“Which was the greater innovator, which was the more important personage in man’s history – he who first led armies over the Alps, and gained the victories of Cannae and Thrasymene; or the nameless boor who first hammered out for himself an iron spade? When the oak-tree is felled, the whole forest echoes with it; but a hundred acorns are planted silently by some unnoticed breeze.”–Thomas Carlyle, On History
It’s tough to have the Quote of the Day space on the thirtieth anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s Brandenburg Gate speech. Talk about “when the oak-tree is felled, the whole forest echoes with it.” There it is.
Meanwhile, we “village Hampdens” (to borrow from another author who sometimes pondered the unsung merits of ordinary folk), plod along, dropping our acorns in the breeze, and waiting to see if any of them takes root.
What a perfect forum Ricochet is for us.
Thank you, Peter Robinson, not only for your contribution to rhetorical and world history thirty years ago today, but also for what you’ve done, more recently, for little me (this, if anyone’s counting–don’t expect anyone is, really–is my one-hundredth acorn).
And thank you, Rob Long, for penning and producing many episodes of my late stepson, Michael’s, favorite TV show, and for joining with Peter on this enterprise only seven short years ago.
Here’s to several thousand more acorns from us all. Many of them are bound to flourish and grow. And if any one of us has it in him to fell another oak tree, have at it!