What Role Should Government Play In Our Lives?

We pay taxes — income, property, sales — to the government. We vote for the people who hold public office at the local, state, and federal levels. What, then, should we expect in return?

In some circles, government is seen as a bad thing. However, it must play some part in our lives.

For example, perhaps that role is to protect us from other countries and threats across the world. A strong military would perform that task.

Maybe, though, the government can keep us safe from other dangers besides bad actors around the world. The current pandemic is an example. A strong state or federal entity can coordinate efforts that individuals, or even powerful companies, might not be able, or motivated, to do.

Does that also extend to other threats? Climate change? Dirty food or water? Guns?


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where we discuss the questions ‘Where does authority come from?’ and ‘What does your favorite music say about you?’


Whenever disputes between individuals arise, there needs to be some intermediate to resolve them. The legislative system serves as a way to codify this, and the courts allow for interpretations of those laws. Is this a valid governmental role?

There are many other tasks that the government oversees: education, land governance, roads and bridges, libraries, postal service, and on and on. Are there areas that the government currently manages that they shouldn’t, in your opinion? Conversely, are there roles it should have, but currently doesn’t?

If you like the government or not, it is true that in a democracy the government is a manifestation of the will of the people. In your mind, what do you want our civic institutions to do? What role should the government play in our lives?

Related questions: What are our responsibilities to others? Where does authority come from? What role does technology play in your life? How much power does an individual have?

Who Would Serve On Your Personal Board Of Directors?

Who would you pick for your personal Board of Directors — that is, to advise you on affairs of life? To help guide you through career, romance, fashion, finances, and more?

Share why if you wish.

Democracy Or Tyranny?

Democracy or tyranny?

Democracy Or Tyranny?

What Mistake Taught You The Most?

It can be argued that a mistake teaches you more than success does. We learn what not to do, as well as how to deal with adversity.

No one is perfect, and so for each and every one of us, errors are bound to happen. How we respond to our flubs and gaffes can be show us a lot about ourselves.

These mistakes can happen in any area of our lives, but no doubt some are more significant than others. Errors we make as children in school can be formative.

Similarly, learning from a screw-up on the job can ultimately make you a better co-worker or leader. And how you react when your let down your loved ones — and how they react to you in those instances — can inform your personality.

Can you think of a particular mistake that taught you the most? What lesson did you learn? Were you shaped by something that you got wrong — or your response to it?

Related questions: When is it useful to fail? How do you define success? What beliefs do you have that might be wrong? What’s the most useful thing you’ve ever learned? What is uncomfortable but rewarding?

What Is Greatness?

We all know people who exhibit greatness. Maybe someone you know personally, through their work, or from history. But what makes them great?

There are many ways to achieve greatness as an individual. Someone might be a leader, or an innovative scientist. It might manifest as an influential artist, or an accomplished athlete. Or even a person who does just one thing, but does it extremely well.

Is there something these individuals have in common? Is there a trait that you recognize as being great in another person? Do you try to develop that trait, or something similar, in yourself?

What is greatness?

Related questions: What is important? How do you judge yourself? Which historical figure would you like to meet? What gives a person value? What makes a good leader?