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Sewing by Hand: Re-evaluating Stereotypes

Sewing by Hand: Re-evaluating Stereotypes

This morning my wife mentioned she has noticed that many young people do not know how to sew by hand. Not even, for instance, to secure a button to a shirt. She made this comment after I shared that I’m glad I learned the rudiments of sewing in ‘home ec’ class in...

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How Our Yard Can Make Us Human Again

How Our Yard Can Make Us Human Again

To be human is to be a craftsman, an 'artist.' And for this reason we should not only be concerned about agriculture but also seek in some way to practice it ourselves. Socrates in Xenophon’s Estate Manager goes to the heart of the matter: Whoever said that...

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Everything in Its Place: A Unique Beauty in the Home

Everything in Its Place: A Unique Beauty in the Home

From what I hear and what I see, some people are compulsive in keeping spaces tidy. Many others of us have an opposite problem. We might ask why it’s so difficult to get right how we order our spaces. Perhaps there is no great mystery here. In the art of living it is...

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Digital Practice as Liturgy

Digital Practice as Liturgy

“Hey you, stop underestimating the power of your bodily routines.” Thus says Felicia Wu Song in reflecting on the significance of our digital practices. She even suggests we consider these practices as a kind of ‘liturgy,’ an embodied common practice that both...

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Philosopher Parents, Not Kings

Philosopher Parents, Not Kings

The term ‘philosopher kings’ sticks in the head of students of ancient philosophy. In Plato’s Republic Socrates memorably asserts that “until philosophers take control of a city, there’ll be no respite from evil for either city or citizens…” Plato’s assertion here has...

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Facing Discouragement: A Greek Insight

Facing Discouragement: A Greek Insight

Discouragement, or at least its temptation, regularly accompanies intentional living. Even if we do not formulate it explicitly we find ourselves feeling “why do the good things I want have to be so difficult?” It is a consolation to know this is not unique to our...

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Toxic Fatherhood?

Toxic Fatherhood?

There are important analogies between a father in a family and a ruler in a nation. This is perhaps especially clear in the consequences of their failure. Aquinas writes that “royal dignity is rendered hateful to many people on account of the wickedness of tyrants.”...

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Master of His Time

Master of His Time

“He had no ‘time of his own’ (except in his bed-cell), and yet he was becoming master of his time; he began to know just what he could do with it.” J.R.R. Tolkien, Leaf by Niggle Many of the greatest traps of our day appear in the guise of simple math. One of them...

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To Be Realistic about Friendships

To Be Realistic about Friendships

Once after giving a lecture on friendship I was told I was undermining the hearers ability to have relationships with diverse people. Clarity on this issue is crucial. What had I asserted in my lecture? Aristotle’s principle: deep friendship requires unity of...

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Good in Disasters and Mishaps?

Good in Disasters and Mishaps?

“Everything that happens in corporal creatures redounds to the usefulness of man.” Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Job How should I think about a sprained ankle, a tree fallen in the road, a case of indigestion or insomnia, a disease in fruit trees, a drought, or even a...

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Ending ‘Summer’ Intentionally

Ending ‘Summer’ Intentionally

‘Summer’ is a season given bounds as much by schooling, work, and vacation as by the earth’s relation to the sun. Though we have another month until the autumnal equinox, most of us experience summer as ‘done’ by around mid-August. I think it reasonable that we accept...

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