Category: The human condition

These articles are all about who we are, what we need, and how we live.

New Zealand pohutukawa trees on the coast

Good health

It’s the festive season—a time to gather with friends and family to celebrate the year passed, a time to toast one another’s good health. Health. Such a deceptively dull word and yet the word...

From the movie: Ruth, Kathy and Tommy on a windswept beach

Book review: Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 2010 Faber and Faber (UK paperback) ISBN: 9780571272129 282 pagesFirst published 2005 This delicate story has recently been made into a movie (which I haven’t seen), resulting...

Tube map of the London Underground subway lines

Book review: A Week in December

A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks A Sunday Telegraph endorsement on the back cover of this novel simply reads: ‘Perfectly constructed . . . a pleasure to read’, and I concur. I loved this...

Marathon runners pounding the pavement

Book review: Born to Run

Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen  by Christopher McDougall 2009 Profile Books Ltd (UK) ISBN: 9781861978233 (UK) 282 pages plus acknowledgementsFirst published 2009 by...

Section of the Gaugin painting Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?

The ninth need

In addition to the eight needs in my theory of universal human needs, I believe we also share an over-arching ninth need*: the need to understand who we are, why we exist, how we...

Nautilus shell

A theory of universal human needs

Even simpler than Abraham Maslow’s 5-tier Hierarchy of Needs, and Clayton Alderfer’s 3-part ERG Theory, my Theory of Universal Human Needs has just two types of need: survival and betterment. Why we do the things we...

The Shawshank Redemption playing in a movie theatre

Cinema unanimity

A strange thing happens in cinemas: unanimity. In the real world few of us can agree on how we should live our lives; but as cinema-goers we are typically unanimous—that’s right, unanimous—about what protagonists...