Review of Ch. One: “In Defense of a Liberal Education”

liberal education February 11th, 2021

Liberal education is not typically prized by parents. “What you are not supposed to do is study the liberal arts. Around the world, the idea of a broad-based ‘liberal’ education is closely tied with the United States and its great universities and colleges. But in America itself, a liberal education is out of favor.” This is a sad and even ironic state of affairs. In the wonderful, well-researched, short but stout book In Defense of a Liberal Education, noted columnist and historian Fareed Zakaria, called “the most influential foreign policy advisor of his generation” by Esquire, laments that the humanities are no longer as popular as they were in America’s more prosperous decades. As manufacturing is under severe threat and jobs are increasingly lost to foreign countries or automation, Zakaria maintains that “to succeed today, you need creativity, lateral thinking, communication skills, and, more than anything, the ability to keep learning – precisely the gifts of a liberal education.” What follows is a summary and review of chapter one of this engaging book.

Read More

The Winter of Our Discontent

Shakespeare May 9th, 2020

“Now is the winter of our discontent,” Shakespeare wrote nearly 500 years ago. Talk about something standing the test of time! Indeed, there are many quotes from his prescient plays and striking sonnets that still aptly describe human beings today. As I write, it is nearly April, 2020, and the world is caught in convulsions of the chaos created by coronavirus. The pandemic, like something Shakespeare would have taken inspiration from, highlights both the good and the bad, the wise and the foolish, the wonderful and the absurd. It shows everything about human beings, the human condition, and humanity’s aspirations — and failings. It is through this lens that I write a bit about what is evident all around us now, in the winter of our discontent.

Read More

Confidence & Creativity: Commonwealth Cafe

confidence June 5th, 2019

I met a remarkable guy in 2007. He was an entrepreneur, a risk-taker, and a leader. His sense of humor, his dedication to build something wonderful led to us building and running a wonderful diner, named Commonwealth Cafe. Those days of working extremely hard, reaching to come up with the right plan, and having a lot of fun are treasured by me now, though there is also a deep pain. The licks I took on the project and the skills I learned have paid dividends in subsequent years. It isn’t easy to suffer a major loss, but there was so much merit to the Cafe while it was being built, promoted, and run. It was a really soulful and special place. Leighton Hollingsworth will always have a special place in my heart. We both created a bit of heaven on earth, and went to hell and back.

Read More

Reason and Emotion: Integrating Passion and Intellect

reason and emotion September 9th, 2018

There is an interesting metaphor for living in the world: that we ride atop an elephant (our emotion, our instincts, and our desires) and that our rational mind is like the human who attempts to direct the elephant where one wants this beast to go. This blog is about the ability to integrate reason and emotion, and the positive effects it can have on creativity, habit formation (and habit-breaking), and living a fulfilling and happy life. And what does one need to cultivate in order to ensure that rational thinking enjoys the benefit of passion and emotions? As usual, the answer is: wisdom. The bulk of the following is really quotations about reason and emotion, as exemplified by this quote by the distinguished scientist, evolutionary biologist, and author, Edward O. Wilson: “Brain scientists have vindicated the evolutionary view of mind. They have established that passion is inseverably linked to reason. Emotion is not just a perturbation of reason but a vital part of it.”

Read More

Scientist & Philosopher Jacob Bronowski Quotes

Bronowski quotes February 9th, 2018

Jacob Bronowski (1908 – 1974) lived for nearly 70 years before I was born. This genius was a Polish-born mathematician, historian of science, playwright, poet, and inventor. Bronowski is primarily responsible for the 1973 12-part exploration of creativity, ingenuity, vision, integration, science, and progress, The Ascent of Man, and the accompanying book. It was very careful, rational, and aspirational. He seems like a great man, a real scientist, and one of humanity’s greatest losses. He did say and write many important things, and I will now present you with the fifty or sixty Jacob Bronowski quotes that are a valued part of The Wisdom Archive, which is yours to search for free. Enjoy.

Read More

Ingenuity Quotes: Inspirational & Insightful

ingenuity quotes January 22nd, 2018

According to, “Ingenuity is the ability to think creatively about a situation or to solve problems in a clever way.” The Latin word for “mind” or “intellect” is a root of ingenuity…Ingenuity is all about imagination.” That is fine, as far as it goes. One of the strengths of Values of the Wise, though, is that a much deeper and broader understanding of a concept as important and sophisticated as this. If you want to really know what a value means, the dictionary definition will be a bit thin. However, ingenuity quotes from a wide variety of individuals, from different cultures, times, and places, is just what you need to really appreciate the phenomenon. A few examples and insights, as well as a multitude of unique quotations about ingenuity, are the goals of this blog.

Read More

Krishnamurti & Bohm: Physics and Metaphysics

Krishnamurti January 1st, 2018

Albert Einstein said: “The more I study physics, the more I am drawn to metaphysics.” It is an interesting, integrative approach to knowledge, wisdom, and facts about the nature of the universe and mankind. Jiddu Krishnamurti and David Bohm also famously sought to bridge the gap between physics and metaphysics. This blog is a brief summary of the issues and the dialogues had between the Princeton physicist and the Indian philosopher. Several Einstein quotes are also presented. The goal is to better envision integration, transcendentalism, insight, and wisdom.

Read More

“Every Coin Has Two Sides”

every coin has two sides November 1st, 2017

The following poem is an exploration of opposites, a dialectical glimpse at the world. Polarities are integrated.

Possible is as present as actual
Emotion is as admirable as erudition
Music is as prestigious as mathematics
Caprice is as comfortable as predictability…

Read More

Quotes About Vision Can Inspire and Enlighten

quotes about vision July 11th, 2017

You’ll find goodies like this in the Wisdom Archive, a 25,000-quote search engine dedicated to quotes about vision, quotations on values, and so on: “Everything in the material universe about us, everything ever known, had its origin first in thought. From this it took its form. Every castle, every statue, every painting, every piece of mechanism – everything had its birth, its origin, first in the mind of the one who formed it…” Ralph Waldo Trine. Yes, Trine, not Emerson. Ralph Waldo did have many great quotes about vision, and few are better than this gem: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” What are some other great quotes about vision, and what is the point of knowing about them? Read on.

Read More

From Thought to Action: Interview with Ruth Westreich

April 5th, 2017

Sometimes the ideas Jason gets into on this program about values and ethics can be abstract, external, or at times, obtuse. For that and many other reasons, Jason dialogues with Ruth Westreich about her life, her values, her work, the modern world, and how she puts thought into action. She recently co-authored (with Jan Phillips)

Read More