The life committed to nothing larger than itself is a meager life indeed. Human beings require a context of meaning and hope. We used to have ample context, and when we encountered failure, we could pause and take our rest in that setting - our spiritual furniture- and revive our sense of who we were. I call the larger setting the commons. It consists of a belief in the nation, in God, in one's family, or in a purpose that transcends our lives. In the past quarter-century, events occurred that so weakened our commitment to a larger entities as to leave us almost naked before the ordinary assaults of life.
- Martin Seligman