From Wes Davis in NY Times: Davis writes about a leadership program created by the old Bell System back in 1952. The all-powerful telephone company worried that its executives needed a broader perspective, not just on business but also on society, even life itself. "A well-trained man knows how to answer questions," one sociologist explained. "An educated man knows what questions are worth asking." Working with the University of Pennsylvania, Bell launched the Institute of Humanistic Studies for Executives — a 10-month program in which businesspeople read and debated the Great Books, visited museums and studied architecture. The "capstone" of the program was a series of eight three-hour seminars devoted to Ulysses.
From William Taylor in FastCompany: In the spirit of humanistic studies, I reached out to a diverse and intriguing collection of thinkers, writers, CEOs and entrepreneurs and asked what non-business writing has had a big impact on them, and that they'd recommend others. They sent back a diverse and intriguing collection of fiction, science fiction, and history that is bound to stir the soul and challenge the mind.
“There are always some people who, though living honorable and considerate lives… prefer to keep ‘an open mind’ about the currently accepted explanations for things for which they see no evidence, or only evidence that is unconvincing. These people are in ‘the humanist tradition.’”
“My country is the world and my religion is to do good.”
From David Brooks in the NY Times: "We have a prevailing view in our society — not only in the policy world, but in many spheres — that we are divided creatures. Reason, which is trustworthy, is separate from the emotions, which are suspect. Society progresses to the extent that reason can suppress the passions. This has created a distortion in our culture. We emphasize things that are rational and conscious and are inarticulate about the processes down below. We are really good at talking about material things but bad at talking about emotion."
From Rick Heller at The New Humanism: Laboratory research has examined meditation itself and brain changes that seem to occur in meditators. Researchers have looked at diverse forms of meditation, such as Transcendental Meditation, Buddhist meditative practices, and secular forms used in medical settings. If something about meditation is beneficial and can be extracted from a religious context into a secular form, that's something you might like to employ.
An inspiring and provocative exploration of an alternative to traditional religion by the Humanist chaplain at Harvard University.
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