The Inclination to Tragedy or Comedy

One can write the stories of one’s life two ways: turn the script into a tragedy or into a comedy. There are some limitations to that of course: death, serious illness or injury are hard to turn into a comedy. At least at the initial shock. I will never forget the book by Paul Brickhill Reach For the Sky. It is a story about a RAF pilot, who lost both of his legs, but made it back to flying a plane. The novel is full of comic remarks and never does the pilot Douglas Bader feel sorry for himself. When I start feeling sorry for myself, I often remember this book and it always has a good effect on...
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The Optimist Pessimist Realist Triangle

This blog was inspired by words of Horace, the Roman poet, written nearly 2,000 years ago. These lines are from his Odes (ii,10): In sadness hope, in gladness fear, ‘Gainst coming change will fortify Your breast. The storm that Jupiter Sweeps o’er the sky He chases. Why should rain today Bring rain tomorrow? Be brave in trouble; meet distress With dauntless front; but when the gale Too prosperous blows, be wise no less, And shorten sail. You can read the whole Ode here. Each situation can happen in different ways. It can turn out this way, the other way or a third, rather unexpected way....
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Eros Agape Philia

Recently I got a gift in a clothing shop: three white soaps in the form of a heart, nicely packed in a red cardboard box with three words in white color printed on it: Eros Agape Philia. I remembered the Greeks and a quick look into Wikipedia affirmed my assumption that those three words are defining different variations of love. See: Greek words for love. Eros means “love, mostly of the sexual passion”. Agape in Greek philosophy is “love: esp. charity; the love of God for man and of man for God”. Philia would be “affectionate regard, friendship”. There is also a fourth kind of love:...
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Traditions versus Ethics

Often we follow tradition without thinking about it. If anyone asked us, why we are doing a certain thing, we would simply answer: »Because it’s tradition.« In general it is alright to follow traditions, if they are still functional in the present. It would be totally dis-functional to drive in coaches pulled by horses these days for instance. It would represent a hurdle in traffic. In addition to that, by taking up a lot of precious time it would deprive us of hours of sleep or some other spare-time activity, which makes it possible for us to fall asleep in the evening. Naturally today we...
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