The Wisdom Chronicle

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The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year. I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, J. Whiddon

531. SMART PHONES AND DEMENTIA? “One of the earliest and most debilitating symptoms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is hippocampal and entorhinal degeneration and the consequent loss of locational memory. Victims begin to forget where they are. Véronique Bohbot, a research psychiatrist and memory expert at McGill University in Montreal, has conducted studies demonstrating that the way people exercise their navigational skills influences the functioning and even the size of the hippocampus—and may provide protection against the deterioration of memory. The harder people work at building cognitive maps of space, the stronger their underlying memory circuits seem to become. They can actually grow gray matter in the hippocampus—a phenomenon documented in London cab drivers—in a way that’s analogous to the building of muscle mass through physical exertion. But when they simply follow turn-by-turn instructions in “a robotic fashion,” Bohbot warns, they don’t “stimulate their hippocampus” and as a result may leave themselves more susceptible to memory loss. Bohbot worries that, should the hippocampus begin to atrophy from a lack of use in navigation, the result could be a general loss of memory and a growing risk of dementia. “Society is geared in many ways toward shrinking the hippocampus,” she told an interviewer. “In the next twenty years, I think we’re going to see dementia occurring earlier and earlier.”

Excerpt From: Carr, Nicholas. “The Glass Cage: Automation and Us.”

532. PERSEVERE Thomas Edison once said, “Most of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success before they gave up.”

533. LEGACY “Great people plant trees they will never sit under.” — Alfred North Whitehead

534. CIVILITY “The strength of a nation is not its legal machinery, but the moral stamina and courage of its people. The law is but the codification of their conscience. There are not enough laws and never will be, to keep a society stable if its members no longer will it. There are not enough policemen, courts, judges or prisons, nor ever can be to prevent the death of a civilization whose people no longer care. Law enforcement is for the criminal few; it collapses if it must be enforced against the many. When the sense of personal accountability is no longer present in majority strength, then no legal device known to man can hold the society together. Freedom is a timely torch blazing in the dark.”

— Ralph Bradford

535. TAXES “The moment you abandon the cardinal principle of extracting from all individuals the same proportion of their income or their property you are at sea without rudder or compass & there is no amount of injustice or folly you may not commit.”

— John McCulloch (100 years ago)

536. BEING LIGHT “What is to give light must endure burning.”

—VIKTOR E. FRANKL

537. TECH EFFECT “Ours may be a time of material comfort and technological wonder, but it’s also a time of aimlessness and gloom. During the first decade of this century, the number of Americans taking prescription drugs to treat depression or anxiety rose by nearly a quarter. One in five adults now regularly takes such medications. The suicide rate among middle-aged Americans increased by nearly 30 percent over the same ten years, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 10 percent of American schoolchildren, and nearly 20 percent of high-school-age boys, have been given a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and two-thirds of that group take drugs like Ritalin and Adderall to treat the condition.”

Excerpt From: Carr, Nicholas. “The Glass Cage: Automation and Us.”

538. BIBLE & PRESIDENTS “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”

CALVIN COOLIDGE, THIRTIETH PRESIDENT

“We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity.”

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, THIRTY-SECOND PRESIDENT

“The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul. . . . If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!”

HARRY S. TRUMAN, THIRTY-THIRD PRESIDENT

“Inside the Bible’s pages lie all the answers to all of the problems man has ever known. . . . The Bible can touch our hearts, order our minds, and refresh our souls.”

RONALD REAGAN, FORTIETH PRESIDENT

Excerpt From: Lee, Richard. “In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional.”

539. The word “sin” is no longer included in the latest version of the Oxford Junior Dictionary.

540. “Some people mistake a bad memory for a clear conscience.” — Chris Seidman

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