Polished to Perfection

"A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials." - Seneca While I am not so sure that our trials in life are deliberately imposed upon us as a test of our character or will intentionally by another being or entity, I have witnessed time and time again that the mechanism …

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The Child of Liberalism

Anyone interested in what shaped the United States' founding generation's views on human nature, virtue and purpose ought to read Carl J. Richard's The Founders and the Classics: Greece, Rome and the American Enlightenment. Richard's comprehensive study of the founders' classical reading provides a clear and useful reference point to square back to when confronting …

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The Open Doors

The first step to effective problem-solving is to realize that a problem is nothing more than an unassembled solution. The more challenging problems typically require more intricate solutions, yet on occasion you might have the good fortune to resolve a complex and seemingly insoluble matter with stroke of genius. When you approach a new challenge …

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The Civility Deficit

"There can be no high civility without a deep morality." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson Civility is a virtue that marks the Golden Mean between barbarousness and glibness or superficial politeness. In early use, the term denoted the state of being a citizen and hence good citizenship. It later (apparently in the mid-16th century) took on …

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The Purpose of Mankind

What would you say is the purpose of mankind? I had a fascinating conversation yesterday with a friend of mine about classical education, 18th and 19th century American history, the great pendulum upon which humanity seems to swing and finally, what we both do for a living and why. My friend, a classically trained equestrian …

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The Natural Aristocracy

Friends of mine were discussing politics and leadership the day before yesterday and one raised the question: "I wonder why the most successful people, financially speaking, like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett shouldn't be running the country?" The question carried a bit more weight in my mind given Donald Trump's recent indication that he would …

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Apathy, Anger and the American Way

I was disappointed yesterday to read in our local paper that only 28.3% of registered voters took the time to vote in yesterday's primary election. The article entitled "Apathy defeats anger in primary election" went on to note that only 14.82% of voters turned out for the 2008 Presidential primary election! The percentages border on embarrassing. …

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