Taking First Steps in the Right Direction

First thing yesterday morning, I took a 2 mile stroll around my neighborhood. I used to go for long walks all the time but had settled into a rather sedentary lifestyle while writing my book. I had certainly thought often about how to get in better shape.

Yesterday morning, without all my plans in place, I decided to pause the planning and just walk! Lesson for myself: taking a simple action in the direction in which I want to go is more effective than continued planning. (I don’t have to convince myself that some planning is important but I’m much more likely to over-cogitate than to under-think situations.)

Where to recycle compact fluorescent bulbs?

Yesterday morning, as I was cleaning up my desk, I came across some compact fluorescent tubes that I needed to properly dispose. I had to do a bit of web research to figure out where I could bring both these bulbs and also batteries. A directory at the Ecology Center points to IKEA as well as the Berkeley Recycling Center (see also Berkeley Energy Office). Moreover, Home Depot just started to accept compact fluorescent bulbs (as reported in the Times today: Home Depot Offers Recycling for Compact Fluorescent Bulbs)

James Wood on the problem of evil

I enjoyed reading James Wood’s essay on the problem of evil in the New Yorker. He captured well at the end of the essay a question I’ve had for a long time, namely, why do we have go through life on earth when we have heaven as the ultimate destination? If it’s the exercise of human free will that enables evil to take hold on earth, how will heaven not be earth redux in which freedom will lead again to a fall? And if heaven is some special place in which freedom is fully consonant with the impossibility of human evil, then why does God put us on earth in the first place? Or maybe we won’t be truly free in heaven at all.

I’ve never seen a satisfactory answer to the question that Wood poses. The essay made me think that it would be a great idea for New College Berkeley or my church First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley to host a class — or at least a talk — on the topic.