To Sir With Love

To Sir With Love

Those school girl days of telling tales and biting nails gone.
But in my mind,
I know they will still live on and on.
But how do you thanks someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
It isn’t easy, but I’ll try.
If you wanted the sky, I’d write across the sky in letters that would soar a thousand feet high,
To sir with love.

The time has come,
For closing books and long last looks must end,
And as I leave,
I know that I am leaving my best friend,
A friend who taught me right from wrong,
And weak from strong,
That’s a lot to learn,
What, what can I give you in return?
If you wanted the moon I would try on and make a start,
But I would rather you let me give my heart,
To sir with love.

Silver Threads Among the Gold

Silver Threads Among the Gold

Darling, I am growing old,
Silver threads among the gold,
Shine upon my brow today,
Life is fading fast away;
But, my darling, you will be, will be,
Always young and fair to me;
Yes, my darling, you will be, will be,
Always young and fair to me.

When your hair is silver white,
And your cheeks no longer bright,
With the roses of the May,
I will kiss your lips and say;
Oh, my darling, mine alone, alone,
You have never older grown;
Yes, my darling, mine alone, alone,
You have never older grown.

Sunrise Sunset

Sunrise Sunset

Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older,
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small?
Sunrise, sunset,
Sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly flow the days;
Seedlings turn over night to sunflow’rs,
Blossoming even as we gaze.
Sunrise, sunset,
Sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years;
One season following another,
Laden with happiness and tears.
What’s words of wisdom can I give them?
How can I help to ease their way?
Now they must learn from one another day by day.
They look so natural together,
Just like two newly weds should be,
Is that all kind of peace and stood for me.

Morning Has Broken

Morning Has Broken

Morning has broken like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning,
Praise for them springing fresh from the world.

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dew fall on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning,
Born of the one light Eden saw play.
Praise with elation, praise ev’ry morning,
God’s recreation of the new day.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
by Richard Bach (1936- )

It was morning, and the new sun sparkled gold across the ripples of a gentle sea.

A mile from shore a fishing boat chummed the water, and the word for Breakfast Flock flashed through the air, till a crowd of a thousand seagulls came to dodge and fight for bits of food. It was another busy day beginning.

But way off alone, out by himself beyond boat and shore, Jonathan Livingston Seagull was practicing. A hundred feet in the sky he lowered his webbed feet, lifted his beak, and strained to hold a painful hard twisting curve through his wings. The curve meant that he would fly slowly, and now he slowed until the wind was a whisper in his face, until the ocean stood still beneath him. He narrowed his eyes in fierce concentration, held his breath, forced one … single … more … inch … of … curve … Then his feathers ruffled, he stalled and fell.

Seagulls, as you know, never falter, never stall. To stall in the air is for them disgrace and it is dishonor.

But Jonathan Livingston Seagull, unashamed, stretching his wings again in that trembling hard curve — slowing, slowing, and stalling once more — was no ordinary bird.

Most gulls don’t bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight — how to get from shore to food and back again. For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight. More than anything else, Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly.

This kind of thinking, he found, is not the way to make one’s self popular with other birds. Even his parents were dismayed as Jonathan spent whole days alone, making hundreds of low-level glides, experimenting.

I Have a Dream

I Have a Dream
by Martin Luther King (1929-1968)


I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood; I have a dream —

That one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice; I have a dream —

That my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character; l have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers; I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted every hill and mountain shall be made low, and rough places will be made plane and crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

A Theory of Justice

A Theory of Justice
by John Rawls (1921-2002)

Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many.
Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests. The only thing that permits us to acquiesce in an erroneous theory is the lack of a better one; analogously, an injustice is tolerable only when it is necessary to avoid an even greater injustice. Being first virtues of human activities, truth and justice are uncompromising.

These propositions seem to express our intuitive conviction of the primacy of justice. No doubt they are expressed too strongly. In any event I wish to inquire whether these contentions or others similar to them are sound, and if so how they can be accounted for. To this end it is necessary to work out a theory of justice in the light of which these assertions can be interpreted and assessed.

Inaugural Address

Inaugural Address
by John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again — not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are; but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in, and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation” — a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; Ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.

The Art of Scientific Investigation

The Art of Scientific Investigation
by William I.B. Beveridge (1908-2006)

Albert Einstein distinguishes three types of research workers: those who take up science because it offers them an opportunity to exercise their particular talents and who exult in it as an athlete enjoys exercising his prowess; those who regard it as a means of livelihood and who but for circumstances might have become successful business men; and lastly the true devotees, who are rare but make a contribution to knowledge out of proportion to their numbers.

Some psychologists consider that man’s best work is usually done under adversity and that mental stress and even physical pain may act as a mental stimulant. Many prominent men have suffered from psychological troubles and various difficulties but for which perhaps they would never have put forward that effort required to excel.

The scientist seldom gets a large monetary reward for his labours so he should be freely granted any just fame arising from his work. But the greatest reward is the thrill of discovery. As many scientists attest, it is one of the greatest joys that life has to offer. It gives a tremendous emotional uplift and great sense of well-being and satisfaction. Not only factual discoveries but the sudden realisation of a generalisation can give the same feeling of exhilaration. As Prince Kropotkin wrote:

“He who has once in his life experienced this joy of scientific creation will never forget it.”