Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Story Of Civilization

I urge the families that come to Woodland Park to think of our school as an old fashioned neighborhood, the kind that I know existed because I lived in one: a neighborhood in which children spent their days roaming from yard to yard, gathering up friends and playing with them.

In one sense we felt we were alone out there with the other children, as we practiced being human beings together, but we also knew that everywhere we went, there was a mom standing in the window, keeping an eye on us as she washed the dishes or folded the laundry.

That was our preschool and so long as there were other kids, we were learning what we needed to know to build civilization.

"Civilization is a stream with banks.

The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting, and doing things historians usually record -- while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry, whittle statues.

The story of civilization is what happens on the banks."  ~Will Durant

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tom, I have been reading your blog for a good year now and I absolutely love it. Thanks for all the time you put into it. I felt moved to comment this time, as we are getting ready to move into a new house, in a new neighborhood, where there are kids, but also.....fences. Wooden privacy fences. My husband commented that the first thing he'd like to do is to invite all the neighbors over for a barbecue and start a little discussion about removing the fences! That's the kind of neighborhood we dream of. Where kids can roam among the yards, together, independently, creating civilization, while adults can be closeby for help when needed.

-Michelle & Hub, Pittsburgh, PA

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