Monday, October 8, 2012

Honors Forum, 10/8/12

I think the purpose of us all having our honors blogs on Blogger was so we could comment on each others' blogs. Well, this is not happening. I'm not sure we're even reading each other's blogs. I glance at other people's occasionally. (I mostly note the lack of posts, to tell the truth. Get with the program, peeps!) Once, I commented on someone else's blog. Then I felt like a creepy stalker and wanted to apologize to them in person. Then I considered that that would be even MORE of creepy stalkerish behavior, and I have no wish to be a creepy stalker. So I have settled for figuratively crawling away under the table and hoping that imprudent comment never, ever, comes to light again.

Anyhoo, tonight's speaker was a Dr. John Lane, a periordontist. I have no idea if I've spelled that correctly. It deals with the foundations of teeth and presumably the gums, at any rate.

So he spoke to us tonight about civic engagement, defining it and listing ways in which one can demonstrate civic responsibility. Some were: voting (I vote), jury duty, and volunteering.

The very small number of students (and honors students, at that!) who responded when Dr. Lane asked for a show of hands of people who voted was saddening. Ever since I was old enough and registered to vote, I have voted in every single election, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Does my vote seem to count for much? Not always. Will the fact that I have voted and the ramifications thereof have an impact on my life and eternal destination? Most definitely.

Jury duty? Now that is something I have never been called up for, obviously...

Volunteering. Ah, volunteering, thou who art so encouraged by speakers to young people everywhere. Really, now, is there anything I can say that will make other honors students more aware of the need for volunteering? I think I'm preaching to the choir here.

Dr. Lane stated that his research with Google led him to the discovering that the concept of civic responsibility orginated in Rome. He then made the incongruous statement that Roman citizens helped keep the Roman Empire alive by fulfilling their duty to democracy and all that and that is where he lost me. I am a proud nerd. I also know that people have a really weird obsession with the word, 'democracy'. The Roman Empire was decidedly not a democracy. You'd think the word 'empire' would clue people in but, apparently, not. Rome actually started off as a kingdom (Romulus, one of the twins who was dumped into the Tiber. Ring any bells?), before the Romans eventually kicked out the king and formed a republic. The republic was formed into an empire by Caesar Augustus. It was not a democracy. Nor are we a democracy, either. The USA is a democratic republic. Democracy is mob rule, and we certainly don't want that here.

However, Dr. Lane did gain points in my books for quoting the preamble of the Constitution and referring to it again later on. I would like to submit that another quality of civic duty should be to read the Constitution and know how our government works (or does not work, as the case may be).

Dr. Lane also gained points when he brought up Dave Ramsey, since I think Dave Ramsey has a wonderful money philosophy and also a general wonderful life philosophy.

Perhaps Dr. Lane's talk could be summed up as, "Give back." It sounds trite compressed into two words like that, but it is the kernel of it.

He also had two great quotes. I love quotes and collect them. Those of you, if any, who read my blog will know this, as I tend to post a quote along with my longer posts. So his quotes shall be posted right after this!

In Pace Christi,


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