fbpx

Building Resilience in a High-Risk World

Risks are essential to human flourishing. By taking measured risks—to our sanity, our financial stability, our perceived safety—we explore the limits of our ability to withstand discomfort, a posture that then allows us to care for others. In this way, well-ordered risk-taking is fundamentally others-oriented.
It’s useful to heed the words of Gabriel Marcel when it comes to desire. To paraphrase his “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived,” perhaps we could instead say: “Desire is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.” Girard himself refers to desire as a “mystery” on numerous occasions. I think he spent his entire life trying to understand that mystery.
As this idea of self-creation, telling our own story, self-determination has become seen as the fundamental element of human life, that means those of us who participate more fully in self-creation are more human, and those of us who participate less fully are, in some sense, less human.
Our reading recommendations from a year of contemplation and enchantment. 
Welcoming human imperfection in its manifold expressions is a boon for those of us who lack the privilege of full-time scholarship. It is not in spite of, but thanks to, the inherent inefficiencies of our rich and often chaotic lives that so many of us can enjoy the pursuit of intellectual enrichment.
Six panelists share how they structure their lives in a way that allows them to pursue creative, intellectually inspiring work, while remaining open to life and faithful to the good work of the home.
Politeness is manners, it’s technique, it’s etiquette, it’s behavior, it’s at the superficial, external level alone. But civility is a disposition of the heart. It’s a way of seeing others as our moral equals and treating them with the respect that they’re owed and deserve.
Constant reminders about the challenges of parenthood, though seemingly innocent or even compassionate, can do harm.
The persistent cultural trend away from family life and childbirth is deeply troubling, not just because of its demographic implications, but because it means denying core characteristics of what it means to be human: our need for connection and our desire for meaning.
My generation feels obligated to constrain our footprint in the name of social justice. I reject this. I cannot promise my children perfect comfort or safety in the world. But I can make their world—our home, our lives, our family—a mooring when everything else is guaranteed to be perpetually confused.