Exercising character

“Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.” – Horace Mann

Horace Mann

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Mann’s service in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives is overshadowed by his work as an educational reformer who greatly influenced the American public schools system. But I knew of him more as the namesake of the demanding elementary school many of my friends attended and as the one-time president of nearby Antioch College.

Now I’m surprised to learn he was a brother-in-law to novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne and assumed John Quincy Adams’ seat in Congress.

Education, as he saw it, was about much more than imparting facts or creeds. Intelligent public service would be crucial to a successful democratic nation.

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