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Friday Five: The Secret to a Healthy Society

On Fridays, we bring you the week’s best from around the web. This week’s round-up considers the cost of cultural and moral relativism in our present age, how suffering can bring life, and more.

The Cost of Relativism by David Brooks, New York Times

The health of society is primarily determined by the habits and virtues of its citizens. In many parts of America there are no minimally agreed upon standards for what it means to be a father. There are no basic codes and rules woven into daily life, which people can absorb unconsciously and follow automatically.

No, Socialism Wouldn’t Succeed ‘If Only Men Were Angels’by Joseph Sunde, Acton Institute

Indeed, the fundamental problem with socialism isn’t so much that its aims are unrealistic—though they most certainly are—but rather that its basic assumptions rely on a view of humanity that is, in so many ways, unreal.

Here’s What the Unemployment Rate Looks Like If You Add Back Labor Force Dropoutsby Sean Davis, The Federalist

The Department of Labor announced today that the official unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent last month, the lowest it’s been since Spring of 2008. Good news, right? Well, kind of. The official unemployment rate masks a problem that’s been plaguing the economy since shortly before the 2009 recession: a continuing decline in the labor force participation rate…

Lent: It’s Not Just for Catholics by Arthur Brooks, New York Times

We don’t want to suffer—we hate it, in fact. Yet it is suffering that often brings personal improvement. Not all pain is beneficial, obviously. But researchers have consistently found that most survivors of illness and loss experience “post-traumatic growth.”

We All Dream of Finding Meaningful Work. But Can It Really Be Found? by Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

For the Christian, life without work is meaningless, but work must never become the meaning of one’s life. We must find our identity in Christ, not in our work. Our union with Christ transforms our hearts and gives us the desire to serve him out of gratitude as we engage the world through our work.