Apothegms and Observations XLI

  1. “What is feminism?” This question is asking, “What is meant when the word ‘feminism’ is said?” The obvious answer is, “It depends on who is speaking.” Thus, the original question is helpful only in that it makes its own unanswerability obvious, and quickly leads to the better (and more difficult) question: “What do you mean when you say the word ‘feminism?'”
  2. The evidence points to the least sexy form of charitable giving being the most effective: donating cash.
  3. Sometimes, joy means allowing yourself to be sad.
  4. Often, the reason we believe someone is wise is because we don’t know them.
  5. As we grow in our imitation of Jesus, his teachings both shock us more profoundly with their radicalness, and become so obviously right and true that we can hardly imagine another way of living.
  6. It is far easier to feel passionate about a criticism of another than it is to feel passionate about a celebration of another.
  7. I feel a tremendous tendency in my heart to be secular—to live as if God did not speak and is not there.
  8. The dishes never take as long as I imagine they will take.
  9. Love is not, “You will be mine.” Love is, “I will be yours.”
  10. Essential to the concept of chivalry is the doctrine of the difference of the genders.
  11. To borrow from computer science, our society’s solution to the gender identity problem has shifted from static typing to duck typing.
  12. It is very important to practice deconstruction, when it is done helpfully, and it removes the tyranny of false beliefs. Yet this perhaps only reinforces the importance of fruitful construction.
  13. Some true things are not grok-able.
  14. A mere speculation: I have wondered if the English language’s lack of second person plural has influenced our philosophy and theology into individuality and away from community. When we hear a command in Scripture, for instance, we assume it is given to us individually, rather than the Church at large, because our language simply has no distinction between the two.
  15. We praise you, Father, that this life is not a zero-sum game!
  16. There is something horribly grotesque about a tamed lion. But there is nothing more grotesque than a tamed God.
  17. See to it that you are not offended by an unsafe God, for this is the beginning of wisdom.
  18. The great ones can be found pursuing industry while the rest of us enjoy leisure. And each is right and good.
  19. It is laughable to think that empathy solves all of society’s problems. Empathy is only a beginning of a solution.
  20. To be frank, it astounds me that anyone takes Richard Dawkins seriously as an atheist persuader. I am always surprised when his name comes up in a thoughtful discussion. And yet, the brother of a good friend lost his faith after reading The God Delusion…. How am I to understand this?
  21. Money… how difficult it is to know what to feel about you.
  22. When I am at my most rational and self-aware, it seems to me a blessing that I lack power.
  23. Was there ever a time that scholarship, truth, and wisdom equated to influence? I long for such a time.
  24. Think! Ask questions!
  25. How do we know if our manner of questioning in spiritual things is sincere and good? By whether we are seeking evidence and reasons to believe in truth more than we are seeking the confirmation of our inclinations.
  26. If all we learn in history class is the dates, then the class is an insult to the field. But if we do not learn the dates, then what are we studying?
  27. Do I endeavor to know nothing apart from Christ and him crucified?
  28. In our lifetime we will become inspired by many profound wisdoms. Then, we will forget them.
  29. A worthy test of a politician: Do his words reveal a hidden presumption that life is a zero-sum game?
  30. If you believe that you are the only open minded one in the room, you are probably wrong on two accounts.
  31. To make a decision is not to become close minded. It is what comes before the decision which determines that.

2 thoughts on “Apothegms and Observations XLI

  1. I would give a counterpoint to #2: In some instances, things other than money are better. The thing that comes to mind is when people bring food to sick families or those with newborns. In these instances, it isn’t that the value of the gift is really that important (or even that much often), it is both the thought and the effort to create the dinner is the true value of the gift.
    Also, #11 is a really good metaphore


    1. True true! Yeah, in personal relationships, that is extremely accurate. If someone is sick, no one wants a friend to just Venmo some cash. You want a visit or home-cooked food, because that is what conveys love and is convenient, which is what is needed there.

      I could have clarified that I meant giving and donating to charities exclusively. For example, donating cans to a canned food drive is far less helpful than just writing a check. Reason being that food banks can get extreme discounts from grocery stores. So one dollar that you use can buy like 1/5 of what they can buy if you just give it to them. Plus, you don’t know what cans they want. Getting random cans makes meal prepping difficult. Getting cash makes meal prepping easy. Even donating time can be more of a burden than a help. Reason being that they often hurt for funds more than volunteers, and more volunteers requires more effort in management, training, etc.

      Now, of course, this is talking exclusively in terms of helping the charities. Bringing your kids to help out with the soup kitchen is extremely valuable for the society as well, through it being a really meaningful experience for your kids. And then those kids will learn the value of charity, and will get involved with it. Or, canned food drives really help community spirit, because they are big public events that teach the value of helping out. And these benefits are extremely valuable. But, in terms of long-term help for charities, actually the more valuable thing is to just set up a recurring donation. That is what is needed the most. I could find articles to support this, and probably should’ve. But there has been a ton of research on this recently, and it is pretty well established.

      Finally, thanks for the #11 compliment. I thought it was fun 😀 . JS cares about then-ables, we care about uterus-ables.


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