… to be documented in the journal you should keep.
Where did my eyes linger today?
Where was I blind?
Where was I hurt without anyone noticing?
What did I learn today?
What did I read?
What new thoughts visited me?
What differences did I notice in those closest to me?
Whom did I neglect?
Where did I neglect myself?
What did I begin today that might endure?
How were my conversations?
What did I do today for the poor and excluded?
Did I remember the dead today?
Where could I have exposed myself to the risk of something different?
Where did I allow myself to receive love?
With whom did I feel most myself?
What reached me today? How deep did it imprint?
Who saw me today?
What visitations had I from the past and from the future?
What did I avoid today?
From the evidence – why was I given this day?
– John O’Donoghue, To Bless the Space Between Us
Towering above the nearby blocks in the Eixample district of Barcelona, the Sagrada Família is unmistakable for its colossal scale and its convention-defying architecture.
Looking like a Gothic cathedral seen through a surreal fairytale filter, this is the most audacious project of the influential Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926). More than 135 years after construction began and long after Gaudí’s death it is quite visibly still a work in progress.
Stone Cut is a brief profile of the Japanese sculptor Etsuro Sotoo, who, for 40 years, has made finishing Gaudí’s would-be masterpiece his life’s work. “I was awakened by a piece of stone.”
This last sentence is intriguing.
I say we don’t really know who someone is until we know their story; until we know what brought them here.
Come to think of it, that might be the best way to start a job interview.
Not unlike what doctors and lawyers do:
So, tell us, what brings you here today?
Post-covid19 job interview
Questions and their purpose
Hiring manager: We’re just about done here. Do you have any questions for us?
Job candidate: During the 2020 pandemic, how long did you keep your employees on the payroll? And what was your rationale? What specifically did you do to keep your employees safe?
(photo by Headway on Unsplash)
It’s not easy to say precisely what makes a question big; but we can at least give a few examples from the history of philosophy so that we have some idea what we’re talking about:
- What is the meaning of life?
- What is the nature of ultimate reality?
- What is Being?
- Is there a god?
- Is there some sort of cosmic justice?
- What is the self ?
- Does a person’s self (mind, soul) persist after death?
- Do we have free will?
- Why be moral?
- What is the good life for a human being?
- What are the foundations of our knowledge?
- What are the limits to what we can know?
- What is truth?
- What is the good?
- What is justice?
- What is virtue?
- What is beauty?
- What is life?
- Why is there something rather than nothing?
On the last day of class, Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, asks his students to turn those theoretical lenses on themselves to find cogent answers to three questions:
First, how can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career?
Second, how can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness?
Third, how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail?
Though the last question sounds lighthearted, it’s not. Two of the 32 people in my Rhodes scholar class spent time in jail. Jeff Skilling of Enron fame was a classmate of mine at HBS. These were good guys—but something in their lives sent them off in the wrong direction.
As the students discuss the answers to these questions, I open my own life to them as a case study of sorts, to illustrate how they can use the theories from our course to guide their life decisions.
More at How will you measure your life?
often comes in the form of a relevant, timely, open-ended question.