Monthly Archives: September 2017

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? – The Atlantic

“The results [of research] could not be clearer: Teens who spend more time than average on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy, and those who spend more time than average on nonscreen activities are more likely to be happy.”

More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.

Source: Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? – The Atlantic

Marilynne Robinson on Finding the Right Word – The New York Times

Think how much any individual mind, any brain, is enlarged by what we can know through books and through literature — places, people, ideas that we would never otherwise experience, things much larger than anyone could contain in his or her own person.

One of the ideas that changed my outlook on life actually speaks more to the past.  Our vast human history, where we distinguished ourselves from other species by recording information.  This, of course, seems very plain but the broader idea is profound.  In the act of recording information, we acknowledge that we are mortal and that after our deaths others live who may benefit from the knowledge gained over the course of our lives.

Most of us are not the creators of those things, but we possess ourselves of them — or they possess us of them. And each successive work of literature expands the possibilities of our language, deepening our expressive capacity.

Each new record of human ingenuity is built upon the foundation of the first pieces of recorded information.  Each new generation, exposed to the depth and vastness of the product of their fore fathers, grows and expands to ultimately benefit those to come after.  It is this continuity through human history that we owe all our successes as a species.

In almost every major literature there are works that make you love being human, and make you love and revere the humanity of other people.

It is how humanity resonates through our writing… or our art… or our music… or our architecture and etc, that we find meaning for ourselves, shaping our lives, compelling us to contribute and thus impacting those who have yet to be born.

Here are some supporting resources to enhance your experience of this lovely article:

The God Who Loves You by Carl Dennis | Poetry Foundation

It must be troubling for the god who loves you…

Caring for other human beings has a transforming effect on a person’s perspective.  Being a parent – and especially a parent of teens – forces one to accept that, although we can see the outcome as clear as day, our child’s free-will oft times supersedes our authority.

Here the author seems to personify God with similar authority of a parent: watchful and omniscient, prone to anxiety and disappointment, vigilant and hopeful, and yet still powerless to the free-will of His creation.  This is a stunning poem with a clear voice of the author, yet infinite so to touch all people in moments of reflection and self-assessment.

Source: The God Who Loves You by Carl Dennis | Poetry Foundation

My Drowning (And Other Inconveniences) | Outside Online

After a legendary career in adventure writing, Tim Cahill thought his story was over. Thrown from a raft in the Grand Canyon’s Lava Falls, he was trapped underwater and out of air. When he finally reached land, his heart stopped for several minutes. Then he came back—and decided to risk Lava again.

This article is really about “story” and its connection to human experience, to the human condition.  An excellent reflection on the importance of story, of one’s own story, of our family’s story, of history, and of the story of man.  Especially useful for beginning writers, or students exploring their own lives and its meaning.  It is not a complete exploration, but it is certainly a starting point in the discussion.

Source: My Drowning (And Other Inconveniences) | Outside Online