On January 20th, the Pawling Discussion Group met for the first time at Mark Klinger’s Pawling Trading Company on Main Street. Facilitated by Dr. Ed Grippe, since its inception in 1999 the Discussion Group has met many times discussion a variety of topics from “What makes a Community?” to “What Is Evil?”
The recent dialogue entitled “Can one be free without liberty?” centered on the concepts of “liberty” and “freedom.” Dr. Grippe initially presented six participants with the rough definitions of each concept, and then the floor was open to offers of ideas and to questions aimed at further clarifying and distinguishing the notion of freedom as “freedom for,” or autonomous self-regulation from liberty as ‘freedom from” or unfettered independence. The goal of this meeting, and all such conversations of the Discussion Group, was not to arrive at a consensus, but to challenge and test assumptions; to open the mind to the insights others brought to the table and thereby to clarify one’s own ideas.
An added bonus were the fine coffees and teas made available for purchase to the participants by Igor Krivenko, the manager of the Pawling Trading Company. These drinks and the warm atmosphere stimulated the gathering; not that added stimulation was needed among the active minds engaged in the lively conversation.
One of the participants, who is also a jazz enthusiast, planned to split his time that evening between the discussion and a jazz concert, but was the last to leave. He explained that he decided to skip the concert because he had not been so inspired by an exchange of ideas for quite a long while. Quite an endorsement for this Pawling event!
Dr. Grippe will hold another session of the Pawling Discussion Group on Friday, February 10th at the Pawling Trading Company, at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to this free event. The topic will be “What is Love?” in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.