A Reluctant Christian

I don’t know whether I can be called a Christian. I don’t believe in the divinity of Christ. At least, I don’t see his holiness as anything different than my own. Or different from yours. Or from the effulgent heart in each of us, even if occasionally dulled. What I…

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The Pursuit

It is so easy to get caught up in all the chasing. There are the goals and dreams and aspirations. We pursue a vision, or our aim, or any other number of respectable things.  To swing, as the poet said, “the earth a trinket at my wrist”. But after the…

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Mercy

Are there virtues that we forget? Personally or as a culture? Ones that simply fade like the faces on ancient Roman coins? For Aurelius, Clementia – mildness, gentleness, mercy – was one of the noble virtues. A nine-year-old girl travels all night by train with one suitcase and an orange.…

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Hugging the Horse’s Head

In January 1889, Friedrich Nietzsche went insane. Armed with metaphor, irony and aphorism, the German philosopher carved his influence deep into 20th century culture, criticism, literature and psychology.  Freud, Mann, Yeats, Richard Strauss and countless other artists and thinkers were shaped by the “first Immoralist”.  In popular culture, Nietzsche was…

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Naked Truths

In many ways this is the greatest period of history. Yet ours is a culture of longing. The world is of course the world, and it is filled with tragedy, hardship, pain, loss and indiscretion.  Yet life expectancy and literacy rates have been steadily rising for decades.  We are richer…

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Whatever Happened to Conner MacBride?

Peer Pressure, Friendship, Manliness

Thoughts of peer pressure bring a parent’s worst fears to mind: sex; drugs; uncategorized acts of stupidity; the fact that our kids cannot be who they are when they are the most themselves. When they get home at night, there is no escape from the peacocking of peers on Instagram…

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Sisyphus and the Path to Meaning

Sisyphus-Meaning in Life

In The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus retells the ancient Greek tale of the king Sisyphus who was condemned to forever push a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again.  Despite an eternity of “futile labor”, in the end Camus concludes “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” …

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Strengths Of Our Children

Parenting and Strengths

Everything I have learned in life that has mattered, I learned from my children.  They are the “sacred Yes” about whom Nietzsche spoke. In positive psychology we study strengths.  This is good and valuable and has taught us so much about people at their best, and about life’s luminous moments. …

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