How telling people what you do for a living affects your personality

The newly republished book by Dietrich von Hildebrand, The Art of Living, includes two beautiful essays by his widow, Alice, on the topics of communion and hope.

The chapter on communion is marvellous and incisive. She begins by discussing the various crises of communion in our contemporary society. There are different types of solitude. Sometimes being alone can be a source of anxiety and other times it can be a relief. The peculiar and unsettling loneliness is that of being alone in a crowd, which Hannah Arendt discussed as the social realm (neither the public nor the private sphere but some collapsed in-between) and which Sherry Turkle discusses in the context of technology in her book Alone Together.
Continue reading “How telling people what you do for a living affects your personality”

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Humility is truth: Hildebrand on veracity

This evening I read Hildebrand’s brief chapter on veracity in The Art of Living.

Just this very day, a colleague of mine quoted the expression “Humility is truth” and we discussed it a bit. Hildebrand has an excellent description of its meaning:

The truthful person does not seek compensation for his inferiority complexes. The kinship that find its expression in the words ‘Humility is truth,’ may also be expressed conversed. The humble person alone is really truthful. The source of all ungenuineness and all untruthfulness is found in the proud desire to be something different from what we really are.

Veracity, like all important values, concerns not only the individual but human relationships. Thus, Hildebrand explains, “To lie is to misuse the quality entrusted to us as witnesses to being, in speech, in the spoken or written word. […] To deceive another person implies a fundamental disrespect, a failure to take him seriously.”

These are lucid and enlivening reflections to read, particularly as I attend a political networking conference.

“In comparison with the ‘heaven of heaven’ even the heaven of earth is still earth.” These words of St. Augustine echo in my soul. Seeing reality rightly and being spiritually free to have “deep reverence for the majesty of being.” This is what matters.

DNA is not what makes you you.

The results of the moral tests we face are more defining than the genetic tests we take. 

Recently, I was in Washington, D.C. No matter how often I visit the States, it always amazes me how obsessed Americans are with race. During a conference I attended, the other millennials spent their lunch hour going around the table sharing the breakdown of the ethnic percentages from their recently conducted home DNA tests. This struck me as a rather odd way of making introductions.

Click here to read the rest at HildebrandProject.org.

Faithfulness: mastering every moment from the depth

This evening I read the second chapter in Dietrich von Hildebrand’s The Art of Living. The topic of this chapter is faithfulness, which Hildebrand describes in its large sense as “the continuity that first gives to a man’s life its inner consistency, its inner unity.”  Continue reading “Faithfulness: mastering every moment from the depth”

Hildebrand: La révérence

Aujourd’hui, j’ai commercé à lire un livre écrit par un de mes philosophes préférés qui s’appelle Dietrich von Hildebrand. Le livre republié par le Hildebrand Project s’intitule « The Art of Living. »

Il y a des chapitres courts et profonds au sujet de la révérence, la fidélité, la responsabilité, la véracité, la bonté, la communion et l’espoir. L’introduction est écrite par Peter Kreeft et deux chapitres sont écrits par la veuve de Dietrich qui s’appelle Alice.

J’ai lu le premier chapitre à propos de la révérence. Selon Hildebrand, la révérence est l’attitude par excellence de la vie morale parce que c’est l’ouverture aux valeurs qui rendent les êtres humains capables de répondre bien aux choses qui sont intrinsèquement importantes.

Ce que j’ai trouvé le plus intéressant est son explication de comment la révérence est la base de toute vraie communauté. Pour avoir du respect pour les autres, pour leur liberté et pour leurs droits, il est nécessaire d’avoir un sens de la valeur de leur individualité, préciosité et dignité qui nous donne les raisons fondamentales pour lesquelles ils sont dignes d’être respectés.

More than Consent: The Ennoblement of Sex

In Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville said, “Everybody feels the evil, but no one has courage or energy enough to seek the cure.” Today Patrick Brown resigned as Ontario PC Leader because of sexual misconduct allegations and federal MP Kent Hehr resigned from cabinet over allegations of sexual harassment. Continue reading “More than Consent: The Ennoblement of Sex”