Wednesday, February 16, 2011
It is clearly a political thing, and I hate to talk politics on my blog. However, I am a teacher, and the observations I make about the generation I teach cannot be ignored, even if you should disagree with my perspective.
Last week, I saw a young man with a sweatshirt bearing the symbol of Cleobulus of Lindos, which I only recognized because I occasionally teach a course called Ancient and Medieval Literature. The symbol sparked a classroom discussion, which renewed my long-term dislike for the wisdom of Cleobulus.
Cleobulus was an ancient Greek poet in Lindos, on the Island of Rhodes, who was one of the Seven Sages of Greece. These revered wise men became widely renowned as the dispensers of knowledge to the youth of Greek civilization. It was this wisdom that was intended to carry ancient Greece to the top of the societal food chain in the sixth century BC. It did not work out so well. The great civilization declined, and I blame much on the teachings of Cleobulus, particularly his famous quote, "The middle course is the best." In this country, we are teaching the same lesson to our youth: Strive for mediocrity!
I think I hear Roman chariots.