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Happy People Learn That Happiness, Like Sweat, is a by-product of Activeness

Happiness is a By-product of Activeness

Happiness is a by-product of Activeness “You forgot something, Joanna. You didn’t say “goodnight.” I heard this call ring out across the street one evening. I do not know Joanna, nor the little girl who thus reminded her friend of a lapse from thoughtfulness. The call to Joanna has somehow lingered in my mind, as a symbol of a general failing in modern man.

Joanna presumably enjoyed her friend’s hospitality. She had been with her for some time, they had played together; they had lived together. Friendship is a privilege, which Joanna was blessed with. Is it not proper to express a thankfulness for this privilege? How then could she leave her friend without saying a word, not even a goodnight?

Is not this thoughtlessness the problem of man generally? We take for granted the love of our parents, their care and devotion, the anxious hours spent by them in seeing us through all kinds of hardship. We take for granted the kindness of our friends and neighbors. We take from the poets and the artists, the scientists and the men of affairs the blessings their genius has brought into the world. We take all of it without pausing to think of how much we owe them.

Natural factors, which at one time were apathetic for the animas activities, can develop in a very short time into mighty stimuli for the most crucial life-sustaining functions. Happy people learn that happiness, like sweat, is a by-product of activeness. You can only achieve happiness if you are too busy living your life to notice whether you are happy or not.

What, if not a sense of gratitude, is the object of religion? It seeks to awaken in us an awareness of the greatest privilege of all—the privilege of the blessings we receive from God. Most of us also take His blessings without due thought. We breathe the calm, clear air; we watch the stars in their majestic cadences in the sky; we enjoy the fragrance of flowers and the laughter of children; we draw upon the energies of our hands and brains to perform our tasks; we dream and hope; and we create in the image of our dreams and hopes. However, we take all as our due, without a word of appreciation. This is why modern man cannot pray. Prayer is our expression of thanks to God for the privilege of living. Most modern people take all life for granted, and they do not bother to say “thank you”

Joanna was only thoughtless. However, thoughtlessness is one of the greatest failings of character. When you leave your friends, say “good-night” When you are the recipient of blessings, whether from God or man, learn to say “thank you”

Intangibles of Warm-heartedness and Consideration

Self-knowledge is a slippery business. You might think the nature of your center mission in life would lie within easy reach for ready viewing, and sometimes it does. But frequently it lies buried under a pile of expectations we have for ourselves interlacing with those others have for us that make our mission appear to us to be one thing when in reality it’s something else completely-sometimes something we don’t even want to admit, not just to others, but to ourselves.

Intangibles of Warm-heartedness and Consideration The intangibles of warm-heartedness and consideration are every bit important.

The China-U.S. relationship has perpetually had elements of friendly relationship and cooperation and rivalry. Human beings are born into this short span of life of which the best thing is its friendships and intimacies … and yet they leave behind their friendships and intimacies with no cultivation, to grow, as they will by the wayside, expecting them to “keep” by pressure of mere inertia. American Psychologist Lorne Ladner writes in his The Lost Art of Compassion,

If we spend time dwelling on our desire, we gradually concrete a world driven by greed, advertising and compulsive consumerism. When we dwell in anger and fear, we concrete a world filled with weapons, conflicts and wars. To the extent that we dwell in love and compassion, we concrete a world characterized by peace, mercy, safety and inspiring beauty.

When we let go of our concepts of duality and separation, then love, which is connection, and compassion, which is kindness, arise as reflections of the mind’s natural state. Like all works that strike the imagination, it pleased while new; but, wanting the foundation of reason, the whole fabric has long since fallen to the ground.

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Sun Tzu’s The Art of War for Millennials

If you’re like most millennials in business, you haven’t read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. It perhaps never fascinated to you. In actual fact, if you’re like many smart and talented millennials I’ve met, you may believe it to be completely contrary to your nature.

There are certainly millennials who’ve read The Art of War and used it to their lives and their businesses. But if you’re like most, you may wonder how you can possibly familiarize the wisdom of a Chinese military strategist from 500 B.C. to your daily business encounters.

The answer is in an approach to business and life that is both time-tested and groundbreaking. Sun Tzu’s classic has had overwhelming influence the world over. It’s shaped Eastern military and business thinking, and in the West, its attractiveness continues to grow as managers and leaders apply its principles to their business challenges.

The book is about how to seize the advantage in all battles, including those you choose not to fight. While The Art of War is rather literally about warfare, presuming it’s about seeking combat as the best option is very far from the real Sun Tzu. In fact, a major theme of The Art of War is “He who knows when to fight and when not to fight will win.”

'The Art of War' by Ralph D. Sawyer (ISBN 081331951X) For most business readers, waging war doesn’t mean assembling forces to take a city. It means mobilizing ourselves or our teams to win a big contract, seize a market opportunity, control an industry, or reposition a company. Sun Tzu says a great deal about the traits and characteristics necessary for this type of victory. To be successful, Sun Tzu calls for vigilant strategy and proficient perception, superior subtlety and technique, and skillful application of your assets and attributes. He stresses that you understand yourself, your opponent and the conditions of the battleground, however you define that field. Below are just a few ways to apply Sun Tzu to business challenges that plague many millennials.

  • Ditch the Rules: Too many millennials fall into the trap of assuming that success will be found in following prearranged standards. This mistaken belief has its origin in childhood when most millennials are content with playing by rules and being patient and polite. While times have changed, you were probably habituated to be reactionary. There’s a time for patience and politeness, but in business, waiting your turn will often result in missed opportunities. Sun Tzu calls for the perception to move with intensity when the time is right: “An army superior in strength takes action like the bursting of pent up waters into a chasm of a thousand fathoms deep.”
  • Overcome Mistakes: Writing of ideals, Sun Tzu had no regard for mistakes. But the rest of us live in a very distinctive reality. Habituation often extends to how differently men and millennials regard mistakes. millennials, in general, have a more difficult time with mistakes, largely because we’re socialized to feel differently about mistakes. Mistakes are an opportunity to do better next time. But when millennials make mistakes, they’re solaced, emphasizing the idea that they should feel badly about making them.
  • Take the Right Risks: Risk taking is another area where millennials tend to function very differently, but where Sun Tzu delivers lucidity. A student of war, taking calculated risks is fundamental to him. He recognizes that we’re the architect of our victories, which means we need to define winning on our terms, and when necessary, change the game entirely. Sun Tzu writes repeatedly of manipulating circumstances. Many millennials find themselves on career paths or within organizations where their skills and strengths are painfully limited. Victory demands excellence and the only way to excel is to be positioned to achieve. If this doesn’t describe your circumstances, a game change is in order.

'Sun Tzu Machiavelli Leadership Secrets' by Anthony D. Jensen (ISBN 1530006619) So what’s in The Art of War for millennials? For one thing, it provides awareness into how to gain a decisive business advantage by leveraging your strengths and assets to craft and execute effective strategies. It will help you understand and develop the traits and obstinacy necessary to make major achievements. And significantly, the Chinese philosopher-general will show you to do it in ways least expected: “Take advantage of the enemy’s unpreparedness, make your way by unexpected routes.”

In a competitive world, the currency of the people, businesses, products and ideas that are winning is innovation. For Sun Tzu, and for you, winning requires careful preparation and the opportune launch of unexpected strategies and tactics.

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Posted in Mental Models and Psychology Philosophy and Wisdom

Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues

Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues

As a young adult, Ben Franklin identified 13 virtues he aspired to. To implement these virtues in his life, he devised a “Plan for Self Examination,” an agenda whereby he concentrated his attention, one virtue at a time, for one week at a time, rotating through the entire list four times a year. He kept a detailed log of the actions he took to develop the virtues in himself, along with his personal results.

He traced his development by using a little book of 13 charts. At the top of each chart was one of the virtues. The charts had a column for each day of the week and thirteen rows marked with the first letter of each of the 13 virtues. Every evening he would review the day and put a mark by the side of each virtue for each error committed with respect to that virtue for that day.

Unsurprisingly, his goal was to live his days and weeks without having to put any marks on his chart. At the start he found himself putting more marks on these pages than he ever anticipated, but in time he enjoyed seeing them diminish. Eventually he went through the series only once per year and then only once in several years until ultimately omitting them entirely. But he always carried the little book with him as a reminder.

  1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.
  2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.
  3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.
  4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.
  6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  8. Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.
  11. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
  12. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
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The True Master of the Universe

The Lord Can Take What He Has Given

The Lord Can Take What He Has Given All life is a gift from the hand of the Creator. It is an ever-recurring miracle, which renews the wonder of creation. In addition, when life is withdrawn, we dare not fret, for its withdrawal is a reminder of die privilege we enjoyed during the time we were permitted to keep the gift.

The greatest grief comes to those who regard the world as their very own, for when deprived of something they feel that a great injustice has been committed. Happy are the enlightened who realize that we are here only by the invitation of the divine Host who is the true Master of the universe. A guest is conscious of being privileged by whatever token of recognition he receives from his host, though he knows that whatever is showered, on him will be withheld before long. The Lord only takes what He in the first place has given.

The withdrawal of the gift arouses a feeling of gratitude in a sensitive person for whatever time he was privileged to keep it. He will grieve because he misses what he has lost, but he will praise God as a righteous Judge. If in our casual life, we can smile, if we can be peaceable and happy, not only we, but also everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.

Our Triviality and Vulnerability

Our Triviality and Vulnerability All that we really know so far encourages me to conceive in the hypothesis of further important progress in this region. This is not genuine: the ocean is ten times as large as the earth; salt makes a fortieth part of the sea. The importance of spiritual knowledge to the cheerfulness of humanity. All such references are to be taken as no literal expressions. On impact, he moved his BlackBerry from his belt clip to the inwardly pocket of his blue-gray tweed blazer.

Nearly in the clouds, on a mountaintop resort that is making the modulation from the rust color of fall leaves to the rainbow apparel of skiers, the heavyweight-boxing champion of the world is in training for his first vindication of the title. The Swiss-born British author and philosopher Alain de Botton wrote in The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work,

Death is hard to keep in mind when there is work to be done. … Work does not by its nature permit us to do anything other than take it too seriously. It must destroy our sense of perspective, and we should be grateful to it for precisely this reason, for allowing us to mingle ourselves promiscuously with events, for letting us wear thoughts of our own death and the destruction of our enterprises with beautiful lightness, as mere intellectual propositions. … We function of the basis of a necessary myopia. Therein is the sheer energy of existence, a blind will no less impressive than that which we find in a moth arduously crossing a window ledge, … refusing to contemplate the broader scheme in which he will be dead by nightfall. The arguments for our triviality and vulnerability are too obvious, too well known and tedious to rehearse. What is interesting is that we may take it upon ourselves to approach tasks with utter determination and gravity even when their wider non-sense is clear. The impulse to exaggerate the significance of what we are doing, far from being an intellectual error, is really life itself coursing through us.

Life on board a pleasure steamer violates every moral and physical status of goodly life except fresh air. It is a guzzling, lounging, gambling, dog’s life. The sole interchange to excitement is peevishness. A great number of like experiences have made it seeming that in the cases only the cognizance of the patient does not see and does not hear, while the sense function is in the meantime intact. Like ice cream, this definition would enable one to analyze many forms of happiness. The heaviest hammer of ironwork could not do it the fortieth part so soon. If we concur that the bottom line of life is happiness, not success, then it makes consummate sense to say that it is the journey that counts, not reaching the goal. It may be the same with sounds; the tone may decrease by aloofness, and yet we may not be spiritualist of it without a nice comparison. However, to determine the universal ability is not sufficient.

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Posted in Faith and Religion Philosophy and Wisdom

Quotes from David Ogilvy’s ‘Ogilvy On Advertising’

David Ogilvy famously said his secret to success was simple: “First make a reputation for being a creative genius. Second surround yourself with partners who are better than you are. Third leave them to get on with it.”

'Ogilvy on Advertising' by David Ogilvy (ISBN 039472903X) Imaginably no other advertising practitioner has been so liberal with sharing his knowledge and experience than David Ogilvy.

In Ogilvy On Advertising, Ogilvy’s judgements on advertising and his appeal shines through his guidebook to the advertising business. His words are a discovery into consumer behavior. His love for the art and science of using words (and sometimes pictures) to coo and coax is fascinating.

Written with sincere enthusiasm, each chapter begins with a frontispiece describing a personal experience that demonstrates a basic advertising concept. Consequently, the reader’s attention is engaged and is brought into the situation immediately.

On The Power Of Advertising

The first thing I have to say is that you may not realize the magnitude of difference between one advertisement and another. Says John Caples, the doyen of direct response copywriters:

‘I have seen one advertisement actually sell not twice as much, not three times as much, but 19.5 times as much as another. Both advertisements occupied the same space. Both had photographic illustrations. Both had carefully written copy. The difference was that one used the right appeal and the other used the wrong appeal.’

The wrong advertising can actually reduce the sales of a product.

On ‘Creativity’ in Advertising

I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative’. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product. When Aeschines spoke, they said, ‘How well he speaks.’ But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, ‘Let us march against Philip.’

On the Pursuit Of Knowledge

I asked an indifferent copywriter what books he had read about advertising. He told me that he had not read any he preferred to rely on his own intuition. ‘Suppose’, I asked, ‘your gall-bladder has to be removed this evening. Will you choose a surgeon who has read some books on anatomy and knows where to find your gall-bladder, or a surgeon who relies on his intuition? Why should our clients be expected to bet millions of dollars on your intuition?’

This willful refusal to learn the rudiments of the craft is all too common. I cannot think of any other profession which gets by on such a small corpus of knowledge.

On the underestimated weapon known as Direct Mail

One day a man walked into a London agency and asked to see the boss. He had bought a country house and was about to open it as a hotel. Could the agency help him to get customers? He had $500 to spend. Not surprisingly, the head of the agency turned him over to the office boy, who happened to be the author of this book. I invested his money in penny postcards and mailed them to well-heeled people living in the neighborhood. Six weeks later the hotel opened to a full house. I had tasted blood.

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Posted in Global Business Hobbies and Pursuits Philosophy and Wisdom

Death is Not Extinction

Destruction is a Prelude to New Creation

Destruction is a Prelude to New Creation Death is not a total extinction of life; it is as if the sculptor is smashing of a clay model. The form is destroyed; but it returns to its raw matter out of which the artist will attempt some new creation.

In the economy of God’s universe, there is a conservation of elements. We may disintegrate an atom, but the essence survives in the stupendous energy, which has been released. Similarly, death cannot destroy the body or the soul. The body returns to the treasury of primordial earth from which all physical life emerges and to which it returns. It decomposes into its constituent elements and continues to be part of the cycle of unending existence. The soul is invisible and it returns to its invisible living source. In addition, if we have lived with any beauty or goodness during the span of our years, then that beauty or goodness has entered the permanent reservoir of life’s assets, and it will continue to exist in newer incarnations; our deeds will be an inspiration to other lives.

Even our individuality is not wholly lost. For the seeds of immortality have been planted in us, and out of these seeds spring new life. For the Creator is infinitely resourceful and He employs the same stuff of life in eternally novel ways. Yet in that new life, we live on, for it is flesh of our flesh and spirit of our spirit.

Destruction is a prelude to new creation. It enables the Architect of our existence to wipe clean the slate at intervals and to start over again. The loss of the old is vindicated in the new—in the fairer copy, which comes after it.

Living and Lifelessness

Living and Lifelessness In searching for happiness in all the unseasonable places, we continually perpetuate the canonical misapprehension that we exist. Let those who are subject to slight complaints of this kind avoid wine, and supply its place by beer of a due potency. As a dripping-stone will not grow enough for a ship’s company, the following expeditious method may be practiced. We promptly attain the level of the triumphant ones. This is unconditioned love, love that does not expect or need a return, love that sees past the petty differences and disputes in life to the cosmopolitan longings for happiness that we all share. You cannot service two masters. Then follows the actualization that the differentiation between living and lifeless is a human conception.

We would see them inspiring individual religious belief and public dedication; restoring graveness of manners and simple mindedness of life; promoting in every man contentment with his lot, surrender to ecclesiastic designation, and continual regard to the blessing of heaven. –We may glorify riches and traffic; but, in truth, the preponderance of such principles of public virtue and concord forms the real strength and glory of a nation. The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half. For illustration, although the particular correlation between the powers of speed in different performances has been found to come close to zero, this need not inevitably be at all the case as regards preferences of rate; on the contrary, the person who likes to do one thing in a measured manner is very likely to prefer deliberation in other things also. American psychologist James Hillman wrote in Kind of Blue—An Essay on Melancholia and Depression,

Fundamentally everything in inexplicable. If doesn’t matter what you go into deeply enough, you realise there is no answer, because because there is no reason. Probably melancholia gives you the feeling of coming to the end. It affects the feeling level. It isn’t that your mind can no longer understand what is happening to it. But you have the feeling that there is no way you can go on. And that reason itself has come to a stop. They say time itself has come to a stop, or the mind has come to the end of its tether. That’s its importance though; that it stops the mind’s inflation that it can understand everything or come to grips with anything.

The happiness of life may be greatly increased by small good manners in which there is no parade, whose voice is too still to tease, and which evidence themselves by tender and lovesome looks, and little kind acts of attention.

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The Real Significance of Rust

Replacing the Old with the New

Replacing the Old with the New If the inclination of religious knowledge were good, wisdom must direct, and duty obliges us to school it. In addition, what has already been verbally expressed about the world of the psyche holds good here to a still higher degree; that is, that one has to employ analogies in order to distinguish it. There was an excruciating drive back to Maryland, where we said what we claimed, maybe even believed, and were impermanent goodbyes.

Creation goes on day by day. The momentous words, “Let there be light” by which God launched the universe, started the process, but it is unfinished. As we master the laws of nature, as we understand the hidden forces at work in our own lives, and with that knowledge fashion a nobler world, we are continuing the work of creation. Among the many aids, that God has provided for our work is rust.

Continuous creation involves replacing the old with the new. That which has played its part in the drama of existence must give way, so that the fresh may make its appearance. Rust, like every other form of decay, removes the obsolete from the scene to make room for the new, and without it, the world would long have become clogged up with accumulations of junk. The debris of death would have crowded out life. Rust is the sanitation department in God’s universe.

Rust has a parallel in human phenomena. Forgetfulness is a kind of rust working on experience. Because we forget the old, we can more readily embrace the new. One shudders to think what would happen if we could not forget if our minds were forced to carry all our memories in active consciousness.

The human phenomenon, which offers the closest parallel to rust, is death. One generation dies that a new generation may take its place. A mature person cannot therefore rebel against death. It is the price we must always pay for the emergence of new life. Death and life are only the opposite sides of the same coin. We cannot have one without the other.

Goodness and Mercy and Compassion and Sympathy

Goodness and Mercy and Compassion and Sympathy You are goodness and mercy and compassion and sympathy. You are peace and joy and light. You are pardon and forbearance, strength and courageousness, a helper in time of need, a reliever in time of sorrow, a therapist in time of injury, a teacher in times of mental confusion. You are the deep wisdom and the highest truth; the superlative peace and the grandest love. You are these things. In addition, in moments of your life you have known yourself to be these things. Select now to know yourself as these things always. Russell Means, the prominent activist for the rights of Native American people, wrote in For America to Live, Europe Must Die,

Soldiers who have seen a lot of combat learn to … [dehumanize] the enemy before going back into combat. Murderers do it before going out to commit murder. Nazi SS guards did it to concentration camp inmates. Cops do it. Corporation leaders do it to the workers they send into uranium mines and steel mills. Politicians do it to everyone in sight. And what the process has in common for each group doing the dehumanizing is that it makes it all right to kill and otherwise destroy other people. One of the Christian commandments says, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ at least not humans, so the trick is to mentally convert the victims into nonhumans.

Elucidate your goals. You may not even be aware of some of them, so unfeasible might they seem because of the distressing feelings that even contemplating them stirs up. The directors use the word prepare, because that comes up best to the innovation of the society, which is, to apprise the children, first of all, in the knowledge of Christian religion, the reformed Protestant Church faith.

Happiness research is clear: buy experiences, not things. The apotheosis held steadily in mind attracts the requisite precondition for its fulfillment. If temporal happiness is not the goal of dharma, then what is it that prompts a person to want to apply? Chances are that stepping onto a religious path would not even occur to a person who is rich, enjoys their life, and has a strong sense of personal security. In a sure sense, such moments go beyond, or lie hidden under, the gratification or frustration of our desires.

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Mighty in Deeds and Not in Words

The Wisdom of Deeds Will Be Necessary for the World to Come

Wisdom of Deeds Will Be Necessary The man sweeping the synagogue paused for a moment. He looked at die flowers lying about in disorder. “What waste!” he said to himself. Those roses had adorned the pulpit at a wedding an hour before. Now all was over and they were waiting to be discarded.

The attendant leaning on his sweeper was lost in thought when suddenly he heard a strange sound. One of the roses replied to him.

“Do you call this a waste?” the flower protested. “What is life anyway, yours or mine, but a means of service? My mission was to create some fragrance and beauty, and when I have fulfilled it, my life has not been wasted. And what greater privilege is there than to adorn a bride’s way to her beloved, what greater privilege than to help glorify the moment when a bride and groom seal their faith in each other by entering the covenant of marriage?”

Our listed flower paused for a moment to watch the man’s face, and then continued her discourse.

Roses are like people. They live in deeds, not in time.

My glory was but for a brief hour, but you should have seen the joy in the bride’s eye, “I like to believe that I had something to do with it, by creating a suitable setting for the moment of her supreme happiness. So do not grieve for me. My life has been worthwhile”

Having spoken her little piece, the rose was once more silent. The attendant, startled from his reverie and a little wiser, pushed the sweeper again and continued with his work.

If only the people who agonize about their financial obligation would think about the riches they do possess, they would stop troubling. Would you sell both your eyes for a one hundred thousand dollars … or your two legs … or your hands … or your hearing? Add up what you do have, and you will find that you will not sell them for all the gold in the planet. The best things in life are yours, if you can acknowledge the economic value of yourself.

Be Not Careless in Deeds

Be Not Careless in Deeds In all cases and constitutions, in all habits of body, at every point of life, and under possibly every circumstance, cool air, drinking cold water bountifully, and bathing the whole body, or at least the private parts with tepid or icy cold water, agrees absolutely well, and produces the happiest and most providential effects. Therefore, it is strongly connected with a detestation of oppression of every kind; and forms a taste for liberty and laws.

The great majority of psychiatrists not only hold that dementia consists in the constipation of such encompassing mental powers as memory, judgment, conception, etc., but also believe—in company with most psychologists—that an average mental test measures one of these powers. The Lebanese-American scholar, statistician, and essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes in Antifragile,

While in the past people of rank or status were those and only those who took risks, who had the downside for their actions, and heroes were those who did so for the sake of others, today the exact reverse is taking place. We are witnessing the rise of a new class of inverse heroes, that is, bureaucrats, bankers, Davos-attending members of the I.A.N.D. (International Association of Name Droppers), and academics with too much power and no real downside and/or accountability. They game the system while citizens pay the price.

At no point in history have so many non-risk-takers, that is, those with no personal exposure, exerted so much control.

The chief ethical rule is the following: Thou shalt not have antifragility at the expense of the fragility of others.

In all matters of opinion and science, the case it diametrical: The divergence among men is there oftener found to lie in generals than in particulars; and to be less in reality than in appearance. The reliable harvest of my daily life is as impalpable and untellable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little stardust caught a section of the rainbow, which I have clutched. If the flash should reach so low as the earth, and a person should regrettably be in the place of its detonation, he is broadly struck dead in a moment, and feels the most instant of all kinds of death. Mighty in deeds and not in words.

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Three Expositions on “The Fox and The Lion”

Three Expositions on The Fox and The Lion

The “Fox and the Lion” from Aesop’s Fables:

When first the Fox saw the Lion he was terribly frightened, and ran away and hid himself in the wood. Next time however he came near the King of Beasts he stopped at a safe distance and watched him pass by. The third time they came near one another the Fox went straight up to the Lion and passed the time of day with him, asking him how his family were, and when he should have the pleasure of seeing him again; then turning his tail, he parted from the Lion without much ceremony.

From Chapter XVIII “Concerning The Way In Which Princes Should Keep Faith” in Niccolo Machiavelli‘s The Prince:

A prince, therefore, being compelled knowingly to adopt the beast, ought to choose the fox and the lion; because the lion cannot defend himself against snares and the fox cannot defend himself against wolves. Therefore, it is necessary to be a fox to discover the snares and a lion to terrify the wolves. Those who rely simply on the lion do not understand what they are about. Therefore a wise lord cannot, nor ought he to, keep faith when such observance may be turned against him, and when the reasons that caused him to pledge it exist no longer. If men were entirely good this precept would not hold, but because they are bad, and will not keep faith with you, you too are not bound to observe it with them. Nor will there ever be wanting to a prince legitimate reasons to excuse this nonobservance.

From Marcus Tullius Cicero‘s De Officiis (On Duties or On Obligations):

But let us remember that we must have regard for justice even towards the humblest. Now the humblest station and the poorest fortune are those of slaves; and they give us no bad rule who bid us treat our slaves as we should our employees: they must be required to work; they must be given their dues. While wrong may be done, then, in either of two ways, that is, by force or by fraud, both are bestial: fraud seems to belong to the cunning fox, force to the lion; both are wholly unworthy of man, but fraud is the more contemptible. But of all forms of injustice, none is more flagrant than that of the hypocrite who, at the very moment when he is most false, makes it his business to appear virtuous. This must conclude our discussion of justice.

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The Significance of Weeds in the Garden

Why God Made Weeds

Why God Made Weeds A farmer once sighed after he had finished weeding his garden. His back was bent; the perspiration ran down his face. “If not for those cursed weeds,” he said to himself, “gardening would be such a joy. Why God made weeds is really beyond me.”

The farmer mused a little as he contemplated the heap of weeds he had pulled out. Suddenly one of the weeds spoke up. Its face was already pale and wilting, but it mustered enough strength to speak in self-defense.

“You should not speak ill of any of God’s creatures,” the little weed said. “You have given us a bad name and decried our presence in the world. We render you a thousand uses you may not be aware of. We tend your soil when you are not there to cultivate it. We prevent your precious earth from being washed away by the rain. We do not allow it to be carried away by the wind as dust. Moreover, do we not justify our existence even in your carefully cultivated garden? Your flowers would never be able to stand the elements, to survive the blowing winds and lashing rains, if we did not toughen them. In their skirmishes with us, they gain strength. When you enjoy their spectacle, remember that we had a part in their growth.

If a great part of humanity had their eyes thus tinctured, each would see objects different from his fellow, yet none would be sensitive of the mistake.

If even those weak forms of religion, mixed with so much wrongdoing, were significant to society; how much more, that reasonable and true worship of God which the gospel teaches? True religious belief introduces the idea of regular subjugation, by accustoming humankind to the awe of super ordinate power, in the divinity, joined with the esteem of superior wisdom and goodness.

The weed made a marked impression, and then although almost exhausted it continued in a peroration, “The vegetation you cultivate is like the people in your own world. They need some opposition to be toughened for the formidable business of living.”

The weed resumed its silence. The farmer straightened his back as he wiped his brow. A smile of satisfaction came over his face. He looked out on the field that was yet to be weeded, but he knew that weeding would no longer be a disagreeable task. They are fixed in a frame, which can interpolate their focal distance at pleasure, so that the same machine, which throws the combined reflected rays to a distance of two hundred feet, may, by the turn of a handle, be made to throw their united force upon an object not distant above twenty.

We Value Medicine for the Role Can Play in Promoting a Return to Health

Promoting a Return to Health The level to which a signal would alter the lives of our descendants depends on whether we could decipher any attached message. The assortment of sounds is innumerous; but because the ear cannot compare two sounds so as promptly to differentiate their discriminations when they exceed the proportionality of one and seven, musicians have been contented to confine all concordance within that compass, and allowed but seven notes in musical composition. Mark Rowlands The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death and Happiness

According to many philosophers, happiness is intrinsically valuable. What they mean is that happiness is valuable for its own sake, not for the sake of anything else. Most of the things we value, we do so because of other things they can do for us. We value money, for example, only because of other things we can purchase with it: food, shelter, security, perhaps, some of us thing, even happiness. We value medicine not in itself but because of the role it can play in promoting a return to health. Money and medicine are instrumentally valuable, but they are not intrinsically valuable.

The honor and glory of the average man is that he is capable of following that enterprisingness; that he can respond internally to wise and noble things, and be led to them with his eyes open. He went from being a demanding boss to a very verbally opprobrious boss to a boss who would come in and throw things at you. In such moments, and in many early moments likewise, he reminds one of the approbatory spirits of Ronald Reagan and, like Reagan, reminds his listeners of the better angels of their nature. Various bitter wars were fought over the issue and the country changed hands a number of times, until 198 B.C.E., when by a decisive feat of arms, the Seleucid king added her to his kingdom.

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