Bite-Sized Philosophy | Childhood

The Relationship Between Parent and Child Doesn’t Have to Be One of Ownership

Kahlil Gibran’s beautiful work of poetic prose, The Prophet, has been beloved for generations. The story is exquisitely simple: Almustafa, a fictional prophet who has lived for twelve years in the city of Orphalese, finally has the option to return to the isle of his birth.

The people of Orphalese…


BITE-SIZED PHILOSOPHY

“I think that I cannot preserve my heath and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least, — and it is commonly more than that, — sauntering through the woods…”

In his essay Walking, Henry David Thoreau discusses the subtle art of wandering in nature and the healing effects and spiritual rejuvenation that arise when one manages it.

Early on in the essay, he spends a fair few words dissecting the idea of sauntering. He claims the word originated in…


Bite-Sized Philosophy

“Only a man at peace with his Creator could find sleep in a place of worship.”

In his stunning historical fiction Samarkand, Amin Maalouf crafts a historically-based story about Omar Kayyam during the time he was composing his famous Rubaiyat. Omar Kayyam was an 11th century poet, astronomer, philosopher, and mathematician.

In the fictionalized account, Omar has been accused of insulting Islam (for many reasons including…


Bite-Sized Philosophy

How Our Perspective Changes The Nature Of Work Itself

In his miraculous (and very short) novel The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran tells the story of Amlustafa, a fictional prophet about to leave the town he has lived in for twelve years. The townsfolk are sad to see him go and seek to ask for a final few shards of wisdom…


Bite-Sized Philosophy

How The Distinction We Draw Between Work And Play Makes Us Miserable

In one of Alan Watts’ classic essays, Work As Play, he draws our attention to a common philosophical error: misunderstanding the very nature of work and play. He describes our sense of play or having fun as something that does not produce a useful result:

We are delighted by it…


Bite-Sized Philosophy

How The Passage Of Time Encourages A Belief In Fate

In Schopenhauer’s essay Transcendent speculation on the apparent deliberateness in the fate of the individual (I KNOW, that’s a title and a half), he explores the idea that our sense of free will changes as we age. …


BITE-SIZED PHILOSOPHY

The Lost Art Of Presence Discovered At Walden Pond

I don’t think Thoreau would respect the hustle. Maybe I don’t either?

In his masterpiece Walden, Thoreau comes to a similar conclusion to Alan Watts regarding the lies we’re told about agency.

He looks at the definition of a person much the same way Watts does, only he focuses his…


BITE-SIZED PHILOSOPHY | CHILDHOOD

How Our Flawed Understanding Of What A Person Is Produces A Lifetime Of Frustration

Like most problems, this one is not new.

It’s been floating around in the ether for quite some time now, whispered into journals or spoken in drunken slurred speech on the way home from the bar when the speaker knows that no one will remember their words.

We tell children…


PHILOSOPHY

Letting Nature Lead Us; First Seeking God’s Kingdom; Matthew 6:24–34

The idea of learning from nature is nothing new. Humans have been doing it for thousands of years, and current movements around the world are pushing people back into this space of contemplating the slow and gentle lessons to be found in nature. …


CHILDHOOD & PARENTING

What The Studies Actually Say About How Babies Should Sleep | Part IV

Over the last couple of days, we’ve been exploring the brilliant paper by Elaine Barry, which compiled the known research on infant sleep to develop an overarching view of what we actually know about how babies sleep. So far, we’ve looked at the historical perspective, the medical view, and the…

R. C. Abbott

Self Studies. Writing about Childhood, Religion, Philosophy, Nature, Literature, and Education. God willing.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store