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Monthly Archives: August 2011
Ray Pennings  |  August 31, 2011  |  Business, Leadership

A Fast Company article this week (HT: Milton Friesen) highlighted how the standards are changing for companies in sharing what once might have been considered negative information that would have been buried. Sharing more information, including a self-deprecatory approach, can humanize a company and make them seem more real. Clothing company Patagonia, for instance, has included a section on their website in which the environmental … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  August 30, 2011  |  Cultural Renewal, Legacy, Loves, Religion, Vocation

Stephen Lewis is one of those people who, if we had to live off of words, would subsist on a diet comprised mainly of adjectives and adverbs. His speech is attractive, but it’s prone to produce a bit of flab, and can sometimes makes one feel a bit windy. Which makes it all the more important to look for a bit of healthy roughage in … MORE »

Alissa Wilkinson  |  August 29, 2011  |  Religion

I read Donald Hall’s extraordinary memoir-of-sorts Life Work last week, in which Hall performs feats of narrative in a mere 124 pages by telling the story of his work and his ancestors’ work, and the work habits of many others, and also battles cancer and rejoices in his marriage, and—well, you should just read it. I am a sparse book-underliner, but this one is marked … MORE »

Robert Joustra  |  August 26, 2011  |  Loves, Philosophy, Religion

Hope, wrote the great international relations scholar Martin Wight, is not a political virtue. Wight’s realism has been wrongly read a great deal over the years, as though by this he meant politics has no hope, or that politics is a place with no ethics or power other than the tired adage “might makes right.” But this wasn’t what Martin Wight meant. He meant that … MORE »

Alissa Wilkinson  |  August 25, 2011  |  Innovation, Legacy

Last Sunday, the NYTimes ran one of those lengthy opinion pieces that seems calculated to ruffle feathers and generate chatter. The thesis of the piece is that we are in a “post-idea” age. We have no more big ideas—just sort of, well, medium ideas, at best, that we share with our little groups on Facebook. And since ideas have consequences, when your ideas are only … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  August 24, 2011  |  Death, Leadership, Legacy

A few hours after his passing, Jack Layton’s “letter to Canadians” was released. Many were inspired by the vision it contained. “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.” Excerpts were chalked onto the streets and quoted with mantra-like respect. Not everyone was impressed. A few, including National … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  August 23, 2011  |  Culture, Journalism, Media

A fine and quirky fellow gave me a gift subscription last Christmas to the finest quirky magazine I’ve ever encountered. Now, despite perpetual predictions of the death of the magazine industry, there remain fine magazines around. Cardus’ own Comment certainly qualifies, as do Greg Wolfe’s Image magazine and a healthy handful of others. There is also a ready supply of quirky, though somehow that descriptor … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  August 22, 2011  |  Death, Leadership, Legacy, Politics

Like most Canadians, I knew Jack Layton mostly through the political persona shaped by media and political marketing machines. Twenty-some-odd years ago, I was a teenaged partisan and Jack Layton emerged on the scene as a lefty Toronto alderman with an aptitude for making the news. He was an easy target for caricature. My respect for him changed when I first met him. He had … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  August 22, 2011  |  Death, Leadership, Legacy, Politics

. . . We take [politics] very seriously, but we know that at the end of the day, politics has its limits and its purpose. Politics and even his indefatiguable optimism won’t cure Jack Layton. Perhaps medicine will. Perhaps a miracle will. Perhaps they won’t. But we—and I pray that he—can take comfort in the fact that politics has led to friendship. It’s my hope … MORE »

Robert Joustra  |  August 19, 2011  |  Culture, Justice, Race, Religion

Books & Culture‘s John Wilson writes in the Wall Street Journal this morning that no one reads the Bible literally, or—at least—no one reads the Old Testament that way. He says that, . . . an alarm should sound whenever the word “literal” is used in this context, whether as a badge of pride (“I just believe in reading the Bible literally”) or as a … MORE »