William Merritt Chase, c.1887, Young Woman Before a Mirror
Circumstance, Meaning, Virtue

Listening to Low Self-Esteem

Jane Austen in 1814 said; “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be”. Instead of believing that feelings of low self-esteem must be cast away immediately, first hear what they have to say.

Malnazar and Aghap'ir, 1637 - 1638, David in Prayer
Virtue

The Trouble with Compassion

Like handing someone a glass of water while they are engulfed in flames, it does very little. The danger is that we are only really fulfilling our own need or want to be ‘compassionate’ people, in this vain sense.

Jean-François Millet, Potato Planters, 1861
Meaning

Start Small and Let It Be Ugly

There are many things we wish we could change to be closer to who we want to be; the difficulty comes in how to make those changes.

Carlo Crivelli, 1486, 'The Annunciation, with Saint Emidius'
Circumstance, Meaning

What Does Life Expect of Us?

The old moral philosophers called it the ‘finis ultimus’ (utmost aim) or ‘summum bonum’ (greatest good). The utmost to aim for in terms of our character, for those around us and our society.

Exploring Philosophy

The Divine Watchmaker

“As we look out into the Universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together to our benefit, it almost seems as if the Universe must in some sense have known that we were coming.”

Jean-François Millet, 1857-59, The Angelus.
Meaning

We Are All Living in Faith

It seems the concept of faith has been hijacked, and is openly sneered upon. It is dismissed as nonsense and those who indulge in it as naive and not existing in the ‘real’ world. But by simply choosing to be alive means we have faith.

wander above the sea of fog, Caspar David Friedrich
Meaning

Actively Seek Moments of Awe

That engagement with awe soaks into our soul and becomes part of it. We’re uplifted, giving us renewed wind in our sails; a sense of excitement and wonder. It engages us with the world

Meaning

Our Time to Live Is Limited

In order to make use of our time, we must realise the uncertainty of our future. If we do not consciously accept how fragile we are by nature, what motivation have we to approach life with fierce intent?

Circumstance, Meaning

How the Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary

The skyline is only broken by hilltops, most of them heaving with vast forests. Menacing echos of calls can be heard from deep within. Elusively evading our sights, thought wonders what lies in the belly of the dense forests.