Wednesday, July 29, 2009


"In the United States, as soon as several inhabitants have taken an opinion or an idea they wish to promote in society, they seek each other out and unite together once they have made contact. From that moment, they are no longer isolated but have become a power seen from afar whose activities serve as an example and whose words are heeded"
-Alexis de Tocqueville

July 29 marks the anniversary of the birth of Alexis de Tocqueville (1805), French political writer, statesman and aristocrat.

Tocqueville had a long and vigorous political life in France, serving as a visible force during one of France's most tumultuous periods of history. For a very good thumbnail of his life and times, visit the entry about him in Wikipedia.

In this country, however, Tocqueville is know best for his keen observations of the American mindset, which he published between 1835 and 1840 as Democracy in America. Tocqueville particularly described as noted in our inspiration associationism, which describes our culture's willingness to come together to address issues or needs.

This quote, often paraphrased to describe American philanthropy, is a reflection of the leaders of our Learning Centers. As a board, you have the ablity to ultimately have the Learning Center you desire. There is power in your numbers and your passion can win the day. Just as it impressed our young French Count in the 1800's our unique national sense of empowerment and self-determination exists today.

As a bonus, I'll leave you with one of my favorite Tocqueville quotes. I feel a swelling of pride and responsibility whenever I read or hear this:

"America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. "

Let's do good!!


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