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Happiness

La Vierge aux Anges

In a world ringing with noise and suffused with the more or less artful idolizing of passions divorced from objective goods, where are we to find melodies capable of penetrating our hardened hearts with spiritual truths?
Socrates Looking in a Mirror
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It may seem paradoxical to find out that one of the great clarion calls of individuality, modernism, and liberality—“Be yourself”—turns out to be a profound declaration of classical ethics... “Stay true. Be you.”...
Towels
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How is it possible to feel happy and sad at the same time? Recently I tasted that bittersweetness as I walked the campus of a college I attended almost 30 years ago. The landmarks of warm memories were still...
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Human beings are not simply producers; they are also lovers of beauty and contemplators of truth. They are wasters of time. The liberally educated person has a rich inner life that allows him or her to waste time well...
Five Ways to Start Living a Quieter Life
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To pursue The Quieter Life requires overcoming our fear of missing out, our fear that, if we let our foot off the gas and slow down, we will miss the next opportunity, the next big thing...

Contemplation is nothing else than this: a loving gaze between a lover and the one loved. To be people of leisure requires that we are people of contemplation. If we are, we will experience a foretaste of heaven...

Play is a deeply spiritual activity because play is primarily about community. The joy present between two that are playing together is a shared joy. It is neither the possession of one nor the other... But let us...
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It only took a moment. The smartphone was somewhere in the grass, forgotten. Our hands and jeans were covered in smears of purple and green sidewalk chalk. My two-year-old daughter and I were busy drawing roads and buildings...
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The last Saturday morning in August, my wife noticed that some of our neighbors had a moving truck outside their home. After watching with the kids for a minute or two, she acknowledged that she had never...
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To know what I was like as a teenager in the eighties, you should know this: at a time when most boys’ heroes were sports figures, mine was an antisocial weirdo who had been dead for 125 years.
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The problem with the notion that one should do good because doing good leads to happiness is that, well, what if it doesn’t? Throughout human history, the greatest thinkers and theologians have each proposed a state of...
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Jane Austen’s heroines live, choose, and marry according to the highest wisdom about love that is ruled by principle, not convention—by the prudent mind, pure heart, and informed conscience rather than by the false prudence of the world preoccupied by money, image, lust, or self-interest...
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In Samuel Johnson's novel Rasselas, the eponymous character discovers that happiness does not derive from a beautiful place, luxurious palace, or constant entertainment, but depends upon a composed state of mind in possession of truth... Throughout the...
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The beginning of a new year gives us a symbolic opportunity to mark the passing of the old and to look ahead. But the renewal of one’s soul and the growth of one’s character do not result from a mere calendar change...