Thought for the Day: How right are you?

“When someone is honestly 55% right, that’s very good and there’s no use wrangling.  And if someone is 60% right, it’s wonderful, it’s great luck, and let him thank God.  But what’s to be said about 75% right?  Wise people say this is suspicious.  Well, and what about 100% right?  Whoever says he’s 100% right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal.”

Attributed to “An Old Jew of Glaicia” in the epigraph of The Captive Mind: An urgent message to the West on the Communist mentality and the tragic moral and intellectual condition of the men and women who live under Stalinism by Czeslaw Milosz.


Poet, novelist, essayist, translator, and winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature, Milosz was born in Šeteniai (Polish: Szetejnie), present-day Lithuania, on June 30, 1911 and died on August 14, 2004 in Kraków.


Czeslaw Milosz

Milosz image & biography information from

Jewish scholar image from:

How right are you?  How right are those you follow?

Aloha, Renée


About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

2 responses to “Thought for the Day: How right are you?”

  1. Rosita says :

    Well, IDK how right I’m nor our leaders, but I do believe God Almighty is always righteous. And I do believe that being born as a dog is ultimate blessing, ’cause they do teach us about unconditional love. And cats do teach us all we need to know about freedom and non-conformism. I’m finally back to Fortaleza, after 2 yrs & 4 months of not visiting here (ironically the time I got chikungunya, even tho I’m not cured yet, and doc says meh that this virus don’t really have a cure, as it seems he/she(?) do enjoys relapsing on my body from times to times) & da city did change a lot in that time. I’m astonished..but we know that cities, as well as people and the own time do change, mah? Nothing is eternal. Everything is ephemeral. And all we should do is embrace that change and accept the challenges who comes with it, and try to change wha’ we know that isn’t good for all those people who surrounds us 😉
    Hope y’all are fine,

    • reneeriley says :

      Hi, Rosita: I’m glad you’ve gotten back to one of your favorite places. Thanks for your insights. Hope you are feeling well. B & I are on the road again and are doing fine. Aloha, Renée

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