How do we determine what makes a good life? Just ask the Seven Grandfathers

Thanks Jane for your research and I might add that not only have we the colonizers not followed their teachings, we have not followed any teaching other than “me before we”. But I still carry a faint flicker of hope for humanity that one day we may actually realize that cooperation is better than competition.

Robby Robin's Journey

The philosophy group I belong to (which has been meeting successfully by Zoom the past several weeks) is in the process of considering what topic we’ll explore when we reconvene in the fall. We seem to be choosing between the philosophy of probability, philosophy of law, and the overarching topic of what constitutes a good – or meaningful – life. I am keen on seeing the topic of what constitutes a meaningful life win the day; not surprisingly, this question has been of major interest to philosophers since at least the Greeks, and it’s still a work in progress.

There are so many questions that spring to mind. Is a good life the same thing as a happy life? How do we decide a life is meaningful? Maybe we could add in: how do we lead a good life while under quarantine?! I’ve started doing a tiny, tiny bit of…

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COVID-19 has brought us a day of reckoning; how will we respond?

Thanks for another well reasoned piece.

Robby Robin's Journey

As we think about what our world – our individual countries and communities – might look like when this pandemic is finally fully in check, we find ourselves with options. We can work hard to get things back to being as close to the way they were as possible, or we can take this opportunity to think about whether there are some things we may want to do differently. It is a rare occasion when nations are given the chance to observe at close range both the strengths and weaknesses of their social and economic structures and consider how well their policies support the values of their citizens. This is such a time.

A few examples:

  • Each country will have an opportunity to re-evaluate their commitment to equality and to the principles of equal opportunity – access to housing, food, healthcare, and education – and see how they stack up…

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Private gain must no longer be allowed to elbow out the public good

Adam Smith had an elegant idea when addressing the notorious difficulty that humans face in trying to be smart, efficient and moral. In The Wealth of Nations (1776), he maintained that the baker bakes bread not out of benevolence, but out of self-interest. No doubt, public benefits can result when people pursue what comes easiest: [...]

Wildlife and Earth Day in the time of COVID-19

A little humour always helps.

Robby Robin's Journey

Wildlife Wednesday and Earth Day all rolled into one. Happy Earth Day, everyone! Believe it or not, this marks the 50th year of celebrating Earth Day on April 22. I have to admit to not having been aware of Earth Day for all of that time, but, boy, was its founder prescient 50 years ago! Climate change and its impacts were barely a whisper on anyone’s lips 50 years ago. Since then the whisper of a few has become the roar of many, but that roar has been unable to overpower the thunder of profit margins, greed, denial, and short-term thinking. Until now.

And the change hasn’t come about because of the best intentions of Earth Day, Greta Thunberg, Al Gore, Elizabeth May, or any other climate change leader, it’s come about because of a novel coronavirus. If there is one silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic that has…

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Language, culture, identity and world maps

Really need to spend time with these if you want a little broader understanding of languages.

Robby Robin's Journey

This week’s Map Monday is an effort to show what languages are spoken around the world. I have learned a lot about the importance of language as central to culture and identity by virtue of where I live, which I will explain below. If your mother tongue is English, as mine is, and you live in a majority English-speaking region, as I do in North America, then you probably don’t think about it too much. You think of language as a way of communicating: communicating your needs, your wants, your questions. And that’s true, partly. If you go to a country or region where another language is spoken, being able to ask for directions in that language makes it easier and also makes the experience more enjoyable. Being able to carry out a conversation with a local in that local language makes the experience even more enjoyable. But language is…

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You are awareness of your thoughts.

A great way to start a day.


You’re talking to yourself everyday even when you are reading to what I think, you’re having a conversation in your mind. Your perception is everything. Your universe started in your mother’s body, now it continues in your brain.

Remember this, you are not your thoughts, You are awareness of your thoughts. How you react to what you think determines your future. You can’t live a positive life having negative reaction to your thoughts.

What others think of you is their problem or blessing not yours. You need not be concerned about how people perceive you. It says more about them then you.

You are your best friend or your worst enemy. If you’re telling yourself you’re bad, you are ugly or you can’t do the specific work. Your mind will reinforce this within your body at a cellular level.

When you tell yourself you can’t you destroy your confidence. Just…

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How to face the planetary lockdown? Stoic philosophers answered

I have always admired the Stoics and try to emulate them,
Thanks for these quotations.


Scenic View Of Sea Against Clear Sky

Stoic philosophers are the best choice of coaches to help us get through our long days. Here are some inspirational quotes to get us on perspective.

On external events and the future:

Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have. Epictetus

The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately. Seneca

A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials. Seneca

On self-control and will power:

It does not matter what you bear, but how you bear it. Seneca

He has the most who is content with the least. Diogenes

If it’s endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining. Marcus Aurelius

The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are. Marcus Aurelius

The mind that is anxious about future events is miserable. Seneca


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