Not For Present Use Alone

Reading over last year’s Christmas letters (yep, I keep them and re-read them), I saw this quote.  It is especially good, I think, for homeschool moms to ponder.  The part about stones being “sacred because our hands have touched them” makes me think of the music books I prize because my mother wrote my name on the cover.  Having her handwriting on those books makes them precious to me. 

When we build, let us think that we build forever. 

Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone.

Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, “See! This our father did for us.”

~ John Ruskin

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5 thoughts on “Not For Present Use Alone

  1. Dovetails with II Peter 2 about living stones and a chosen people…………and having that kind of focus that goes down through the generations makes me happy – just like finding a book from 1960 which was inscribed to me at Christmas from a great aunt and uncle.

  2. Rex has a silver baby cup from my sister; she gave it to him the last time I saw her.  I still remember standing by the car (packed liked the Beverly Hillbillies and more from camping) and laughing and hugging and saying very rare, “I love you”s.  That cup is precious to me, and it doesn’t even have her handwriting on it.  It was her last gift to us.Beautiful quote, Carol.  Beautiful.Love,Di

  3. A former student who took a position teaching English when I left that position recently told me that she still has the copy of Lord of the Flies that I passed on to her — it has all of my notes in it and in a sense, symbolizes the impact we leave on each person we teach — whether family or child or friend.

  4. Also our precious children… When we build, let us think that we build forever… we are in the midst of listening to and accepting our childrens’ (not-knowing-what to-do-might-not-work-out) decisions. Both are finished with school and uncertain about their next steps. Thanks Carol for reminding me about that, especially – Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. I will write the quotes on our blackboard tonight, and see what the rest of the family says when they see it…

  5. I’ve been thinking on this especially this last year or two – with one Grandfather dying in his 90s and another entering his 90s, I realize all that I want to hold on to of them.  And last night we enjoyed our annual tradition of watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” so reading your quote this morning was a delight.  Thank you!  

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