Professor John Roth

Attending a presentation by Professor John Roth was like taking a mini-course in Philosophy.  I envy those students who get a whole semester/quarter with him.   It was a thoughtful and inspirational evening.   I didn’t take notes, but here is what I recollect.  As you can see, he definitely found his leverage.

Questions are valuable, they open doorways for thought:
Sometimes questions offer more than answers. Their value lies in possibilities.
Here are some age old questions to ponder and to ask young people in your life:

What is important?

  1. What is better?
  2. What is right?
  3. What is truth?

Current American Society
From a historical perspective, how will we be remembered?

  1. Admiration
  2. Judgment
  3. As a time where a great deal of attention was paid to Human Rights

On Personal Responsibility and Civic Duty
What are you doing?
Are you doing enough?
– and / or –
What did we do?
Could we have done more?
Could it have been better?

On today’s atrocities, like Darfur
We must find where we have leverage.  In Johns case, he has the classroom.  A captive audience to encourage thoughts, responsibility and actions.  Where is your leverage?  Do your part.Perspective
Life will always be with troubles.  We are living in good times. There are people in the world who would like to take away our values.
Never take anything good for granted.

Where is there hope?
Look for the golden strands in history
Look for the power and influence of those who have passed away (Dominion of the Dead)
Look for inspiration in people

  •    Help others
  •    Others help you
  •    It’s human nature
  •    It’s reciprocal

Books Mentioned/Recommended
Methow River Poems by William Stafford  (the Methow river is in Washington State!)
The Dominion of the Dead by Robert Pogue Harrison
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

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