wealth

85 Is it material?

Word play When I was in grade school and had a cast on my arm, boys in the class alarmed me describing the machine that cuts off the cast. They said it cuts through the plaster but does not cut through material. Always the scholar, I reminded them that plaster is a material. By the word material they meant cloth. Today we continue playing games with the word material. To a lawyer, the word means “pertinent to the current case.” A philosopher differentiates between material and spiritual well-being. I combine the meanings to assert that materialism is not material to …

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59 Let freedom ring

The Ernstraudian Way grew out of a discussion of togetherness: sharing happiness in mutual support settings. We want the fruits of cooperation. Humans need personal interaction. The quality of our relationships is the foundation of achievement and progress. Individuals and society build each other. While we are rejoicing over the benefits of our togetherness, we encounter uncomfortable differences. When we are close enough together to pool our strengths, we are close enough to experience bumps and bruises to our individuality. To some people, community and diversity are opposite poles. That is obvious if community means we must be the same, …

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26 Educate everybody?

Education was presented last week as the redemptive function of prison. It is most effective in a nurturing environment. Will implementing that upgrade make people on the outside jealous? Not if their own needs are being met.  We readily share what we have, making the whole society better off. The plea for uplifting education applies universally. American free public education aimed at employability and socialization.  Citizens learned necessary life skills.  Aristotle taught “All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.” Abraham Lincoln observed “The …

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20 What is the big picture?

Relax!  Today’s article links you to your world without requiring you to save that world.  Humans enjoy context (the big picture, your world).  This is comforting if you agree with Friday’s message that the world is beautiful.  Now we consider how that helps. When we see ourselves in the bigger picture of reality, that affects three areas of our personhood: Perspective gives meaning to our lives; we feel purpose in our being. We appreciate relationships to our environment and to other people. We draw succor from not being alone. Life includes a feedback loop.  In lay terms, that means that …

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