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Showing posts from January, 2009

Barack Obama’s inauguration speech in full.

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and co-operation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we, the people, have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbears, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

Serious challenges
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weake…

The search for happiness Part 2

In our first discussion of happiness, I rooted my argument squarely in Christianity, with the teachings of Jesus Christ and Mother Teresa (See below Part 1). Suffice it to say that the point was that humans are never happy being selfish, and only happy when they give to others.

Now I would like to turn some attention to what some might view as the other extreme -- the legacy of Sigmund Freud and the writings Ernest Becker. As we know, Freud became an atheist during his lifetime. Becker was not an atheist, but attempts reconciliation of some of Freud's concepts on happiness in life.

My good friend, Gerry Zyfers reminded me that in Becker's work we find a similar concept to one of "giving to others leads to happiness." Gerry wrote me, "I think Becker's basic point was that human beings have a mythology about their own independence, but we are radically dependent on others to give us a sense of meaning and even sense of self. To have meaning you need a meanin…