Fall 2013 conversations

Fall 2013 conversations

 

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In a world of information, can we truly be curious?

As every parent knows children are endlessly inquisitive, using all their senses to analyze everything that comes within their reach. But where does this level of persistent engagement go as we get older? Is it socially acceptable to ask questions that have no easy answers as adults? If curiosity is an active seeking of something; have we become passive in a world full of digital information? Are we too busy to wonder? Or has our curiosity simply turned inward or extended to new forms? In this conversation we ask, where does curiosity come from and where does it go?

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 7 to 8:30 p.m
Mahtay Café 241 St. Paul St., St Catharines

 

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Is bullying an inevitable part of growing up?

Recently, bullying has become a topic of great concern. There is no question that bullying behavior is wrong, but the interesting thing is that bullying is not new. Ask people of any age, and they will recount the bullies that terrorized their playgrounds. Has the prevalence of bullying increased, or has bullying always been a part of life? Has technology magnified the consequences? What responsibilities should institutions (i.e. schools and workplaces) take to monitor, control, and eliminate bullying? And what can we, as the general public, do about it?
Tuesday, Oct. 1, 7 to 8:30 p.m
Mahtay Café 241 St. Paul St., St Catharines

 

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 What defines Health Care and what should subsidized healthcare mean?

In this conversation we will explore the complexity of universal healthcare in contemporary times. Questions we will consider include: How should healthcare be defined? Is healthcare a basic human right or is it merely a privilege? Is there a risk to human advancement if we restrict everyone to the level obtainable by the least fortunate? And what about foods, medicines and alternative health services? Join us as we will try to wrap our heads around these tough ethical questions about healthcare in Canada.
Tuesday,Oct. 8, 7 to 8:30 p.m
Mahtay Café 241 St. Paul St., St Catharines
 

 

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Why do we explore?

Some say there is a wealth of knowledge to be learned by travelling. The change of environment, culture, and escape from the everyday provides us with the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and see life from a different perspective. Others prefer to stay close to home with the people and routines that they like. In this conversation we ask “why travel?” How has travel affected your life? What have you learned about yourself, or others? Do you have to be far from home to have a meaningful travel experience?
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 7 to 8:30 p.m
Heatherwood Retirement Residence. 115 Scott St., St Catharines

 

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Is social justice at risk of being trendy?

Globalization, ease of travel, and social media have all helped build a greater awareness of what is happening in the world than ever before. Social justice issues are a common topic of discussion in the media, actors publicize their chosen charities, and companies advertise ethical products and practices. But is social justice at risk of becoming a fad that will loose prominence when the next popular trend replaces it? In this conversation we ask what it really means to be concerned for social justice and how the general public can make a difference.
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café 241 St. Paul St., St Catharines

 

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Should nature have rights?
 
In 2012, Bolivia granted legal rights to “Mother Earth” giving all living things equal status to human beings. In the same year the Whanganui River in New Zealand was granted legal personhood. In the western world there is an inclination to perceive humanity as distinct, and special, from other living things. What does it mean to value all living things equally? Does our capacity to feel emotion and influence our own destiny set us apart from the land and other animals? How would we live realistically if we, the earth, and all living beings are equal?
Tuesday, Oct. 29, 7 to 8:30 p.m
Mahtay Café 241 St. Paul St., St Catharines

 

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Why do we need to be constantly entertained?

In today’s world of busy schedules, hand-held technology, and access to information we don’t need to wait for anything; everything we want is right at our fingertips. With so much available it is unusual to find ourselves completely idle. In this conversation we wonder about the role of boredom in our lives with questions such as: Why do we seek constant entertainment? What happens in moments of complete stillness? Have we lost our ability to sit quietly and do nothing? And if so, is that bad for us?
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café 241 St. Paul St., St Catharines

 

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What's the point? Death and a meaningful life

The knowledge that you are going to die is part of being human. After all, as everyone knows, the death rate is 100%. Is it possible for us to really understand our own death, or to prepare for it? What meaning can life and our accomplishments have in the face of our own inevitable death? Must we believe in some afterlife in order for this life, in the here and now, to have meaning? Or is this knowledge of our inevitable death the very thing that makes life most meaningful?
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café 241 St. Paul St., St Catharines

 

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Follow your passion; or become passionate about what you do?

It is common to hear the advice “follow your passion.” Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life, goes the old cliché. Some people say that it is foolish to follow your passion; instead you should plan wisely and then find the passion in what you do. This conversation ask questions such as: Should you follow your passion no matter what the consequences? Does everyone have a passion, or just some people? Can people have passions they don’t know about? Does passion change and evolve over a lifetime?
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café 241 St. Paul St., St Catharines

 

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Sharing insight and words of wisdom

Consider, for a second, your life. Think about all of the life lessons you've learned and the experiences you've undergone. Have you received good advice, and benefitted from positive role models along the way? In this conversation we share insight as we contemplate such questions as: What lessons have you learned in your life? What is your experience of learning from the words and lives of others? What do you wish you had known earlier? If you had it all to do again what would you do differently? And what advice would you like to give others?
Tuesday, Nov. 26, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Mahtay Café 241 St. Paul St., St Catharines