meaning and hope

Dare to Know: Practical Tools for Maintaining Meaning, Hope, and Joy in the Face of Collapse

Part 1

I will always remember 2020 as the year the wheels came off the world and everyone tried to hold on for dear life. From the worldwide pandemic that killed millions to the wildfires that ravaged many parts of our country, from a crash in the economy and chaos in our elections to fake news that caused us to distrust the very nature of reality, I’ve often wondered how we’re going to survive, and what the future holds for myself, my family, my community, and the world.

I think back to a simpler time when I went off to college at U.C. Santa Barbara. I was seventeen years old and the year was 1961. It was my first time living away from home and the campus was a brand new beautiful setting, overlooking the ocean. I was hungry for knowledge.

One of the highlights of my college years was meeting the world-renowned philosopher Paul Tillich, who was a visiting lecturer in 1963. Tillich described the challenges our world would face in the future. He forever inspired me with these words:

“Every serious thinker must ask and answer three fundamental questions:

  • What is wrong with us? With men? Women? Society? What is the nature of our alienation? Our dis-ease?
  • What would we be like if we were whole? Healed? Actualized? If our potentiality was fulfilled?
  • How do we move from our condition of brokenness to wholeness? What are the means of healing?”

I took Tillich’s advice to heart. After graduating from U.C. Santa Barbara, I went on to medical school at U.C. San Francisco. However, finding the medical education of the time too restrictive, I transferred to U.C. Berkeley and earned my master’s degree in Social Work. I began working as a therapist, specializing in gender medicine and men’s health. I returned to graduate school to conduct research on the different ways in which men and women experience depression, earning me a PhD in International Health.

Read the rest of this article on Jed’s blog.

Photo by Gabriel Lamza on Unsplash

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