The enrichment of affections and lives

Even when people have a comfortable life and a wealth of things, there is still too often a poverty of the spirit. There may be a vague uneasiness, a dull hum of dissatisfaction just below the surface—something seems to be missing. The great need in contemporary society is for lives to be enriched spiritually. People want to feel that life has a deeper purpose and meaning than simply existing from one day to the next.

One observer, in a recent address at a major university, posed the question of whether enrichment must mean only better material standards of living. Then he asked: "Or does enrichment mean also or even especially ennoblement of character and conduct for individuals, and liberty and justice for all? What if ... prosperity and ease undermine good character? Which shall we call enrichment?" Leon R. Kass, "Modern Science and Ethics," Current, October 1984, p. 4 .

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