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Afraid of interacting with people

You say people can change. Then you take it a step further, saying that everyone can find happiness. Yes, everyone, without exception. Let's save the discussion about happiness for later and address change first. Everyone wishes they could change. I know I do, and I'm sure anyone you might stop and ask on the street would agree. But why does everyone feel they want to change? If it were easy for people to change, they wouldn't spend so much time wishing they could. No matter how much they wish it, people cannot change. Well, in response, I'd ask why you are so adamant that people can't change. I have a friend, a guy, who has shut himself in his room for several years. He wishes he could go out and even thinks he'd like to have a job, if possible. So he wants to change the way he is. I say this as his friend, but I assure you he is a very serious person who could be of great use to society. Except that he's afraid to leave his room. If he takes even a single

Your whole life is a kind of apprenticeship

Your whole life is a kind of apprenticeship to which you apply your learning skills. Everything that happens to you is a form of instruction if you pay attention. The creativity that you gain in learning a skill so deeply must be constantly refreshed, as you keep forcing your mind back to a state of openness. Even knowledge of your vocation must be revisited throughout the course of your life as changes in circumstance force you to adapt its direction. In moving toward mastery, you are bringing your mind closer to reality and to life itself. Anything that is alive is in a continual state of change and movement. The moment that you rest, thinking that you have attained the level you desire, a part of your mind enters a phase of decay. This is a power and intelligence that must be continually renewed or it will die. Do not talk about giftedness, inborn talents! One can name great men of all kinds who were very little gifted. In childhood this force was clear to you. It directed you towar

Misunderstanding of reasons and arguments can lead to cynicism

Without exchanging reasons, we cannot understand each other. Without cooperation, we cannot solve our problems. Without solving our problems, we will all be worse off. This analysis of the problem suggests a solution. We all need to communicate more and in better ways. One crucial step is to assert less and question more. The most useful questions ask why we believe what we do and how our proposals would work. These questions ask for reasons of different kinds, so we especially need to learn how to ask each other for reasons. Still, questions are not enough by themselves. Asking for reasons won't help if nobody can answer. Answers take the form of arguments that express our reasons. Thus, we need to learn how to give appropriate arguments when asked, how to appreciate arguments that others give us, and how to spot weaknesses in our own arguments as well as in arguments on the other side. These lessons need to begin with a rough understanding of what reasons and arguments are. Many