This magnificent grace, this expansive grace, this 'Amazing Grace' calls me to reflect. And it calls me to pray. It calls me to ask God for forgiveness for the times that I’ve not shown grace to others, those times that I’ve fallen short. It calls me to praise God for the gift of our son -- his Son and our Savior.--President ObamaPhoto link here.
Speaking as a conflicted McCain voter, I'd say Obama's election captures the five things I love most about my country.--William Stuntz
You may be incompetent at your job, but your 5 year old will still need you very much. There is a basic appreciation for one’s biological parents, regardless of how much they actually hang out (note Obama's elevation of his sperm-donor dad), and the littlest things a grandparent does for a child is often looked back at with profound appreciation. For example, in The Education of Henry Adams, the author recounts an episode from when he was six or seven. He vaguely remembers throwing a tantrum about not wanting to go to school. His frail 80 year old grandfather, the American President John Quincy Adams (son of President and Founding Father John Adams), appears, and takes his hand, and walked him silently a mile to the schoolhouse. No lecture, just a walk, but right to school, and the tantrum was over. Looking back, Henry Adams notes that “the seeds of a moral education would at that moment have fallen on the stoniest soil in Quincy”. These are the things parents and grandparents strive for, hoping that when they are long gone a consciousness truly appreciates something they have done in a profound way. ... This gets down to what, specifically, is in a person's utility function. The traditional objective function takes one's consumption as the primary objective, and then present values the 'utility' of this consumption. This leads to weird convolutions, where one 'consumes' children, and actually doesn't enjoy their company but still prefers them. I think a more reasonable approach would be to assume people are maximizing their external appreciation in society. This is going to be increasing in wealth, because the more money one has, the more favors one can do, the more people will flatter you to get business or use your boat. And it all gets back to maximizing status. A status maximizer maximizes his appreciation in this world. Someone looking merely at their consumption bundle should consider themselves rich in the West even if they are at the bottom of society working as a parking attendant, but of course they would not feel rich at all, they would feel very poor. As people crave appreciation from others, maximizing their status is a direct path to that end. So is having children.--Eric Falkenstein