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The Vegetable Garden As Teacher

To live virtuously, we need look no further than the garden, for it is the most steadfast and honest of teachers. Through the act of gardening, we learn humility, patience, kindness, empathy, and commitment; but likewise receive an antidote to the vices of arrogance, impatience, selfishness and hubris. I Kneeling down in prayer in front […]

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Meaningful Work

If you had asked a serf 400 years ago if they found their work fulfilling, they would have looked at you in confusion; the necessity of work was absolute, the type of work was non-negotiable, and toil was considered a part of the process; a type of thinking which backgrounded Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic […]

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The More Loving One

Looking up at the stars, I know quite wellThat, for all they care, I can go to hell,But on earth indifference is the leastWe have to dread from man or beast. How should we like it were stars to burnWith a passion for us we could not return?If equal affection cannot be,Let the more loving […]

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You’re Not Normal

Looking in the mirror, you probably say to yourself in particularly self-hating moments that you aren’t normal. Everyone else seems able to hold down a job, maintain emotional equilibrium, and manage healthy relationships; it is you, and you alone, who are singularly cursed to abnormality. If only you could change, be different, be normal… But, […]

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Measure

To the Ancient Greeks, one of the essentials of the good life was keeping everything in proper measure. As a part of this, Greek tragedies portrayed man’s suffering as a result of him going beyond the proper measure of things. So did Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s noble vice was a quality in his protagonists (Othello, Romeo, Macbeth, […]

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Wintering & the Turning of the Seasons of Our Lives

‘We are in the habit of imagining our lives to be linear’ writes Katherine May in her work Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times. We imagine ‘our lives to be a long march from birth to death in which we amass our powers, only to surrender them again, all the while […]

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Why We Are Mean To Those We Care About

We should be nicer to those we care most about than a complete stranger. After all, these are the people who we have made an implicit promise to embrace and care for. Yet, oddly enough, this isn’t always the case. In fact, we inflict far greater malevolence, insult, and injury to those we care about […]

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Friendship and Giving Good Advice

Good advice is a gift. Like any gift, it isn’t about you, but the other person. Here, this means that what matters is what helps your partner in conversation, and not your desire to be seen as wise. Tied up in this is an important recognition: good advice shouldn’t involve telling someone what to do […]

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Mobius as Metaphor: Strength & Weakness

The Mobius strip is a surface with one continuous side and one boundary. It folds in on itself with its opposite poles revealing themselves as the same side. It isn’t like a coin, which has two sides. On a coin, they really are opposites of one piece, but on a Mobius strip, they are one […]

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Staring Out Of The Window

Nobody says “I had a lovely day; the high point was staring out the window”. But, maybe they should. ‘Not everything which cannot be deemed useful is useless’ wrote Josef Pieper. For while science, accounting, exercising and eating are all useful, others, such as art, music, and quiet contemplation, while being ostensibly ‘useless’, perform an […]

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