NEXT MEETING: June 2, 2017
The Nature of Happiness
Clair Brown is a professor of economics and author of Buddhist Economics: an enlightened approach to the dismal science. Clair will address the question, What makes people happy? This question takes us to the heart of the difference between free market economics and Buddhist economics: human nature.
According to Buddhist economics, human nature is generous and altruistic, even as it also cares about itself. This is based on Aristotle’s teaching that people find happiness through living a meaningful life and contributing to the community. Yet free market economics holds that human nature is self-centered and that people care only about themselves as they strive to maximize their incomes and fancy lifestyles. These two models lead to very different ways of structuring our economies to maximize social welfare.
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Henry Moe announced that the Rotary District Assembly would be on June 3 at Salesian High School.
Mae announced, on behalf of Oscar Garcia, that volunteers are needed for the Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 17. This is a good opportunity to network with others around the city.
President Josh Surowitz called the meeting to order. Jan Brown led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Stoney asked (and from the looks of it, received) a moment of silence for peace, freedom and justice on Earth. Sid Chauvin issued his thought for the day: “The time to make friends is before you need one.”
Rotarians with guests
Edgar DeLeon introduced us to Al (Alberto) Silva.
Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars
Mae had but one Recognition for today: Nick Despota‘s 44th wedding anniversary. Making the most of the fact that he wouldn’t be competing for floor time, Nick held forth on the subject of a long marriage: over time, enjoying less conflict, more cooperation, and a convergence of commitments.
Mae next turned to the experience of happiness (anticipating next week’s speaker; see above)— at least to the extent to which happiness can be monetized.
- Henry Moe had Happy Dollars because a former President of the Salesian Interact Club is graduating from college and has been accepted into UCSF Medical School.
- Josh Genser was happy that the Richmond team (Josh, Shana, Mark and Simon) acquitted itself well at the BARSHEEP Bowl-A-Thon, and that the team raised a lot of money.
Meet the Old Timers
Two of the more mature members of our club reprised their Who-Am-I speeches, updated: Alan Blavins and Herb Cole.
Alan was born poor in England, and thanks to support for developing his art from both his family and school teachers, he managed to make it big in advertising. Alan regaled us with stories about his professional exploits, amorous entanglements, and readiness to make life-changing decisions on the flip of a coin—the “heads-it’s-New-York, tails-it’s-San-Francisco” kind of thing. By all accounts, he won.
Herb was an indifferent student in Texas, until a lengthy steelworkers union strike left him with nothing else to do. Ironically, he went back to school and became a school teacher. He met his wife on a blind date and, on their honeymoon, they went to Southern California where he interviewed for jobs and got one. Later, he got his doctorate at USC and became a school administrator. Herb’s last job was right here, where he stayed after retirement.
- Josh Genser, Rotating Scribe