Can we imagine how we might all become just slightly happier, rather than trying to solve the insoluble - i.e. the perennial problem of human happiness and fulfilment?
Becoming happier is a subject that has occupied some of history's greatest thinkers, but how do we sort the good ideas from the bad? Are there any hard and fast rules when it comes to happiness, and should we trust anyone who claims to know the secret?
"So come, my friends, be not afraid.
We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made;
In love we disappear."
Happy posthumous birthday, Lenny.
You tried, in your way, to be free. Thank you. Now go join that great gig in the sky. So I wrote a year ago, when Lenny left us. However, the legend lives on - listen for example to How the Light Gets In.
'We Love Leonard Cohen' celebrated his 81st Birthday, and then, for his 82nd and final birthday, Leonard gave us a present. "You Want It Darker" is the title track to last album, his 14th studio album in his 49-year recording career. (See also Leonard Cohen Makes it Darker.)
"Leonard Cohen offers the possibility of living with grace, dignity, and integrity, without submitting to illusions, without succumbing to indifference, and without indulging in denial of our own failures and flaws, in a world that is too often corrupt and malevolent" - Allan Showalter
The World Values Survey (WVS) examines the changing values of societies and the impact of these changes on social and political life. The WVS is composed of nationally representative surveys conducted in almost 100 countries that represent almost 90 percent of the world’s population.
Among the dozens of questions that World Values asks is one about tolerance for other races. World Values asked respondents in more than 80 countries to identify the kinds of people they would not want as neighbors. Some respondents, picking from a list, chose "people of a different race." The more frequently that people in a given country gave that response, the less racially tolerant the society is rated. Knoema mapped the latest findings:
During these dark days of worsening refugee crisis, can we still imagine reaching a state of "xenophilia"...overcoming our "homophily", i.e. the love of that which is like us, and reaching the love of that which is different?
Indeed, if we're ever going to care enough about conflict, genocide, poverty, hunger etc. enough to act on them properly, then we need to try much harder to avoid conflict with people we might not yet fully understand.
My heart is like a singing bird, whose nest is in a watered shoot.
My heart is like an apple-tree, whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit.
My heart is like a rainbow shell that paddles in a halcyon sea.
My heart is gladder than all these.
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down.
Hang it with vair and purple dyes.
Carve it in doves and pomegranates.
The churchyard whispers to us about the shortness of our days.