Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Quotes #12

by Harley Voogd

“[E]very boy or girl in this country learns the three R’s. Now, perhaps they would have better minds if they learned the Greek letters and language instead, but they have no choice. This English is their heritage. Long before they could choose, their elders have moulded their minds and made them into English speakers, English readers, English writers, and accountants. The young depend on the choices made for them by their elders. An heir is not somebody who can choose what he shall inherit; if he could make his choice, he would be self-made. But, in so far as his inheritance is determined, he is an heir, and under the laws of heredity. And to his heredity a man may say either yes or no, but he is caught in this one alternative which is not creative. He does, however, determine the background of the next generation.

“Hence, one’s generation’s background is due to the previous generation’s foreground. My father’s values determined my education. And by no action of mine can I cancel out the fact that his education preceded my own judgements. I am more the product of his intent or his omissions than his own life was. I am his heir. Only my own son or students may fully reflect my own choices.”

~from The Christian Future, page 221

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