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Practically Idealistic blog
The title for this blog originated with use of the term “practical idealist” in this 1996 opinion piece, which asked: “To what kind of work should a practical idealist aspire?” A century and a half earlier, Emerson, in his 1841 essay Circles, wrote: “There are degrees in idealism.  We learn first to play with it academically. . . .  Then we see in the heyday of youth and poetry that it may be true, that it is true in gleams and fragments.  Then, its countenance waxes stern and grand, and we see that it must be true.  It now shows itself ethical and practical.”  John Dewey and Mahatma Gandhi embraced practical idealism in the 20th century, as did UN Secretary General U Thant.  Al Gore invoked it in a 1998 speech. In the context of this blog, the term is meant to convey idealism tempered but not overwhelmed by realism: a search for the ideal on a path guided by common sense.
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Sunday, December 29, 2013

“Closing the ‘Word Gap’…”

NPR today featured a story on the “word gap” among young children.  This issue has gained prominence in recent years; among the initiatives is Too Small to Fail, which Hillary Clinton is leading.

An April 2013 post on the LiteracyEveryday site addressed this gap, following a related Literacy Forum.

10:09 am est 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Learning and Dance, New Havener of the Year

An April 2013 (April 7) post mentioned Ballet Haven and that organization’s founder, Mnikesa Whitaker.

Mnikesa has now been named New Havener of the year.  Congratulations to Kesa; she is a tremendous person, and Ballet Haven deserves support.

9:04 am est 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013: “Education is the great engine of personal development..."

The death this month of one of the great figures of the 20th century, Nelson Mandela, is a marker of history – of when the events of our time ascend to all time. 

A passage from Mandela’s extraordinary autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, is among the words of inspiration on this website:

“Education is the great engine of personal development. . . . It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”
9:14 am est 

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