Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

    Contact us if you'd like get involved:

  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at

    [Content Caution]

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Ash Wednesday

Posted by Dale Kuehne on February 17, 2010

Food for thought on a day some set aside for prayer and fasting

“What you don’t have you don’t need it now.” U2 Beautiful Day


3 Responses to “Ash Wednesday”

  1. Lauren Fithian said

    Despite the doom and gloom ( and man is it gloomy at the moment!) many of us are in the happy position of being able to assert that what we don’t have we don’t need now. It seems like an appropriate moment/day/month to acknowledge the situation of so many fellow humans who desperately need many things that they don’t have now. Or perhaps if our empathic consciousness is developed enough we would feel that none of us can fully assert that it’s a beautiful day until all of us can. Thanks for the post Dale!

  2. dalekuehne said

    I think if those of us with means took Bono’s lyric to heart, it would change the news, as well as the numbers of people who have what they need.

  3. I don’t think there’s actual evidence that some people living simpler lives actually helps poor people. We’d like to think there’s a nice, linear solution like that. Yet look where it leads – has led, in fact. It becomes easy to resent anyone who has $1 more than ourselves, and progressively easier to hate them more as that sum goes up, because they aren’t doing what they should for the poor. (I’ve been rereading Screwtape, so these thoughts occur pretty automatically this week.) The moral simplicity we apply to ourselves, good as far as it goes to keep us from rationalising, converts rapidly to viewing others with that same moral simplicity.

    As to the article on the UK, there’s a circular logic there. They choose as their standard of measurement holidays, hours worked, and retirement age, automatically assuming those will make us happier. That’s no more accurate than the measurement which says if one makes more one will be happier. They have begged the question, rigged the deal, proving only what they have assumed. Greece has more holidays and earlier retirement, but I don’t think they’re very happy at the moment.

    A great deal of wealth is perception. We do indeed resent others if their gas is cheaper even if we make much more than the cost of covering that. I think this goes far back, very primitive, to hunter-gatherer days when we lived in groups of 150, shared everything, and died young. In that situation it is very much true that anyone’s greater wealth or poverty is directly tied to unfair sharing. We still operate on intuitive moral systems from before the age of division of labor. But it just aint so.

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