Thoughts

Don’t Whine, Don’t Weep

The environmentalist and novelist Edward Abbey produced one of the greatest books about nature in American history when he wrote Desert Solitaire, about his time as a park ranger at Arches National Park. Although much of the book confirms Seneca’s line, Mundus ipse est ingens deorum omnium templum (The world itself is a huge temple …

Stop torturing yourself.

Wherever you are on the political spectrum, turning on the news is unlikely to make you feel anything but bad. Look at what the Democrats are doing. Are the Republicans serious? Even if you’re able to escape partisan reporting, the state of the world is hardly going to cheer you up. Earthquakes. Civil wars. Failed states. Somebody …

Perks Dissapear

When you’re doing well they’ll send a car for you, or cover your incidentals charges at the hotel. They’ll overnight your packages or give you an assistant. They’ll remember your name and your preferences. You won’t even ask and you’ll find that your tickets are first class, and that someone is always apologizing, “So sorry …

Your courage is what we need.

The timeless symbol of Stoicism is the lone knight fighting a war they cannot hope to win–but fighting bravely and honorably nonetheless. It’s Thrasea challenging Nero, even though the challenge will cost him his life and fail to stop the man. It’s Marcus Aurelius struggling not to be corrupted by absolute power, to be a …

What Building a Country Requires

It’s July 4th, 1776. Think about where America was in that moment: Blood in the streets. A revolution against an empire. Families ripped apart because a war forced them to choose sides. Hopeful successes on the battlefield repeatedly followed by dispiriting defeats. The uncertainty of victory, shrouded in the certainty of death and misery and …