January 2009

Abundance has brought beautiful things to our lives, but that bevy of material goods has not necessarily made us much happier. The paradox of prosperity is that while living standards have risen steadily decade after decade, personal, family, and life satisfaction haven’t budged. That’s why more people–liberated by prosperity but not fulfilled by it–are resolving the paradox by searching for meaning. As Columbia University’s Andrew Delbanco puts it, “The most striking feature of contemporary culture is the unslaked craving for transendence.”

Daniel Pink argues that we should be developing the right side of our brains to compensate for the over-developed left brain skills. The areas for growth include:

  • Design
  • Story (or Narrative)
  • Symphony (big picture thinking)
  • Meaning
  • Empathy
  • Play (Joy/Celebration)

Daniel H. Pink, A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age, 35.


The grace said by the preacher at the party Otis organized at Gloria Dump’s backyard:

Dear God, thank you for warm summer nights and candlelight and good food. But thank you most of all for friends. We appreciate the complicated and wonderful gifts you give us in each other. And we appreciate the task you put down before us, of loving each other the best we can, even as you love us. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen

Kate DiCamillo, Because of Winn-Dixie (Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2000), 153.