Humans are not designed to stagnate

Standing still only causes us to move backward

Humans are not designed to stagnate“Do not be afraid of improving slowly. Be afraid of standing still,” popular Zen master Leo Babauta tells us. Many in our society believe that there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and once we reach it, life becomes easy. Others believe that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” We’re…

How to address social inequality without an inheritance tax

Ideas about taxing, restricting or abolishing your inheritance have been floated by western social thinkers for centuries

How to address social inequality without an inheritance taxShould Canadians be taxed on inheritance? The question is increasingly being asked, but the answer is not straight-forward. This discussion is inherently linked to maintaining inequality from one generation to another – and basically to a skewing of the playing field of life from the start. Such debates aren’t new. In fact, they centre on…

Don’t blame academic malaise on the male ‘genius’ cult

Those teaching the humanities have abandoned attempts at outlining the grand narratives, the threads that link important events and people in art and history

Don’t blame academic malaise on the male ‘genius’ cultNobody does unintentional humour quite like an academic. Nobody can produce accidental laughter like a tenured professor explaining her deep thoughts to the masses. We have an excellent example of this sort of comedic gem in a recent article entitled “Jordan Peterson and the debilitating cult of genius” by Jennifer Garrison of St Mary’s University…

Follow the leader: the keys to a legendary coach’s success

Communication, trust, care, collective responsibility and pride are the cornerstones of success in sports – and in life

Follow the leader: the keys to a legendary coach’s successMike Krzyzewski said, “When a leader takes responsibility for his own actions and mistakes, he not only sets a good example, he shows a healthy respect for people on his team.” Krzyzewski, better known as Coach K, has been the men’s head basketball coach at Duke University in North Carolina since 1980. He has more…

How the philosophy of personalism brings us together

Personalism embraces the goodness in every one of us. It encourages us to become our best selves, and it requires love and respect for everyone

How the philosophy of personalism brings us togetherIt’s fascinating how certain ideas can unite all people, yet we can be so unaware of their presence. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Personalism posits ultimate reality and value in personhood – human as well as (at least for most personalists) divine. It emphasizes the significance, uniqueness and inviolability of the person, as…

Embrace the moment, regardless of the circumstances

By living lives of integrity, by doing our best despite our imperfections, we find a way to move forward

Embrace the moment, regardless of the circumstancesWhen saying goodbye to people, I’ll often add: “And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” While I’ve always been aware this phrase was giving people something significant to ponder, I didn’t know its history. It’s actually attributed to Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher. In 1994, Jon Kabat-Zinn expanded on this idea in…

Western culture’s paralyzing crisis of confidence

University students are increasingly intolerant and, indoctrinated with a poisonous cocktail of negativity, taught that western civilization is immoral

Western culture’s paralyzing crisis of confidenceNew York Times columnist David Brooks, in his April 21 piece The Crisis of Western Civ, has opened a serious debate on the collapse of confidence in western civilization. His stunning conclusion: “These days, the whole idea of Western civ is assumed to be reactionary and oppressive.” Brooks notes that this cultural pessimism is most fully…

There’s a reason western philosophy is dominant

Whatever you may say about the other great civilizations, they did not champion the idea of individual liberty

There’s a reason western philosophy is dominantGiven the world's political turmoil, unending wars and wildfires devastating cities, you might be surprised to learn that a vicious battle is raging in the hallowed corridors of academia. It appears that universities in developed countries are teaching western philosophy without giving equal status to the philosophical teachings of Indian, Chinese, Islamic or Native American scholars.…