Joshua Gibbs Mar 25, 2021

"In the same way that very few people who have tattoos only have one, very few people trying to buy happiness are trying to buy it for the first time. You try to buy happiness—you buy something— but when it doesn’t make you happy, as opposed to concluding that happiness can’t be bought, you assume it was a swing and a miss and that you just need to keep trying. 

It’s hard to remember, though, that pretty much everything you’ve ever bought—aside from, perhaps, an engagement ring—is something you have or will ultimately become tired of, bored with, or indifferent to."

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Joshua Gibbs Mar 22, 2021

“Wellness is not health, but special health. Wellness is a state of being completely free from aches, pains, irritations, stress, anxiety, inflammation, fear, distress, or disquiet. Wellness is not only a condition of bodily perfection, but spiritual perfection, as well, high energy, perfect mental acuity, peace, sexual fulfillment, empowerment, control, contentment. Wellness is a divine state. Wellness is a state of being which can realistically only be achieved beyond death, which is to say: The search for wellness in this life is the search for a deathlike state. Wellness is death.”

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Joshua Gibbs Mar 18, 2021

Before meals, The Book of Common Prayer commends the following petition: “Give us grateful hearts, our Father, for all thy mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Encountering fashionable modern terms like diversity, teamwork, leadership, or mindfulness in older works of literature is initially disorienting, though I generally find a second look at the context proves the contemporary understanding of these concepts has little to do with their traditional use.

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Joshua Gibbs Mar 13, 2021

Suppose that fifteen years from now, one of your former students has become quite famous—not for anything your school can take pride in, but famous nonetheless. Let us say this former student directs The Lively God, a film which garners The Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The film is about faith, which is to say it is about doubt, dogma, and apostasy.

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Joshua Gibbs Feb 28, 2021

Many years ago, my father ran a marathon and described for me the phenomenon of “hitting the wall.” I believe he hit the wall around mile 21. In layman’s terms, “hitting the wall” refers to the moment the body has burned through all the energy stored up and all that remains is sheer will power.

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Joshua Gibbs Feb 22, 2021

At some point during the school year, I talk with my students about R-rated films. I have heard nearly every conceivable defense there is for watching crude, vile movies, but the most common defense is, “R-rated movies don’t affect me.” I suspect this defense is the most common because it is the most persuasive, and it is persuasive because it seems to be true, at least so far as parents can tell.

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Joshua Gibbs Feb 12, 2021

School was cancelled today on account of snow, so my children got up early, dressed themselves in coats and mittens, and went outside to play with the neighbor kids for three solid hours. This is simply what happens in a sane world. In an insane world, my children would have woken up and planted themselves in front of a computer screen for three hours.

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Joshua Gibbs Feb 2, 2021

Parent: After talking it over, my wife and I have decided that Oliver would be happier going to a different school next year.

Gibbs: What’s your point?

Parent: What’s my—I don’t understand your question.

Gibbs: What’s the point in making Oliver happier?

Parent: Isn’t happiness the point of happiness?

Gibbs: Only if happiness is self-justifying, in which case anything that makes you happy is necessarily good.  

Parent: Don’t you think it’s important for a teenager to be happy?

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Joshua Gibbs Jan 23, 2021

Modern Americans don’t read many books, let alone many good books, which means they don’t have much respect for the task of writing—the toil of writing, the laboriousness of it.

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Joshua Gibbs Jan 20, 2021

Reporter: What are your company’s core values?

CEO: Community. Community is very important.

Reporter: Any others?

CEO: Yes. Openness is a big one. So are transparency, diversity, mindfulness, leadership, hope, service, charity, responsibility, stewardship, trust, partnership, strength, power, bottom-up-fullness, flexibility—

Reporter: Bottom-up-fullness?

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