Finis Origine Pendet
“The end depends upon the beggining.”
St. Benedict Shool for Boys’ headmaster reiterate these words in the beginning of the film The Emperor’s Club, reminding the freshman boys of the school’s philosophy. This they are supposed to put to heart as they go through their journey in school. The statement empasizes the importance of the present to the future, and consequently the past to the present as well as the future. What we have done and what we do affects what is in store for us. Different people have different ways of defining and looking at the past. For some, “Past is past.” It is something that already happened. As Mr. Hundert put it, “We cannot step into the same river twice. An opportunity lost is lost forever.” The past is something we can not do anything about but which should not affect the way we live at present. At this point this belief becomes questionable because we all know that the way we live our lives is inevitably affected by experiences that we had and decisions we made in the past. Believing otherwise may mean you want to repress hideous past experiences you do not want to remember. But the fact that you repress them proves they still affect you. Mr. Hundert is a remarkable history professor in St. Benedict who also involves himself in the lives of his students in the little ways he can, may it be in the school hallways or the dormitory. When he sees that Sedgewick is not fulfilling his potential, he arranges for a conversation with the boy’s father. The Senator then asks him, “What’s the good of what you’re teaching those boys?” He replies with a belief that “when the boys read Plato, Aristotle... Julius Caesar even, they’re put in direct contact with men who in their own age exemplified the highest standards of statesmanship, civic virtue, character, conviction.” As a history teacher he believes in the power of the past to be a good example to his students. As was once said in our class, “The best historian...
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