Essay PreviewMore ↓
The Measure of a One's Life
The measure of one's life is in his or her deeds. The life of Whittier Crocket Witherspoon has been remarkable in its scope of accomplishment and influence. He's been an educator, a school principal and teacher and a political leader who's met with presidents and the political elite of our country.
In 1987 Gov. Jim Hunt awarded him the Order of the Long Leaf Pine (North Carolina's highest civilian award) for a lifetime of service, and his house is a treasure trove of awards, mementos and photographs.
Yet, for all the awards, all the accolades, Witherspoon seems most proud of the lives he has touched and the children who have gone on to successful careers and lives.
"I am pleased to note that I have kids who have received their doctorates, and masters, and are nurses and teachers," he says. "A number are ministers. Many in this community."
He came to the Albemarle area in 1955 as the principal of what was then the Sawyers Creek School, the school for blacks in a segregated Camden County school system.
The U.S. Supreme Court had just ordered the desegregation of schools, and over the next 13 years, as the nation struggled with issues of racial hatred and division, the Marion Anderson School, as it was renamed in 1957, remained an island of calm in the storm.
Although they were turbulent times, Witherspoon did not feel complex answers were needed.
"I told (students) that when they stepped on that bus, they were mine," he says. "I told them they should love one another. I treated everybody the same. My school was run on love. L-O-V-E."
It is a philosophy that comes from the pulpit of his father, a Methodist minister who traveled "all over," in the words of Witherspoon. "I have looked up most of all to my father, and I have tried to follow in his footsteps," he says. "He attempted to train us (Witherspoon and his three brothers), and looking back over the years, I see that he did very well."
The lessons he learned were based on love and respect: to respect oneself, love others and love and respect this country.
Witherspoon served in the U.S. Army in the South Pacific during World War II, island hopping across forgotten atolls and nameless islands.
How to Cite this Page
"The Measure of One's Life." 123HelpMe.com. 24 Sep 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Morality in Measure for Measure Shakespeare's play, Measure for Measure, focuses on human morality. The play also explores the question of what kind of sexual conduct is socially acceptable, and what is not. The play depicts various attitudes toward prostitution, promiscuity, and premarital sex. But it also suggests that human laws and perhaps human morality are quite arbitrary and relative. Measure for Measure considers the need for statutes and laws to govern sexual appetites and ensure domestic tranquility.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
2108 words (6 pages)
- Abstinence and Orgy in Measure for Measure Many existing views of Measure for Measure seem intriguing but incomplete. They might reinforce our perception of this play as fragmented and baffling, because they do not integrate apparently conflicting outlooks presented in the play’s Vienna, and generated by the mysterious action of Vincentio. Notice how the following different interpretations display the conflicts: the extreme view proposed by Roy Battenhouse that the Duke stands for God (Rossiter 108-28); the modified position of Elizabeth Marie Pope that the Duke is a successful magistrate with divinely-delegated powers ("Renaissance" 66-82), almost in line with Eliade’s version of... [tags: Measure for Measure]
2585 words (7.4 pages)
- Angelo in Measure for Measure Within Measure for Measure, the character of Angelo can be seen as a case study of will over moral nature. Angelo, a deputy, is given the Dukes authority to act in his behalf while the Duke is away. The story unfolds as Angelo uses the agency he's been given in ways that many men in authoritative positions have done. It is interesting to follow his line of thought and to realize that this is a man who is not unlike many others. The main conflict between Isabella and Angelo is a contemporary problem.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
1019 words (2.9 pages)
- The Pontification of Isabella in Measure for Measure Within Measure for Measure the character of Isabella is characterized as an innocent pure female, and there is a focus on her ever-present moral dilemma. By using Elizabethan perspectives on women, nuns, and chastity, Shakespeare uses Isabella to reveal character traits and morality of those around her. However in opposition Isabella made be seen as an individual who pontificates too much when her brother’s life is at stake, it is perhaps easier for Isabella to suffer the condemnation of a modern audience.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
1126 words (3.2 pages)
- The Virtuous Isabella in Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is not a celebration of family values, the play points towards both the political virtuosity, which sustains the comic, and the humbler self-knowledge that preserves the integrity of the virtuoso. Human virtue can only be chosen in freedom, but we need not deny ourselves the opportunity of ensuring that this choice is not stifled by the subtly related powers of abstract intellectualism and carnal necessity Isabella in Measure for Measure personifies innocent virtue.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
1284 words (3.7 pages)
- The Dark Comedy of Measure for Measure Measure for Measure, the last of Shakespeare's great comedies, is also the darkest of his comedies, and represents his transition to tragic plays. This play differs from Shakespeare's other comedies, and is in many ways more akin to tragedy than to comedy. In setting, plot, and character development Measure for Measure has a tragic tone, however, because none of the main characters actually loses his life, this play is considered a comedy. Almost all of Shakespeare's comedies have dual localities: the real world of crime, punishment, and responsibility, and an idyllic world, where reality is malleable, and forgiving.... [tags: Measure for Measure Essays]
837 words (2.4 pages)
- Private Temptation and Social Restraint in Measure for Measure In his play, Measure for Measure, Shakespeare poses problems of law, justice, and personal freedom for which he offers no easy answers. Measure for Measure is very relevant to current political debates over public morality and the limits of self-expression. The play proposes the question: How do we reconcile social restraint and personal passion. The Vienna of Measure for Measure, under the rule of Duke Vincentio, is a garden gone to seed.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
829 words (2.4 pages)
- The Growth of Angelo and Pompey in Measure for Measure It is very difficult for a state to impose morality on its' citizens since morals have a tendency to be relative. Adding to the complexity is the fact that everyone has sinned - the enforcer is as much at fault as the accused. This problem comes to a boil in Shakespeare's play, "Measure for Measure", where Angelo enforces the death sentence for fornication against Claudio. Angelo then uses Claudio's problem as leverage to get his sister to commit the same crime with him.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
1098 words (3.1 pages)
- The Virtuous Vanity of Isabella in Measure for Measure Shakespeare's work, Measure for Measure, puts the "problem" in "problem play" as it, examines the difference between law and justice, virtue and goodness. It's a case study of abuse of power that has a particularly contemporary resonance. Isabella is a very intriguing Shakespearean female. She is one of the few intelligent females who are also innocent and holy. Measure for Measure focuses primarily on her moral dilemma. Does she save her brother and give up her valued chastity or does she save her own soul while allowing her brother to die.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
1498 words (4.3 pages)
- Social Injustice in Measure for Measure Social justice is a topic known all to well in today's society. Such issues as social heirarchial structure and unjust representatives of citizens of nations are issues in need of attention by those in power. Corruption, lies and greed by those in power however stand in the way of this form of justice from occurring, leaving many with little or no social status open to prejudice on race, religious and sexual grounds. William Shakespeare illustrates the ease in which power can corrupt in his play, Measure for Measure.... [tags: Measure for Measure]
557 words (1.6 pages)
"When I went to war, I went there to help people, proud to be from a free country," he said.
It is a pride and a belief in this country that has driven Witherspoon beyond the halls of academia, and propelled him into the political spotlight.
His voice was a call for calm and reason during the racial upheavals of the 1960s. And many years later in 1992 he again emerged as leader in the community as a co-founder of the Hope Group, a gathering of the business, political and educational leaders of Pasquotank County. "We started this with a simple philosophy," he recalls. "Why can't we all be together?"
He began his elected political career in 1975, serving as the chairman of the Pasquotank Board of Elections, and in 1986, at age 67, he was elected to the Board of Commissioners. In 1992 he became the chairman of the commissioners, a position he held until 1994. He still sits on the county board, and plans to run again in the upcoming elections.
"There are so many things. You can't just sit down and not do anything," he says. "I am going to run for county commissioner at this coming election."
"The commissioners face challenges," Witherspoon says. "Gov. Easley has taken money away from the county. There are a lot of things that have been deleted."
He is most concerned about education and the state of the area's schools.
"Do you know the schools are just about to fall down in most of our places," he says. "Educating our children must be our priority. The greatest legacy we can leave for our children is a good education."
The legacy that W.C. Witherspoon will leave is one of esteem for the individual and an encyclopedic memory of poetry. "I can only recite poetry for an hour and 45 minutes," he says, and many of the poems he recites teach lessons about respect for those around us.
"I went out to meet a friend, and no friend was there. I went out to be a friend, and friends were everywhere," is one of the poems he points to as a favorite.
Witherspoon has spent a lifetime in public service, first as an educator then as a political leader. He has confronted difficult issues and troubled times with a faith learned from his father and tested by time.
"As a man thinketh, so is he," he quotes. He goes on to add. "I have been very lucky in this, particularly."