Many of us think of patriotism the same way we would a venereal disease: we may happen to exhibit a few symptoms from time to time but we would be extremely uncomfortable to discuss it. What does patriotism mean in today’s world and why do we feel so awkward about it? How can we bring people together without leading to exclusion of others?
Do you know how to spot a liar? Or for that matter whether your partner is the right one for you, or who to vote for? Throughout our lives we have questions like this that need answers. The recent proliferation of TED Talks and self-help books reveal that our search for wisdom even in these modern times is very much alive. We want to know how best to live so we can live our best lives. But are we looking for answers in the right places?
Life is stressful for all of us, sometimes it is very stressful. Essential oils and good long bath might help for a day, but how can we reduce stress, not just temporarily but forever?
I lost someone recently and his funeral was both incredibly sad and amazingly joyful. What do I mean? How can I even say that? What will happen when it’s your time? Will you just be forgotten or is there something more?
As someone who has moved many times over my lifetime so far, I have often struggled with the concept of home. Is home where you live or where you come from? Is it your childhood or your culture? Is it your family or your significant other? Many of us feel homesick for a place we’ve never even been and we ask: can home even be a place anymore? And how do we find a lasting home?
This world is dying, literally and humans are causing some of the most damage. We know that unless we address population growth, nothing we do will ever be enough to stay the inevitable desperate lack of resources that is on its way. And yet at the same time we fervently pour millions of pounds worth of research into life-prolonging technologies and treatments. Why?
We like to think we live in an enlightened age, where each of us has the freedom to form our own opinions. Why then, instead of existing peacefully alongside one another, do we vehemently condemn any who dare to hold a different opinion as wrong? On any number of issues we so often feel that we alone have all the right answers. But is there anything wrong with that?
Sometimes the deepest truths are most transparent in fairy tales and fantasy. CS Lewis’ story about two children and a Marsh-wiggle reveals some deep truths about the life we may not even realise we are trapped in but which feels oddly unsatisfactory to us.
There are many ways in which the gender divide still wounds women: from unequal pay to the prohibitive cost of childcare, from unshatterable glass ceilings to unrealistic expectations of beauty, performance and achievement. We may say we value women equally, but in reality there are still many disparities to be overcome, both practically and in our own thought processes. So, how can I know who I am as a woman? Is there a rest from this treadmill?
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