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Desktop Archeology

February 17, 2012

It’s been way too long since my last post. I should have been writing about the ECDI project to bring broadband adoption training to all 67 Alabama counties, or our Stronger Economies Together (SET) project in five Alabama Black Belt counties, or my recent book chapter (with Amelia Stehouwer) about “The Politics and Economic Development of the Southern Black Belt”, or our upcoming Intensive Economic Development Training Course, or our Federal Road Initiative or Rural Alabama Initiative. But those topics will have to wait until next time.

I have a habit of taking quotes that I like and putting them under the glass top of my desk. I often see these words of wisdom and am encouraged by them. This morning I found myself digging through the files on my desk to read my favorite quotes. For this blog, I’d like to share the results of my desktop archeology.


                                                                                The Auburn Creed
I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count on only what I earn. Therefore I believe in work, hard work.
I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and hands to work skillfully.
I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect of my fellow men.
I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.
I believe in obedience to the law because it protects the rights of all.
I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.
I believe in my country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by “doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God.”
And because Auburn men and women believe these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.

                                                                                                                                – George Petrie (1945)


                                                                                Two Wolves
An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies & ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, & truth.” The little boy thought about it a moment, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?” The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

                                                                                                                                        – Cherokee Legend


                                        I asked God for strength that I might achieve;
                                            I was made weak that I might learn to obey.
                                        I asked for health that I might do greater things;
                                            I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
                                        I asked for riches that I might be happy;
                                            I was given poverty that I might be wise.
                                        I asked for power and the praise of men:
                                            I was given weakness to sense my need of God.
                                        I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
                                            I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
                                        I got nothing I asked for but everything I hoped for;
                                            In spite of myself, my prayers were answered –
                                        I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

                                              – Prayer of an unknown Confederate soldier


If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too,

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, or being hated, don’t       give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good nor talk too wise;

If you can dream and not make dreams your master,
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same,

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, and stoop to build them up with worn out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it on one turn of pitch and toss, and lose and      start at your beginning, and never breathe a word about your loss,

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold     on when there’s nothing in you, except the will which says to them — “Hold on”

If you can walk with crowds and keep your virtue, or talk with kings nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much,

If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run,
Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it, and which is more — you’ll be a man, my son.

                                                                                                                        – Rudyard Kipling


                                                        Sow a thought, you reap an act;
                                                        Sow an act, you reap a habit;
                                                        Sow a habit, you reap a character;
                                                        Sow a character, you reap a destiny.

                                                                                              – Anonymous

                                          Character is formed by making choices in one direction.


But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer; he is like a man who observes himself in a mirror and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
                                                                                                                – James 1:22-24 (Revised Standard Version)

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