Bruce Manners

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How disposable are you?

How do we value a human’s life? Should we rate lives on their value to their community? That would mean a life-saving surgeon would have more value than someone living on the street. Or is it potential—which would make a baby more valuable than a 50-year-old? What about the value we place on those later in life versus those at the end?

Living with fewer regrets

No one can live life without gathering regrets. An opportunity missed. A situation handled poorly. A conversation you wished you’d had before things got out of control. All of us have done more than enough to cringe in the dark about. But there are ways to have fewer regrets. Here are seven. 

Forgiving a Nazi

May 1944. The train stopped at the station and twins Eva and Miriam, with their father and mother and sisters Edit and Aliz, stepped out into the sunlight. There was war in Europe and the Nazis had gathered them and thousands of other Jews in Romania, crammed them into cattle cars and taken them to Poland.

Thank God for atheists?

Richard Dawkins is arguably the world’s best-known atheist. His 2006 book The God Delusion was a runaway success and widely influential. That’s why theologian Alister McGrath was surprised when a young man told him he became a Christian after reading The God Delusion.

Be the master of your money

Money is essential in our Western world. It allows us to purchase the necessities of life—food and shelter, for instance. It pays the bills for heating and cooling. There may even be enough for some luxuries.

Affluenza: What does your money say about you?

If life were merely about money, it would be like a game of Monopoly. At the end of the game, you’d count your cash, add up the value of your assets and find out whether you’d won or lost. Then you’d breathe your last.

Are you a workaholic?

By 2030, epidemics will be eradicated; life, rejuvenated by injections, giving lifespans of 150 years; and cars almost obsolete with aeroplane ownership common. These were the 1930 predictions of FE Smith, a British politician and friend of Winston Churchill.

Connected but lonely?

“Mister Watson, come here, I want to see you.” With this message, Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant, Thomas Watson, launched the telephone. The door had opened to distant, personal and instant contact.

Laugh your way to a healthier you

We’re born ready to laugh. In fact, as part of a normal baby’s development, they will begin laughing at about the age of three months. That’s long before we begin to say our first words—older babies begin to start speaking at the age of nine to 12 months.

Becoming truth tellers on post-truth social media

American President Joe Biden was obviously upset with Meta when, in mid 2021, he accused it of “killing people” for its seeming tolerance of so much Covid-19 misinformation. He backed down a little by clarifying that he wasn’t blaming Facebook itself, but the “bad information” they allowed on the site. Other have argued we live in a post-truth world. 

The problem of happiness

Would you rather “achieve great things or be happy?” That question was asked in a YouGov survey (United States): 81 per cent said they would rather be happy; 13 per cent wanted to achieve great things; 6 per cent were uncertain.