Barba-Kay argues that we tend to resolve our cognitive dissonance by outsourcing all the choices that do matter and consoling ourselves with a plethora of choices that don't.
The aim is to get young people, of all backgrounds and races, on their feet with as little fuss and expense as we can, regardless of whether their families can afford the usurious colleges, and by doing so, to empower families that are richer in brains and in common moral virtues than in money or power.
The liberty and justice which republics are erected to safeguard requires, as Milton and the Founders knew, a moral, virtuous, and religious citizenry. Without this moral and virtuous spirit, the citizenry is slothful and servile. Despotism takes hold once the bulwark of liberty and justice, moral love, has withered away. Welcome to the twenty-first century.
There are things that a full room can do for us. It can reassure us. It can offer comfort. It can offer luxury and pleasant distractions. A full room can be cozy and a crowded refrigerator reassuring. A room can be full of company. We can be and feel less alone. A full room can teach us to share.
While many recognize the limits of human language and the ways it has sometimes been used to harm, they see language as capable of naming (or, at least, gesturing toward) the dance of matter and spirit that constitutes human existence.
Babbitt and More advocated the study of the humanities as a tool for the shaping of human souls toward virtue, helping confront what Babbitt characterized as the “civil war of the cave” that occurs in every human heart. Babbitt and More’s roughly forty-year friendship produced scores of letters that take the reader from the late nineteenth century into the 1930s.
Oppenheimer replies to him “Why I chose the name is not clear, but I know what thoughts were in my mind. There is a poem of John Donne, written just before his death, which I know and love.”
I’ve found that in perplexing or challenging circumstances, “why?” is a boring question. We like why. The leadership guru Simon Sinek asks us to start with why. It’s a popular question. I’m not against finding your why. I just think it’s overrated. Particularly in suffering or pain, I’m not sure “why?” works.