I Wonder as I Wander
To be human is to wonder and wander. The being who wonders can’t be fully at home in the cosmos the scientists can otherwise, perhaps, perfectly describe.
Peter Lawler is Dana Professor of Government and former chair of the department of Government and International Studies at Berry College. He serves as executive editor of the journal Perspectives on Political Science, and has been chair of the politics and literature section of the American Political Science Association. He also served on the editorial board of the new bilingual critical edition of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He has written or edited fifteen books and over 200 articles and chapters in a wide variety of venues. He was the 2007 winner of the Weaver Prize in Scholarly Letters.\r\n\r\nLawler served on President Bush's Council on Bioethics from 2004 – 09. His most recent book, Modern and American Dignity, is available from ISI Books.\r\n\r\nFollow him on Twitter @peteralawler.
So it falls to me on BIG THINK to say something good and true about Christmas. Here’s a sign that we see in front lawns all across Rome/Floyd County, GA: “Christmas is a Birthday!” And it is!
Well, everyone knows that Jesus wasn’t really born on December 25. But there’s no particular reason that birthdays have to be exact. We’re not remembering the date, we’re remembering something unique, irreplaceable, something most worthy of our wonder that happened one day. More wonderful than the stars or the cosmos as a whole is the beginning of a particular life of a man or woman on earth.
A Christmas carol of Appalachian origin captures a lot about what’s singularly wonderful about what happened the first Christmas day:
I wonder as I wander out under the skyHow Jesus the Saviour did come for to dieFor poor on'ry people like you and like II wonder as I wander out under the sky
There’s nothing worse than subjecting poetry—especially beautiful songs—to analysis. But here’s a few words on each of the three lines:
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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