In Need of a Star

"Emerson says, 'Hitch your wagon to a star.'" Unity of Good, p. 17; The wagon is out-of-date. But the idea still rings true: one must establish high aims and worthy purposes if his life is to be one of lasting achievement. Everyone is in need, so to speak, of a star to hitch up to! Yet thoughtful people coming to maturity sometimes wonder if there is any purpose that could deserve their lifetime devotion or commitment.

Young adults in general are today more skeptical of grand political and philosophical systems, of isms of all kinds, than they were a generation or two ago. They also recognize that purely selfish aims are not worth much sacrifice. And, a sufficient living being easier to come by than formerly, it is not surprising that some young persons feel less challenged to accumulate material wealth.

At the same time, the almost unquestioned authority of the natural sciences, while brushing away the webs of speculative philosophies that could not stand close examination, has also partly obscured the concept of a purposeful universe.

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Youth: A Problem or a Power?
August 26, 1967

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