Join us for discussion and fellowship after we gather to watch Barry Schwartz at 10:30am during his TED Talk: A Wise Person Knows How To…. which is a short talk on the virtue of learning moral skills. “You don’t need to be brilliant to be wise,” he says. And “Wisdom is learned, not given.”
The following is found on his TED Talk profile:
In his 2004 book The Paradox of Choice , Barry Schwartz tackles one of the great mysteries of modern life: Why is it that societies of great abundance — where individuals are offered more freedom and choice (personal, professional, material) than ever before — are now witnessing a near-epidemic of depression? Conventional wisdom tells us that greater choice is for the greater good, but Schwartz argues the opposite: He makes a compelling case that the abundance of choice in today’s western world is actually making us miserable.
Infinite choice is paralyzing, Schwartz argues, and exhausting to the human psyche. It leads us to set unreasonably high expectations, question our choices before we even make them and blame our failures entirely on ourselves. His relatable examples, from consumer products (jeans, TVs, salad dressings) to lifestyle choices (where to live, what job to take, who and when to marry), underscore this central point: Too much choice undermines happiness.
Schwartz’s previous research has addressed morality, decision-making and the varied inter-relationships between science and society. Before Paradox he published The Costs of Living, which traces the impact of free-market thinking on the explosion of consumerism — and the effect of the new capitalism on social and cultural institutions that once operated above the market, such as medicine, sports, and the law. Both books level serious criticism of modern western society, illuminating the under-reported psychological plagues of our time. But they also offer concrete ideas on addressing the problems, from a personal and societal level.
Fair Trade Coffee & Tea will also be for sale before and after the service to benefit the fellowship and the well being of small farm cooperatives & communities. Find us on the Lower Level of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 431 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, Ohio.