Time pressure and drivenness are defining marks of our modern world. But in such an era, it is a low-tech traditional discipline that offers the greatest relief and perspective: Solitude. Taking time away alone from daily stresses is increasingly important. For Churchill, time spent alone painting provided a meaningful and necessary course of mental refreshment.
Poor Man’s Earl
The nineteenth-century industrial revolution brought rapid change, progress, and prosperity, but with it, the heavy cost of intense social dislocation and human suffering. One man, Lord Shaftesbury, decisively led the necessary reforms. His enduring legacy is his demonstration of the essential link between privilege and responsibility in a prosperous society – true for us today.
How Much Land Does A Man Need?
What is the meaning of money? What is success? How should we pursue happiness? How much is enough?
Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), the Russian writer and social reformer, famous for writing the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Born to a noble, landed family, his early years were marked by a dissolute life and a violent reaction to the horrors of the Crimean War. In 1862 he married and settled down, producing thirteen children and a burst of literary successes. But after writing Anna Karenina he experienced a profound spiritual crisis and renounced his literary ambitions, believing them to be incompatible with his deepest convictions. His numerous later works were on religious and moral subjects.
How Much Land Does a Man Need?, written in 1886, and translated from the Russian by Louise and Aylmer Maude, is from this later period.
It is an enduring story that reveals the sometimes insidious and sometimes overt destructiveness of greed and challenges us to question our own self-awareness.
The Forgotten Key to American Freedom
In this reading, Os considers the sociological and governmental impact of the theme of ‘covenantalism’ in the formation of the US Constitution.
This value for covenant, a mutually binding civil pledge, was integral to ancient Jewish culture, was born out of the Mosaic Covenant established at Mt Sinai, and was expressed nearly three millennia later in 1517 at the beginning of the Reformation. Shaped by this movement in Europe, in the 18th century, a nascent United States envisaged freedom as government by the people, of the people, and for the people, as President Lincoln later described it, with direct roots in a robust understanding of covenant.
Though this reading is not currently available for purchase, similar themes of covenant and freedom are discussed to great depth in Os’ book, Last Call for Liberty, which can be ordered at Amazon.com.