Friday, January 16, 2009

Starting a College in a Recession!

Happy New Year!

We are looking forward to a new season of moving SEC toward its telos!

When we began our fundraising efforts last summer, the economy seemed pretty good to us ... we've heard rumors that it has gotten worse this fall and winter.

Someone once said, "the next time there's a recession, I am not going to participate!"

We decided to take that advice and sit this recession out and just keep raising money.

As we do so we will remember Socrates' advice from the Apology:

O my friend, why do you who are a citizen of the great and mighty and wise city of Athens, care so much about laying up the greatest amount of money and honor and reputation, and so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul, which you never regard or heed at all? Are you not ashamed of this? And if the person with whom I am arguing says: Yes, but I do care; I do not depart or let him go at once; I interrogate and examine and cross-examine him, and if I think that he has no virtue, but only says that he has, I reproach him with undervaluing the greater, and overvaluing the less. And this I should say to everyone whom I meet, young and old, citizen and alien, but especially to the citizens, inasmuch as they are my brethren. For this is the command of God, as I would have you know; and I believe that to this day no greater good has ever happened in the state than my service to the God. For I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons and your properties, but first and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue come money and every other good of man, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, my influence is ruinous indeed. But if anyone says that this is not my teaching, he is speaking an untruth. Wherefore, O men of Athens, I say to you, do as Anytus bids or not as Anytus bids, and either acquit me or not; but whatever you do, know that I shall never alter my ways, not even if I have to die many times.

So this will be a major component of our fundraising strategy, to be like Socrates, arguing that the most important thing is not money but the soul!

Jesus said some things like this too: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be" (Matthew 6:19-21).

Is it really a good idea to use these notions from Jesus and Socrates to raise money?!

Socrates was executed by drinking hemlock and Jesus by crucifixion ....

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