progress

progress


Personal Growth Tip: Choose ‘Enlargement’

personal growth June 18th, 2019

James Hollis is the author of a sweet little book (2018) entitled The Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey. He divides the 110-page book into 21 chapters, each about 2-3 pages long. Hollis keeps it pithy and free of fluff. Examples of chapters include: “It’s Time to Grow Up”, “Step Out from Under Parental Shade”, “Vow to Get Unstuck”, and “Choose Meaning Over Happiness”. What follows is a brief review and some personal growth quotes that can be found in Chapter 9: “Choose the Path of Enlargement”. I do recommend the book and please consider this a “critical review” for educational purposes.

Read More

Wisdom Is Ever-Ready to Guide Us From Here

Wisdom is ever-ready to guide us September 5th, 2018

For the moment, envision the high values and virtues – wisdom, truth, justice, beauty, passion, love, honor, strength, courage, etc. – as upon high; imagine they are personified, represented by gods and goddesses. Athena of course would symbolize wisdom; courage might be Apollo; Woden is strength, and so on. This idea was exemplified to great effect by Ancius Boethius. What he was thinking popped into my head when I looked at a picture of the anti-Christ, Donald Trump. Let me tell you about philosophy and Boethius. In his  The Consolation of Philosophy he spoke reverently of the word, and use the pronoun she to refer to wisdom and philosophy. He believed she watched over him, guided him, and could save him from his fate as a prisoner. I have hope that Wisdom is ever-ready to guide us from here to where we as individuals, communities and especially as a nation, we need to be.

Read More

Is MLK’s Dream of Social Justice Actually Possible?

social justice June 25th, 2018

It might sound odd or indefensible to claim that Martin Luther King Jr.’s wonderful speech known as “I Have a Dream” was determined by MLK to be more of a nightmare than a dream of peace and tranquility. In fact, if you think about it, the phrase “the American dream” refers not to racial or social justice, but striking it rich. Indeed, American values (the dark ones) dashed King’s buoyant optimism present when he wrote about his dream, and he knew this before he died. Will social justice and racial integration ever be realized? Your guess is as good as mine.

Read More

Protesting, Organizing, & Nonviolent Direct Action

nonviolent direct action March 24th, 2018

Non-violent direct action is what persons as great as Henry David Thoreau, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Cesar Chavez counsel as the main way to bring about social change. Indeed, protesting, collective action, organizing, struggle, and the like are key tools in the social justice arsenal. This blog is in commemoration of today’s stellar event that barnstormed Washington, D.C. — the March for Our Lives. I will share a few things, and include many quotes about non-violent direct action, protesting, organizing, social change, and struggle.

Read More

Passionate Proponent of Progress: Marquis de Condorcet

progress March 21st, 2018

Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat, known as the Marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794), was a  French philosopher of the Enlightenment. He was also an amazingly progressive and early proponent of women’s rights and educational reform. Condorcet did much of the heavy lifting in bringing the ideas of progress, or the indefinite perfectibility of humankind, to the fore. History has much benefitted from his courage, grace, and intelligence. He also has a very interesting denouement – to use a French word! – and I will share that shortly.

Read More

Ten of History’s Greatest Thinkers

greatest thinkers March 19th, 2018

Perhaps you know of the eminent historian, writer, and psychologist/philosopher/anthropologist all rolled into one, Will Durant. He died in the late twentieth century, but was truly a man of letters and a wonderful writer. I found a neat little book, compiled after his death by John Little. It is a compilation of his writings that involved rankings of merit. The first real chapter in the book is “The Ten Greatest Thinkers,” though the two men put greatest in quotation marks, as I suppose they should, since great is really a subjective term. My intention in this blog is to share which ten men (yes, they are all men) he thinks shine the brightest among history’s renowned philosophers and scientists, and include a quote of each.

Read More

Liberals Are the Heart of the American Republic

liberalism February 25th, 2018

Liberals are the heart of the American republic. At least in my opinion. I think evidence can be found for why the spirit of liberalism in its classical sense imbued the Declaration of Independence and Constitution with something that was missing from hereditary aristocracies of Europe. As well, much or all of the social progress that has occurred since the country’s inception has been due to the liberal impulse to improve conditions, make everyone more truly equal before the law, and rein in the abuses of government and corporations to improve the lives of people. It’s people-power, really. Yes, Democrats have sullied the sterling image of true liberalism, but progressive causes have never been about one political party (evidenced by the massive movement undergirding the Bernie Sanders phenomenon in recent years). One of clearest examples of why we’re liberals was penned by author Eric Alterman, Ph.D. in a book that is, not coincidentally, entitled Why We’re Liberals. In this blog I share a bit of background about liberalism, progressivism, and the like, and use a hundred or so Eric Alterman quotes to illustrate what I think is best about the book and, therefore, most consistent with the wonderful philosophical, political, and economic phenomenon called liberalism. Enjoy. And buy the book.

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

6th/Final Ch. Summary: In Defense of A Liberal Education

liberal education January 15th, 2018

Finally, after taking 10,000 words + to summarize and review author and historian Fareed Zakaria’s book, In Defense of A Liberal Education, this is the summary of the final chapter (6). It is entitled “In Defense of Today’s Youth”. It is entitled “In Defense of Today’s Youth”. Much of this impressive book is about critical thinking, the history of liberal education, knowledge (and its benefits). In general, like many before him, Zakaria posits there is a fundamental difference between the teaching and learning of facts such as names, dates, formulae, and vocabulary on the one hand, and the more basic, utilitarian, secular-humanistic, classic, fundamental approach of critical thinking. Indeed, learning to think is a profoundly valuable asset we would do well to inculcate in our children. This last chapter primarily concentrates on how liberal education fits in with the advances and challenges that this new millennium entails specifically, “youth today”. Ipads, “the Me Generation,” and “the rat race” are explored.

Read More

Knowledge and Progress: Liberal Arts Education

knowledge and progress January 12th, 2018

Liberal education is often about individual development and personal growth. In the wonderful, well-researched, short but stout book In Defense of a Liberal Education, noted columnist and historian Fareed Zakaria 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.” In chapter five, entitled “Knowledge and Power”, the author looks at humanity’s progress and connects it to some of the skills that liberal arts education can inculcate in the young. In addition to my summary of the highlights, many quotations relevant to knowledge and progress will be presented. What follows is a summary and review of chapter five of this engaging book.

Read More