Love People, Not Pleasure

This search for fame, the lust for material things and the objectification of others—that is, the cycle of grasping and craving—follows a formula that is elegant, simple and deadly:

Love things, use people.

This was Abd al-Rahman’s formula as he sleepwalked through life. It is the worldly snake oil peddled by the culture makers from Hollywood to Madison Avenue. But you know in your heart that it is morally disordered and a likely road to misery. You want to be free of the sticky cravings of unhappiness and find a formula for happiness instead. How? Simply invert the deadly formula and render it virtuous:

Love people, use things.

Easier said than done, I realize. It requires the courage to repudiate pride and the strength to love others—family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, God and even strangers and enemies. Only deny love to things that actually are objects. The practice that achieves this is charity. Few things are as liberating as giving away to others that which we hold dear.

Arthur Brooks on happiness and unhappiness.

LeBron James announces return to Cleveland Cavaliers

What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with [Cleveland Cavaliers owner] Dan [Gilbert], face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?

The value our culture places on sports is horribly misaligned with its actual value (I don’t claim a personal exemption from this judgment). The amount of attention given to where LeBron James would play basketball during the 2014-15 season is an example. His essay announcing and explaining his decision to return to Cleveland after four seasons in Miami, though, is absolutely well done:

  • He recognizes the high value we place on sports and how that impacts life off the court. He knows he is in a unique position to help his hometown area and wants to help.
  • Contrition and forgiveness for what happened in 2010.
  • Family matters.
  • Home matters.
  • No press conference or TV show. “I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.”

There has never been a U.S. sports star whose departure from his original team went so poorly have a return quite like this.

Judging by his t-shirt, “Feminist Father” struggles with fatherhood & lists

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This photo of “Feminist Father’s” “Rules for Dating My Daughter” t-shirt has been popular the past week (263K+ likes & reblogs on Tumblr as of this writing, plus lots of references on news & blogs sites). It’s not the first time, as a December 2013 Tumblr posting also received 200K+ likes & reblogs.

So what we have here is a dad being cheered for:

One Paragraph Book Review: The House of Love by Elizabeth Cheney

The House of LoveThe House of Love by Elizabeth Cheney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The best stories are those that both bring joy to the reader and make the reader want to be better. The House of Love has both, along with a page-turning story and beautiful writing. Thrown into a life of poverty and servitude under a cruel master, Doris—though just a young girl—takes comfort in the promise that she shall “dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Realizing that “God is love,” she concludes that she may live in the “house of love” no matter who and what surrounds her. With this realization, and a determination to live knowing its truth, Doris, like Southworth’s Ishmael and Everett-Green’s Geoffrey is an inspiration. Much of the book follows Doris’s life as a servant girl in a modest but selfish home following the death of her mother, which succeeded that of her father. She is treated unfairly, especially in contrast to the daughter of the household, but her friendliness wins her friends, and those friends work to help her. The final few chapters are set ten years later. They almost present as a separate short story that would be a fun read alone, but they bring the whole to a satisfying conclusion.


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One Paragraph Book Review: Thou Art With Me by James Rasbeary

Thou Art With Me: Strength, Guidance and Encouragement from the 23rd PsalmThou Art With Me: Strength, Guidance and Encouragement from the 23rd Psalm by James M. Rasbeary
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Biblical exposition of the 23rd Psalm. There is so much encouragement in this Psalm. Pastor Rasbeary does a wonderful job explaining and expounding the context of the Psalm as a whole and each verse, drawing on the rest of Scripture, so that its application to us is clear. Well worth adding to your library of books on the Bible.

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I heard Yiruma’s River Flows In You last night for the first time, at a wedding rehearsal. I loved it. I am adding it to my piano solos playlist, which is one of my favorite playlists.

(Source: Spotify)