House series became even more popular after a TV series was made based on her stories.
by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write
A massive monument of books collected for soldiers overseas, 1919
During World War I, the New York Public Library ran their “War Library Book Drive” with the slogan “You! Help Build It.” To literally show the library being built, the books that were donated were stacked to form a monument on the front steps of the library…
The first American bookmobile was actually a wagon.
Mary Titcomb, a Maryland librarian, recgonized that having books was only one part of the library’s job: the other part was making the books accessible. The Washington County Library Wagon took books around the county, making scheduled stops in addition to impromptu dispersals.
This first “bookmobile” served until 1910, when it was hit by a train (no one was injured, though the fate of the books it was carrying is unknown).
Qiu Jin (1875-1907)
Revolutionary Chinese heroine, poet, feminist, and activist Qiu Jin founded a radical women’s journal, attempted to overthrow the Qing Dynasty, and rallied for women’s rights to marry freely and receive an education.
"Fiction is written with reality and reality is written with fiction. We can write fiction because there is reality and we can write reality because there is fiction; everything we consider today to be myth and legend, our ancestors believed to be history and everything in our history includes myths and legends.
Before the splendid modern-day mind was formed our cultures and civilizations were conceived in the wombs of, and born of, what we identify today as “fiction, unreality, myth, legend, fantasy, folklore, imaginations, fabrications and tall tales.” And in our suddenly realized glory of all our modern-day “advancements” we somehow fail to ask ourselves the question “Who designated myths and legends as unreality? ”
But I ask myself this question because who decided that he was spectacular enough to stand up and say to our ancestors “You were all stupid and disillusioned and imagining things” and then why did we all decide to believe this person? There are many realities not just one. There is a truth that goes far beyond what we are told today to believe in. And we find that truth when we are brave enough to break away from what keeps everybody else feeling comfortable.
Your reality is what you believe in. And nobody should be able to tell you to believe otherwise."
C. JoyBell C.
Via: Letters of Note
'Grapes of Wrath is Jewish propaganda.'
"On May 2nd of 1940, a Reverend Leon M. Birkhead — National Director of "Friends of Democracy," an organisation committed to combatting "anti-Semitic propaganda" — wrote to the author John Steinbeck with the following enquiry:
I hope that you will not think I am impertinent, but our organization has had put up to it the problem of your nationality. You may consider that it is none of our business, nor the business of anyone else in the country. However, there is a very widespread propaganda, particularly among the extreme reactionary religionists of the country, that you are Jewish, and that Grapes of Wrath is Jewish propaganda. I wonder if you have any sort of a statement that you could send me which would clarify this issue.
Steinbeck replied as follows.
May 7, 1940
Dear Mr. Birkhead:
I am answering your letter with a good deal of sadness. I am sad for a time when one must know a man’s race before his work can be approved or disapproved. It does not seem important to me whether I am Jewish or not, and I know that a statement of mine is useless if an interested critic wishes to ride a preconceived thesis. I cannot see how The Grapes of Wrath can be Jewish propaganda but then I have heard it called communist propaganda also.
It happens that I am not Jewish and have no Jewish blood but it only happens that way. I find that I do not experience any pride that it is so.
If you wish—here is my racial map although you know what an intelligent anthropologist thinks of racial theories. As you will see, I am the typical American Airedale.
My grandfather on my father’s side was German, the son of a farming family which lived and still lives on a fairly large farm near Düsseldorf. My grandfather came to America in the late fifties in time to be in the Civil War. There has been little communication with the German branch since then except for a visit to Germany about four years ago by a second cousin of mine. He reports that the family still lives on the same farm and that they appear to be good citizens, intensely blond and quite able to prove the nonsensical thing the Nazis insist on. Their name and ours by the way was Grosssteinbeck but the three s’s in a row were an outrage to America so my grandfather dropped the first syllable in the interest of spelling.
My German grandfather married a New England woman whose family name was Dickson who came from Leominster, Massachusetts, where her family had lived since the middle seventeenth century.
On my mother’s side my blood is all north Irish, my grandfather whose name was Hamilton having come from Mulkeraugh near Londonderry and his wife whose name was Feaghan from nearby.
Anyway there it is. Use it or don’t use it, print it or not. Those who wish for one reason or another to believe me Jewish will go on believing it while men of good will and good intelligence won’t care one way or another.
I can prove these things of course—but when I shall have to—the American democracy will have disappeared.
Yours is only one of many letters I have received on the same subject. It is the first I have answered and I think it is the last. I fully recognize your position and do not in the least blame you for it. I am only miserable for the time and its prejudice that prompts it.
P. S. On both sides and for many generations we are blond and blue-eyed to a degree to arouse the admiration and perhaps envy of the dark-complexioned Hitler.”