"To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the Purpose of LIFE."
(from "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty")
This past April has been a busy one for The Fountain staff. We have had gatherings with our contributors in several states in the US, including Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Travel is a great joy when merged with thoughtful discussions - this is at least what we believe at The Fountain. Discussions are a feast when you have participants, each a brilliant mind in their respective fields, and many of whom are faculty or PhD candidates. We are especially thankful to the Dialogue Institute in Jackson, Mississippi, for bringing together a very distinguished group of guests who eagerly shared their views and asked inquisitive questions.
The Dialogue Institute in Houston has been organizing roundtable discussions every Sunday in cooperation with The Fountain, and the "consumerism" theme we laid down in April reminded us of our personal and societal weaknesses as we are tempted to consume more and more, usually unnecessarily. In Pittsburgh, we visited a recently formed study group of Americans (hosted by Peace Islands) who pick an article, and read, discuss, and contemplate over it when each new issue comes out. And finally, we gladly enjoyed a faith-filled event titled "When Beauty Whispers to the Heart," an interfaith conference organized in cooperation with Sacred Heart University in New Haven, Connecticut, and Peace Islands Institute.
Panels and one-on-one talks about the magazine and its ethos followed one after another, filling a whole month, all the way from the glacier covered Niagara Falls in Buffalo to the warm shores of Miami. We did not have to survive shark attacks and a volcanic eruption, as Walter Mitty of Life magazine did in the movie; but we at least had the same feeling of "drawing closer" when we conversed with our contributors and readers. These gatherings meant a lot to us, as we believe our contributors are among "those who will shape tomorrow with their ideas will be the guides of generations to come. The way they think and reason will redesign the world, and their messages will brighten the future" (quote from the Lead Article).
What you will find in this issue is another journey across an ocean of ideas, from the meaning of true liberty which "Laborers of Thought" of the future will aspire, to the psychology of morality and how we apply it in our everyday lives; from a dialogue of flowers to the artificial replacement of a failing heart. A book review on Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an explains the nature of freedom to practice any faith in North America and how it has evolved since the founding fathers. This review is complemented by Donald Beechers' "Hearts and Minds for a Country: Nation and Construction of Self Identity," in which the author discusses the concept of nationalism in the context of Canada, which is by definition an immigrant nation.