life without principle some thoughts

Life Without PrincipleI just finished reading Life Without Principle, a rather short essay by Henry David Thoreau. It was a great read and here are a few passages that stuck out to me and that I wanted to share.

At a lyceum, not long since, I felt that the lecturer had chosen a theme too foreign to himself, and so failed to interest me as much as he might have done.

takeaway: The best way to engage and “preach” is to speak about something you’re both knowledgeable and passionate about. You can tell the difference between someone who oozes indifference and a true believer. If you want people to listen, you must first be invested in it yourself.

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man’s search for meaning collection of passages


finding meaning

I’ve just finished reading Victor E. Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. I bought the book on Amazon for some casual reading during the bus rides home and fell in love with it. It’s both inspiration and enlightening on several fronts. I’ve always thought about a few of the ideas he brings up in the book, but I could never quite find enough material to warrant a blog post, but Frankl’s book has allowed me to delve into those topics once again, so look forward to a few more posts about attitudes and perspectives. I wanted to share a few memorable quotes and passages from the last portion of the book related to logotherapy, but more importantly, to life and the meaning of life. If you’re interested in reading the entire book, I highly recommend it. I purchased the Beacon Press version, translated by Ilse Lasch with a foreword by Harold S. Kushner and afterword by William J. Winslade. You can find a link to the product page here.

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Pre-Reading “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”

I haven’t ever done a post like this, but I’ll give it a shot anyway. That way I can get my thoughts out in one centralized location. Come to think of it, this reminds me a bit of middle school and high school, where the book reports consisted of a highly cliched, obligatory sentence that started with something like “before I read this book, I thought….”. I’m bringing this bad boy back. A good measure of a book’s worth can be found by taking a look at how you feel and think before you read it and comparing it to how it has changed you as you near the finish of the book.

Sometimes a book does nothing and it may have never been meant to. My current read is The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. I vaguely remember picking this book up in high school, but I don’t remember the details. If I could read it and not be touched by one of history’s most revered figures, then perhaps I didn’t really understand the content or it just wasn’t applicable to me at that time. I’ve found that as the years have gone by, I’ve developed a deeper understanding of and greater appreciation for the literary works of the greats.Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

So here I am, taking the time to read and absorb what Ben had to say. Here’s my pre-read blurb: I hope to glean something, really anything, from the book that will make me think beyond the superficial. How did his life shape him and how are those values he held so dear still applicable in today’s world? I have a thirst for knowledge and there is no better person to teach and inform than Ben Franklin himself. I’m a fast reader, but I’m going to try and take my time with this one and hang onto every one of his sentences. I won’t analyze it to death, but I will draw a lot of parallels. When I’m done, there’ll be a new post with my impressions, the opinions I’ve formed, things I’ve learned, and quotes that I find memorable. Just like a book report – or a grown-up reading log.