Doubt and faith are complimentary

Can you be a doubter who also has faith?  That’s for you to decide. But I think you can.  Are you certain? Agnosticism is about what you don’t know. Belief is a different question.  God is either real, or he’s not. But God can’t be proven or disproven. And that’s where faith comes in.  SkepticsContinue reading “Doubt and faith are complimentary”

Grace

I’m a wayward Catholic boy. Well, that’s an exaggeration. Father Andrew Greeley liked to repeat the cliché that, “Once Catholic, always Catholic.” With qualifications, yes. Death awaits Nothing ever leaves you. No one ever leaves you. A friend from long ago lost his mother to breast cancer. He was 14. And every year on theContinue reading “Grace”

What is spirituality?

What does spirituality mean to you? Not everything has a precise definition. And that’s okay. So, what I offer is one perspective. Spirituality has a connotation of spirits—angels, demons, souls, ghosts. Or more generally, the unseen. And much is unseen. Concepts, thoughts, values, emotions. All is not as it seems I read a biography ofContinue reading “What is spirituality?”

It’s hard to be good

We all seem deeply concerned about other people’s moral behavior—while making excuses for our own. Most of us think we’re more moral and self-aware than most other people. But how can the majority be better than the majority? Truth is, most of us are lying to ourselves. Looney Tunes Cartoons with an angel on oneContinue reading “It’s hard to be good”

Stoicism might not be a bummer after all

I heard the Dude is Epicurean. He follows the pleasure principle. Take ‘er easy. And he’s anything but unemotional. I’ve never heard anyone say Mr. Spock is a dude. But wait a minute. The Coen brothers film The Big Lebowski is a tale of the Dude being very unDude. This aggression will not stand, manContinue reading “Stoicism might not be a bummer after all”

Being a prince is a rip-off

I’d rather be the Lone Ranger. Once I was at a wedding when a three-year-old girl looked in awe at the bride. She asked her mommy if she could meet the princess. I’ve heard women say they tried to steer their daughters away from the whole princess thing, but to no avail. And having threeContinue reading “Being a prince is a rip-off”

Outrage is driving us nuts

Ever get the feeling that social media is trying to piss you off? Well, that’s a dumb question. Of course it is. In the mid-’90s we actually debated whether this new internet thing would bring people together or further divide us. Well, a quarter-century later we know the answer. Pop culture’s unending stream of consciousnessContinue reading “Outrage is driving us nuts”

Can you be Stoic and compassionate at the same time?

Stoic compassion sounds like an oxymoron. But what if I told you it’s not? Don’t say, “Calm down.” Provide calmness. Ever had someone yell, “Calm down!” at you? Did being yelled at have a calming effect? Of course not. A person in deep emotional distress needs someone to lean on, but if you become tooContinue reading “Can you be Stoic and compassionate at the same time?”

“Turn the other cheek” doesn’t mean what you think it does

Is Pope Francis a hypocrite who failed to turn the other cheek? The pope recently apologized for slapping a woman’s hand. She had grabbed the elderly pontiff’s arm, nearly throwing him off balance, and refused to let go despite a pained expression on his face. Despite his apology, online commenters chided the pope, reminding himContinue reading ““Turn the other cheek” doesn’t mean what you think it does”

How can I set realistic goals?

Have you ever tried to accomplish something, only to get totally depressed when it all falls to shit? What’s a fella to do? Most of us want to grow as individuals, but we need a plan. And Epictetus has one. Life is like a banquet A onetime slave turned Stoic philosopher, Epictetus said life isContinue reading “How can I set realistic goals?”