The Jackdaw Journal
A Publication of M2 Communications

jack-daw [JAK-dah], n. 1. a glossy, black, European bird, corvus monedula, of the crow family, that nests in towers, ruins, etc.; has a proclivity to collect bright objects that attract its attention; can include bits of ice, things round or square, twigs, filaments of light bulbs; specialist on the lookout of what fits the construction of its nest.

jackdaw journal [JAK-dah JERN-al], n. 1. a repository of bright objects — wit, wisdom and whimsey — collected and/or created by Michael McKinney.   2. a web log or blog


July 2007 Archives
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Relationships Matter

July 5, 2007

Heard a great question the other day concerning relationships: "What are you willing to give up to maintian a relationship?" Relationships are really about giving up some of the self. They are about the other person.

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Wisdom Is In

July 10, 2007

It seems we are hearing more about "wisdom." I'll pass along some words to the wise:
Bertoly Brecht, in The Caucasian Chalk Circle: "Mixing one's wines may be a mistake, but old and new wisdom mix admirably."
Simeone Weil: "It is a fault to wish to be understood before we have made oursleves clear to ourselves."
A. A. Milne, in Winnie the Pooh: "Owl hasn't exactly got a Brain, but he Knows Things."
Goethe: "Whoso shrinks from ideas ends by having nothing but sensations."
Flannery O'Connor, in The Habit of Being: "Learn what you can, but cultivate Christian skepticism. It will keep you free—not free to do anything you please, but free to be formed by something larger than your own intellect or the intellect of those around you."

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Václav Havel on Hope

July 13, 2007

"Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out."
—Václav Havel, Disturbing the Peace, ch. 5 (1986; tr. 1990)

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Friendship is in Bad Shape

July 31, 2007

From Valparaiso University's The Cresset comes these comments about friendship by John von Heyking: Last year the American Sociological Review published a study demonstrating that between 1985 and 2004, the number of Americans admitting they have no one with whom to discuss important matters nearly tripled.

Americans ... seem to have lost the art of friendship. They seem to be unsure just what to do with a friend. They know how to unite their bodies but not their souls. They seem to have forgotten a rich heritage in Western thinking on the meaning of friendship. The ancient Greeks thought that friendship at its best involved conversing about the noble and the good. Thus Xenophon reports Socrates proclaiming:
Just as others are pleased by a good horse or dog or bird, I myself am pleased to an even higher degree by good friends… and the treasures of the wise men of old which they left behind by writing them in books, I unfold and go through them together with my friends, and if we see something good, we pick it out and regard it as a great gain if we thus become useful to one another. (Xenophon, Memorabilia, I, vi, 14)

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