Certain only of ourselves

"we are skeptical, ironic, and inclined to an impoverished self-reliance. At the same time, we want to give up the ironist's jaded independence and believe that we are not alone, that we can find moral communities, clear obligations, and even miracles. We doubt the possibility of being at home in the world, yet we desire that home above all else. We are certain only of ourselves - if in a somewhat precarious way - and we work toward the certainty of something larger. We are fragmentary, even masters of fragmentation, and we hunger for wholeness."

"Awash in wealth, we worry that we are required to collect our share. Our idea of success is an almost unworldly prosperity and security, our idea of failure the unextraordinary existence that most of us actually lead. We are constantly in motion, and we can scarcely be satisfied."

"What has so exhausted the world for us? For one, we are all exquisitely self-aware.... We can have no intimate moment, no private words of affection, empathy, or rebuke that we have not seen pronounced on a thirty-foot screen before an audience of hundreds."

- From 'For Common Things'

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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