In his essay “On the Education of Children,” the 16th-century essayist and philosopher Michel de Montaigne offers insights applicable to today’s bluster and debate about immigrants and Donald Trump’s wall.

First, there’s this: “Obstinacy and contentiousness are low qualities, generally to be found in the meanest minds.” And, shortly thereafter, we find the following: “When someone asked Socrates of what country he was he did not reply, ‘of Athens,’ but ‘of the world.’ His was a fuller and wider imagination; he embraced the whole world as his city, and extended his acquaintance, his society and his affections to all mankind: unlike us, who look only under our own feet.”

If only we could find some of this ancient wisdom in today’s leaders, especially our president, we might face our future with more hope and confidence.

Bob Schaible


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