Don’t Ask for a Refund: Not Even Attacked

During the horrible circus fire of 1944, when many children were burned alive, this happened: Another officer had had a long day. He’d started before noon, doing traffic on Barbour for the big crowd coming in. Now he drew duty at the Brown School, becoming the officer in charge. Three adults approached him. “Where do [Read More…]

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The Band Played as the Fire Burned: The Great Big Top Fire and Being Human

167 people were burned alive at the circus and almost seven hundred were injured. Nothing tells us more about ourselves than how we react in a crisis. That moment always comes, if not dramatically, then at the hour of our death, when all that is left is what we have made ourselves to be. No [Read More…]

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Yesterday I Went to the Circus and Here is What I Learned

I am not a circus person. Fewer and fewer Americans are circus people, but I am in the last generation to think this odd. Any linguistic phrase containing “circus” no longer means much to my students. . . they have not been and so don’t get it. “It’s a regular circus.” used to mean “busy, [Read More…]

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Today I Go to the Circus

Right after I write this, I will go the circus and I hope to learn something from the experience of the Big Top while I still can. I have been to Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus twice, once as a child and once as a parent of children. I have also been to a few [Read More…]

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The Consolation of Philosophy (III/III)

Happiness is the Goal Philosophy gives us a hard truth: money, power, glory, fame cannot make us happy. The entire Earth and all of human history are nothing compared to eternity. God loves us. Jesus entered our history. They have meaning, but they are not enough for a happy life. We need not hate them, [Read More…]

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The Consolation of Philosophy is Hard, but Good (I/III)

I. Two Truths: For the Overly Sad or the Overly Cheerful One cause of our sorrow is  we forget our true natures. If we think “we are just no good,” we lie. If we think we “should do as we will,” then we lie. Much of our sorrow comes from forgetting the truth. We are [Read More…]

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The Worst Argument about Morality on the Internet?

Take an issue, any issue. If you make an argument or state an opinion about that issue, let’s call it X, somebody somewhere who agrees with you on the immorality of X, but wants to do X, will say: “How can you care about X when Y is so much worse?” A common variation is [Read More…]

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What will she do? You must read to lead.

Hope and I got to chat with a nice group of young adults from affluent families. They found out I write things . . . even books . . . and all of them said: “That is so boring!” They could not believe that people were still bothering to write books. Assuming these nice kids [Read More…]

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Three Ways Not To Start a Dialog

If you wish to get into a fight during dialog with a significant other or as the mattress commercials call them “your bed partner,” here are three ways to do so. In fact, after leading and participating in hundreds of Socratic conversations at the college level, I am confident that these conversation starters not only [Read More…]

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An Independent People With Something to Say Worth Hearing

He was, he told us, the descendant of the slaves pictured in his national museum where he had taken us to learn. He said these words with no rancor, instead proud of his nation that the former slaves had created. He wanted to tell us the story of an independent people, the word independent came up often. Anthony* [Read More…]

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