If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it;
Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
What is meaning? How does any definition we choose relate to EveryDayLife?
While researching our burgeoning topic “Who We Are” and the general concept of meanings in our lives, we came across this post from November of 2012. It speaks personally to the question of meaning in a way no theory can. As you read the heart felt words of a “helper”, consider the question we asked last week: Is the world better today because you are in it? (more…)
Two Items from Jen Hofmann’s
Americans of Conscience Action List
It has been more than a year since the current person occupying the White House along with a curiously right leaning Congress began implementing changes which have altered and at times threatened the lives and wellbeing of common people. Even those who support the person whom some call “45” have begun to realize the People are not his primary interest.
Last year, many began flying a banner with the essential sentiment “Resist!”. When a perceived wrong is being committed by anyone—an individual, a collection of individuals or a government—resistance represents the bare minimum activity for people of conscience. But resistance is not enough. We who truly do seek the wellbeing of the People should be focused primarily on proactive behavior that seeks to enhance or at least maintain the rights and privileges Americans have come to expect.
In this light, for well over a year, Jen Hofmann has been faithfully posting both opportunities for various types of action and thanks to those who have acted on behalf of others. Although we have posted several links to Jen’s Action List in the past, we have not yet passed on anything from her list this year. Today, we correct that. Take a look at a couple entries from Jen’s list. Better yet, go over to her page and choose something to do this week. (more…)
Introduction to Part II
We began this journey with the Sophia Burns article on the movie, The Last Jedi. Uncharacteristic for the Star Wars series, the general message was curiously populist—that people cannot rely on leaders or grand heroic figures to “fix things”. We must rely on ourselves. In this second segment of Inside-Outside, we consider the driving forces within us and our collective experience as these forces impact our ability to choose. Toward the end of the article, a simple exercise is presented—an exercise which, if employed diligently, could revolutionize our daily lives. (more…)
…a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…
~ Lao Tzu
Part I: Introduction
Sometimes we need to go back to basics. The proverb above is ancient (that is, “old”). The aphorism’s “classic” truth about a journey’s beginnings is not diminished by the age of the phrase. The idea is timeless. Yet to an alarming extent, our modern society eschews things “old” as unimportant, lacking worth. We do so as a component of our own demise. Perhaps we should begin to re-examine some of those “old” ideas that have provided strength and resilience in EveryDayLife.
“Human freedom is not freedom from conditions,
but freedom to take a stand and to face whatever conditions
might confront [us]” ~ Viktor Frankl
Remember the nomadic Giusepi Spadafora, the Tea Man? Instead of going west last fall, it turns out, the Tea Man and Edna Lu (the traveling Tea Bus) went south. You can read a detailed account of what he has been up to the last few months on his blog.
Death of Democracy
Part IV: What is Democracy
What is this thing we call “democracy”. Just as once there was some general consensus about the nature of truth—facts in the public sphere—we once believed we shared a relatively common meaning of the word “democracy”. One of the reasons we (both in the U.S. and internationally) do not agree on how our governments should operate is that while we might call our form of government “democratic”, that is, reflecting the basic principles of democracy, we do not necessarily agree on the set of principles that constitute such an idea. When we use the phrase “death of democracy”, we might not be talking about the demise of actual “democracy” at all. In fact, we might be talking about something considerably more pervasive, profound and, if lost, catastrophic for American society.
“Western liberal democracy might prove to be not
the final destination on the democratic road, but just one of the many possible exits.”
Twenty years ago, in an article entitled “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy” (published in the Nov./Dec. 1997 issue of Foreign Affairs journal), Fareed Zakaria presented a somewhat controversial term he called “illiberalism”. The original article (the PDF of which is referenced here) was originally intended as Exhibit A in a much broader post for this week. However, on further consideration, its length and profundity warrant a front and center prominence the original post design did not afford.
Additionally, take a read through Zakaria’s December 2016 follow-up to the original article as well as both an analysis of and a counter to his proposals.
Next week we will reference these articles in a broader context which considers the possibility that while democracy could be on the demise worldwide, the American use of the phrase “death of democracy” could refer to the wane of something considerably more profound than we imagine.