Purpose and Perseverance

In preparation for the much anticipated start of the semester, when I will begin teaching at Loyola University Maryland and Strong City Baltimore, a few recurring thoughts occur to me on this drizzly Sunday afternoon.

I often watch the motivational video “Unbroken” precisely because of its sound advice, beautiful score and philosophical undertones.

It begins by telling us that Steve Jobs is quoted as saying, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust in something…”

This observation is clearly formulated in Kierkegaardean fashion. Philosophers have long observed that the truth is only revealed in the wake of human limitations. Because we are limited in space and time, we can only discover the truth when it is “too late” to act or make sense of what is happening in the present moment.

Hence, the need in faith. Of some kind. The second part of “connecting the dots” leads us to the aporia of faith and the need to “fill” it with faith in something greater than ourselves.

Steve Jobs is also quoted as saying, “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

In one sentence he summed up the tragedy of human limitations as defined by the aporia of time and the modern epoch’s call to originality.

Finally, I would like to touch on his observations of work and happiness. “Unbroken” quotes Jobs as saying,

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

And that I know from experience.

Please check out “Unbroken” and the corresponding transcript at:

Unbroken – Motivational Video