A couple weeks ago, our pastor at church shared a portion of a quote that caught my attention. I jotted it down and looked it up when I arrived home. It is attributed to British historian, Arnold J. Toynbee. I’ve been thinking about it off and on since then in relation to teaching and thought I would share it with you:
“Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.”
I love the balance between idealism and practicality. It reminds me of a friend of mine who once told me, “Good intentions are good; good results are even better.” As teachers we can cast a vision for our students of what they can achieve, and as we work with them week after week we can also lay out a step-by-step plan to make it a reality.
As I was searching for the above quote, I came across this other one also attributed to Toynbee:
“It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.”
Intriguing. I’m not sure if I totally agree. What do you think?