The Breath of the Spirit of Life

I have very much been enjoying Charles C. Camosy’s new book, Losing Our Dignity: How Secularized Medicine is Undermining Fundamental Human Equality.

Camosy begins with sketching the anthropological views undergirding our contemporary secular bioethics and then proceeds to explore recent cases, particularly at the beginning and end of life, where human equality has been questioned or undermined.

In a fascinating chapter on brain death, I was interested to learn about how Jews have succeeded in challenging the notion that brain death constitutes the death of the person.

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Is there any value to a bucket list?

The first time I made a bucket list–which I always insisted on simply calling a life list–I was about 12-years-old.

I almost certainly got the idea to write down my life goals from Oprah, Dr. Phil, or Dr. Laura Schlessinger– all of whom I paid attention to at that age.

And so I wrote up a mission statement for my life (which I still have memorized) and wrote down a long list of all the goals I could possibly dream of.

Over the years I kept adding to it until the list became about 190 items long with the note: “To be always continued… As long as I have breath, I will live with passion and purpose.”

The items were listed in no particular order, although the fact that “Eat Greek Salad in Greece” was number one indicates how highly enthusiastic I was about that one.

Some goals were quite serious (e.g., 3. Make and honour a lifelong commitment , 23. Never be “too busy” for people, 55. Speak in front of 1,000 people or more about something important, etc.).

Some goals were quite civic and reflected my early passion for politics and history (e.g,. 28. Vote in every election in which I am eligible, 49. Visit New York and the United Nations Headquarters building, 31. Put a poppy on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier monument on Remembrance Day in Ottawa, 101. Visit Fort McMurray, etc.).

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