values

values


American Values: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

American values July 19th, 2018

Why is the tragically stupid effort at separating asylum seekers (and folks trying to cross the border illegally) from their children now a thing? What does it say about America? What have our values been in the past, and what should the wise person make of that? What are America’s real values? This blog is about the fraying social fabric and the society-wide cognitive dissonance it accompanies. I am trying to really understand what the full scope of American values is. Here is a taste: “I’ve recently been thinking and writing about the growing fragmentation of the social compact, of whatever it was this country had ever meant when it called itself a democracy: the shredding of the vision of government of the people, by the people, for the people” ~ Adrienne Rich.

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Mister Rogers Teaches How to be Good, Tolerant, & Kind

good, tolerant, kind July 15th, 2018

Shea Tuttle is a freelance writer who believes that the host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood taught kids critical emotional and social skills that are still relevant to adults today. I agree that the show focused on the good, tolerant, and wholesome, and is sorely missed in this political climate. Tuttle writes: “It seems we sense that Mister Rogers, whom we used to know so well, who used to seem to know us so well, may have something to say to us in our divided, contentious, often-painful cultural and political climate. [This blog features seven] of Mister Rogers’ teachings that could “help us weather today’s ups and downs, stand up for what we believe in, and come together across our differences,” as Tuttle puts it.

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The Meaning of Life Always Involves Value/s

meaning of July 11th, 2018

The following is a guest blog about the meaning of life by philosopher Iddo Landau, Ph.D. He teaches philosophy at the University of Haifa, Israel. This essay is adapted from his new book, Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World, by Oxford University Press.

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Existentialism: Authenticity vs. ‘Bad Faith’

authenticity May 3rd, 2018

In a prior post entitled “Existentialism, Humanism, Responsibility, and Freedom,” I examined meaning in life, Jean-Paul Sartre, existence, etc. In this blog, I would like to go a little further toward examining authenticity vs. the idea of “bad faith.” It will hopefully generate more light than it does heat as far as living one’s life with success, passion, deliberateness, and insight. As always, wisdom is about the highest goal, and happiness is not far behind. 

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Two Types of Values and Their Relevance

values April 23rd, 2018

British moral philosopher Bernard Williams (1929-2003) believed that categorical desires are those desires and aspirations that buoy us, give our lives deeper meaning, and really matter. The rest are mere ancillary and contingent desires. In Williams’ words, he believes we must have “systematic desires around which one organizes life activities which make life worthwhile.” Desires can give life meaning if wisely-placed. At least for a while. This blog will briefly summarize and reflect on the kinds of values human beings hold, and how positioning certain values front-and-center can be inspirational and motivational.

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Fifty Nifty Insightful, Inspirational Quotes

inspirational quotes March 19th, 2018

Over the last 25 years, I have carefully collected a very diverse array of quotations – 30,000 as of this writing. With that kind of carefully-compiled database of quotes about values, wisdom, virtue, character, and self-growth, it is easy to pull together lists of quotes (and I make it just as easy for you to do the same!). This blog features fifty nifty motivational, inspirational quotes. They will help you to re-focus, appreciate your life, see things from a more philosophical perspective, and be a better person. One of the best motivational quotes through the centuries has been Gandhi’s, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” but I now present you with fifty additional inspirational quotes:

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Socrates, Russell, & Voltaire: Profound Provocateurs

Voltaire February 10th, 2018

In this blog, I compare and contrast three of history’s most trenchant and profound provocateurs: Socrates the Greek, Bertrand Russell the Englishman, and Voltaire the French philosophe. In addition to a bit of historical information, you will find Socrates quotes, quotations by Bertrand Russell, and an array of unvarnished insights by Voltaire.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes

Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes February 5th, 2018

I was watching the Superbowl tonight, and was really moved by a wonderful quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. It got me thinking about what a powerful leader he was, how many obstacles he faced, and how educated he was. I would imagine that 24 out of 25 Americans know at least a little something about the reverend, and that is saying a lot, considering our spotty record of educating our youth here in America. There are many powerful, interesting, and wonderful Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes, and I present a couple dozen of my favorites, and connect them to the virtues the quotation represents. 

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Bernie Sanders Reflects on Trump’s 1st Year

Bernie Sanders January 29th, 2018

Such a huge conglomeration of lies, deceptions, broken promises, subterfuge, and chicanery has resulted from one year of a Donald Trump presidency (I can’t say I am surprised), that there is plenty of grist for the mill if someone wishes to criticize the man. It’s just been abysmal. A panoply of ostentatious dissembling, propaganda, and class warfare. Conservatives bemoan the power and size of government, and when George W. Bush was in office and now this guy, I see what they’re talking about! For us political progressives, this is a gruesome spectacle to witness, but all hope is not lost. The following is what Bernie Sanders has say to those of us who are worried, dispirited, appalled, or anxious about Donald Trump (the day before the State of the Union Address, 2018). It’s good enough to reprint here:

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“The Scarlet Letters”

scarlet letters December 27th, 2017

In this poem, I process the fact that I have tattoos that explicate clearly what my values and aspirations are. I call them “scarlet letters.”

Perhaps if this world were peaceful,
And love ruled as now do mere boys,
I would not be wearing these scarlet letters,
But living with my brethren amongst joy.
 

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