Sunday, July 08, 2007

Lessons from an 1862 school reader...

Having run out of library books of my own, I have started reading the girls American Girl books. I found this in the back of Addy Learns a Lesson...

Dare and Do
  1. Dare to think, though others frown;
    Dare in words your thoughts express;
    Dare to rise, though oft cast down;
    Dare the wronged and scorned to bless.

  2. Dare from custom to depart;
    Dare the priceless pearl possess;
    Dare to wear it next your heart;
    Dare, when others curse, to bless.

  3. Dare forsake what you deem wrong;
    Dare to walk in wisdom's way;
    Dare to give where gifts belong;
    Dare God's precepts to obey.

  4. Dare what conscience says is right;
    Do what reason says is best;
    Do with all your mind and might;
    Do your duty, and be blest.
I am not sure I agree with the line about obeying God's precepts, but if you think of precepts as principles more than rules, then I suppose it's not so bad. The bible is full of a lot of rules, that I am inclined to believe are more the words of men than the words of God, but the principles it lays out are simple universal truths.

I am also not sure if I agree with the line to Do your duty because it doesn't really specify what "your duty" is...

But the rest seem like very good principles by which to live. My version:
  • Think for yourself, even though others disapprove;
    Speak up and share your thoughts;
    Keep trying no matter how hard it is;
    Be nice to the outcasts.

  • Don't just blindly follow the masses;
    Be compassionate and kind;
    Keep these things in your heart;
    especially when others are cruel.

  • Don't do it if it feels wrong;
    Be wise in all you do;
    Give freely without expectations for return;
    Follow the principles of human kindness.

  • Do what you believe is right;
    Do what makes sense;
    With all your being;
    Do these things and feel joy!

Ok, enough preachy-ness from me...

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