Personal Growth

Personal Growth


Ambika Talwar Excerpt: My Greece

Ambika Talwar December 12th, 2017

When I was 18, I took my English 101 class at Cypress College, the local junior college. It was actually a pretty good experience; I have fond memories of my math teacher, Jack Gill, and my psychology instructor, Jorge Ampudia. As well, my English teacher was named Ambika Talwar. Ambika recently put out a travelogue about her time visiting Greece. In it, she shares thoughts and feelings that are present-oriented, literal, and even pedantic. At other times, she waxes philosophical. I wanted to share a passage that is interesting from her book, My Greece: Mirrors & Metamorphoses. She is an interesting person, to say the least. You can read more about her here.

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“Loneliness, Part 1”

Loneliness December 4th, 2017

A poem about a nightmare I once had, after which I awoke and wrote the following stanza:

I just awoke from a late-morning dream, an unsettling episode;
It centered on one aspect of my life and my self: social insecurity.
I had a heavy heart, heartburn, regret, and embarrassment that showed.
I know that I definitely have not reached developmental maturity.

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An Exploration of Wisdom: An Interview

an exploration of wisdom December 2nd, 2017

Wisdom is the heart of the enterprise Values of the Wise, so I look forward to today’s discussion here on the radio show, Values and Ethics: from Living Room to Boardroom. Wisdom is an apparently simple, yet surprisingly elusive matter, so I’m geared up to interview two capable and conversant individuals who can speak with me and help us all understand wisdom a bit better. First I have Wes Nisker on the program; he goes by “Scoop.” Usually I call the guest by their first name, with permission, of course; however, today I will see if I can call Wes, Scoop! He is an author of a best-selling book called The Essential Crazy Wisdom, an underground classic.

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Simple Ways of Helping People at Home and Abroad

helping people at home December 1st, 2017

Trying to be a better citizen can be an intimidating and overwhelming idea. Here are some simple, effective ways of helping people at home and abroad. 
Republished from an original article by Guest Blogger John Hawthorne.

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“Great Spirits”

great spirits December 1st, 2017

“Great spirits” are individuals who exemplify magnanimity and other virtues. This poem attempts to capture a bit of that beauty.

Great spirits exemplify numerous virtues
They view the world in vibrant hues
She personifies the loftiest human values
He knows many elusive and profound truths.

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The Consolation of Reliable, Positive Values

positive values November 30th, 2017

Sigh. I entitled this blog what I did because I am having a difficult time of it at the moment. My dad did die this year. And Trump did ascend to power this year. But $hit has really been hitting the fan, as they say. Today, Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor have been caught in the thorny bramble of bad behavior. I was also a bit shocked by Louis C. K., Senator Al Franken, and Representative John Conyers. I look around and institutions seem to be tarnishing, crumbling, under attack, and failing. It feels like we are more divided and that there are more dangers than I am comfortable with. In this blog, I will try to make sense of my angst, and use reliable, positive values as a consolation. 

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“Will Star Trek Forever Remain Fiction?”

Star Trek November 29th, 2017

A big fan of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, this poem asks if we will ever reach the level of development as a planet that humans do in the 23rd century. Here is a stanza:

How can we engender a bright future as a global society,
When millions of children are hungry, sick, and poor?
We are swimming in greed, intolerance, bigotry, and anxiety;
Must
Star Trek forever remain nothing but lore?

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Siddhartha Gautama, Founder of Buddhism

Buddhism November 28th, 2017

Siddhartha in the ancient language of Magadhi means “one who has accomplished a goal.” This is a very fitting name for a very influential historical figure that is still shrouded in myth and legend — Siddhartha Gautama, also known as The Buddha. While we do know he existed, there is still a lot that we don’t know about him (and will never know). It has been over 2,500 years since The Buddha’s death, and to this day his insightful and inspirational message influences and motivates hundreds of millions of people every day. This is what living a life of value is all about: pursuing a path for oneself that is functional and fulfilling, while at the same time helping, loving, and guiding others the be the best possible versions of themselves. Let me share a bit more about Siddhartha Gautama, and then I will present some very interesting quotes by the man who literally invented Buddhism.

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“The Truly Noble Man”

the truly noble man November 27th, 2017

The truest and best conceptions of masculinity are measured in this poem. Here is an example:

Despite popular conceptions, the ideal measure of a man
Is not gauged by braggadocio and aggressive displays;
Neither by number of toys or lovers he managed to collect,
Though many try in vain to be manly in these ways…

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The Multifaceted Self: Ethics, Politics & Psychology

the multifaceted self November 27th, 2017

I want to examine characteristics, demarcations, and aspects of the self vis-à-vis various groups and divisions within society. Hopefully doing so will shed some light on internal values and virtues, and the idea of a “values divide” between political ideologies, groups, states, philosophical orientations, religions, and so on. As well: wise as opposed to conventional (or, dare I say, wise as opposed to ignorant)! I have two guests I am eager to speak with about this intriguing topic. First, Alan Abramowitz, Ph.D., professor of political science at Emory University, and then Earle F. Zeigler, Ph.D. a very interesting polymath and wise old man who wrote many books, including A Way Out of Ethical Confusion: Untangling the Values Fiasco. I have many questions about the multifaceted self in society, but I want to be sure to take the opportunity to ask my guests questions about the philosophy of a good life I call “living a life of value.” 

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