Sunday, October 5, 2008
Sunday October 5th
I have been thinking about my intense love and interest of politics lately. I can attribute it to one human being. Mr. Huffman; he was my government teacher in high school. Everyone was terrified of taking his class; if you did not pass you did not graduate. It was that plain and simple. The only thing we had as a textbook was a booklet put out by the Ohio Bar Association, "The Law and You". I still have mine. Never in my life have I met a man that loved the government and love the principals that it was based on more than Huff. The most amazing part of his class was that when it was time to get your grade you sat down with him one on one and discussed what you both thought that you deserved. He loved the argument and if you could show him yours was valid, even though he may have not agreed, he gave you the win. He taught us all how to think better than we ever could have thought we were able.
My lasting memory of Huff was one of the last weeks of the year; an argument between 2 students broke out on the hallway during class. My seat was right in front of the door and I saw a fellow student draw a handgun and point it at the other student. (I never did find out who that student was.) Huff, looked out into the hallway and without a moment’s hesitation, walked out into the situation, shut the door behind him and talked the student down. After he made sure that the situation was under control he came back into the classroom and resumed teaching. At the end of class he talked about what had happened for about 15 or 20 minutes and asked us for our thoughts on the situation as well. I will never forget that day. His actions and his selfless dedication to the students have left a lasting impression on me.
We were talking about the Declaration of Independence that week and to this day the words of that document stay with me. I love the fact that the movie "National Treasure" uses the words that Huff found so dear. These words mean so much more to me now than they ever could have when I was in High School. I will always remember Huff, he scared the crap out of me and he is, to this day, one of the most influential teachers of my education.
By the way, I think I got a B+ in his yearlong class.
Read these words out loud and listen to them. They are so profound!
The Declaration of Independence
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. — The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
Please replace King of Britain with the name that deserves to be there. I know who I would put in it's place!