Self Education

Malcolm X’s Alma Mater – And How Choosing Between ‘Dead Time’ and ‘Alive Time’ Can Change Your Life.

Malcolm X's Alma Mater - Books.

Malcolm X was a criminal.  He wasn’t Malcolm X at the time – they called him Detroit Red and he was a criminal opportunist who did a little bit of everything.  He ran numbers.  He sold drugs.  He worked as a pimp.  Then he moved up to armed robbery.  He had his own burglary gang, which he ruled over with a combination of intimidation and boldness – exploiting the fact that he did not seem afraid to kill or die.

Then, finally, he was arrested trying to fence an expensive watch he’d stolen.  He was carrying a gun at the time, though to his credit he made no move to fight the officers who had trapped him.  In his apartment, they found jewelry, furs, an arsenal of guns, and all his burglary tools.

He got ten years.  It was February 1946.  He was barely twenty-one years old.

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“Too often, convinced of our own intelligence, we stay in a comfort zone that ensures that we never feel stupid (and are never challenged to learn or reconsider what we know).  It obscures from view various weakness in our understanding, until eventually it’s too late to change course.  This is where the silent toll is taken.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“Yet we are what we read.  We are the educators of our own personalities.  Certainly we have great influence in the crafting of our children.  If we brought half the intelligence to the making of souls that we bring to the making of machines, we would be people of character and imagination.  We would be sharp and therefore less inclined to kill and cheat each other.  We would know where to find the deep pleasures, so we would be less desperate for shallow entertainments and the ephemeral gratifications of gadgets.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self

“Let’s define dumb as being different from stupid.  Dumb means you don’t know what you’re supposed to know.  Stupid means you know it but make bad choices. […]  Dumb used to be a by-product of lack of access, bad teachers, or poor parenting.  Today, dumb is a choice, one that’s made by individuals who choose not to learn.  If you don’t know what you need to know, that’s fixable.  But first you have to want to fix it.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

“If there’s information that can be written down, widespread digital access now means that just about anyone can look it up.  We don’t need a human being standing next to us to lecture us on how to find the square root of a number or sharpen an ax.  (Worth stopping for a second and reconsidering the revolutionary nature of that last sentence.)  What we do need is someone to persuade us that we want to learn those things, and someone to push us or encourage us or create a space where we want to learn to do them better.  If all the teacher is going to do is read her pre-written notes from a PowerPoint slide to a lecture hall of thirty or three hundred, perhaps she should stay home.  Not only is this a horrible disrespect to the student, it’s a complete waste of the heart and soul of the talented teacher.  Teaching is no longer about delivering facts that are unavailable in any other format.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

“The power of reading a great book is that you start thinking like the author.  For those magical moments while you are immersed in the forests of Arden, you are William Shakespeare; while you are shipwrecked on Treasure Island, you are Robert Louis Stevenson; while you are communing with nature at Walden, you are Henry David Thoreau.  You start to think like they think, feel like they feel, and use imagination as they would.  Their references become your own, and you carry these with you long after you’ve turned the last page.  That is the power of literature, of a good play, of music; this is why we constantly want to expand our references.” ~ Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within

 

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