A new addition to the syllabus of noble lives

I don’t know much about Francis Collins, but since the Templeton Prize just announced that he’s the 2020 Laureate, I’m inspired to learn more.

Ever since learning about Sir John Templeton and the Prize, I became fascinated with the list of past laureates; I began to consider this list a syllabus for studying noble lives. Continue reading “A new addition to the syllabus of noble lives”

The Four Temperaments Go For Coffee

In considering the four temperaments – choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic, and sanguine – it occurred to me that a person’s temperament can be on full display in a simple interaction such as meeting a friend at a coffee shop. To illustrate the point, here are some brief descriptions of how a person with each dominant temperament might act: Continue reading “The Four Temperaments Go For Coffee”

Cultivating patriotism

I am reading various books with dramatic stories of immigrants and refugees to Canada – stories of persons who have fled civil war, genocide, and terrorism. While many details in these books are heart-wrenching, shocking, and extreme, what I find interesting is what is actually most moving because the things that move me most are not so much the intense episodes but rather the tender ones. Continue reading “Cultivating patriotism”

“Pick one shoe.”

A short reflection upon reading the preface of Tima Kurdi’s book The Boy on the Beach: My Family’s Escape from Syria and Our Hope for a New Home:

It’s so important and helpful to have these particular stories of individuals, sometimes with photos – memoirs written that are so descriptive and that completely endear a person to the personalities in the story and it really reminds me of how, when I was visiting Auschwitz, the survivors and the guides would say, ‘Okay, we’re going to go into this barrack and see the shoes. And you’re going to see thousands and thousands of shoes. But don’t look at all of them because it’s too immense. Instead, just pick one shoe and focus on it and think about the person whose feet filled that shoe, or that pair of shoes, because it’s the only way to begin to contemplate anything meaningful – not as an abstraction, but always personal.’ Continue reading ““Pick one shoe.””