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Sunday Platform – Joe Chuman: Man Plans and God Laughs

March 8, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

We have all had the experience: Our best laid plans, large and small, don’t turn out as we anticipated and hoped. Indeed, there is a gap built into the human experience wherein our accomplishments fall short of our expectations. Maybe the fault is in ourselves; maybe there is just a heavy measure of serendipity built into the structure of reality. But whatever the cause, the ubiquity of this experience results in frustration.

One response to our our falling short is to lament our failures and perhaps feel crushed. But another is recognize the incongruity between expectations and how things turn out, appreciate the universality of this state of affairs and then to laugh at the absurdity of the human condition.

The title of my address is “Man Plans and God Laughs.” It’s a Yiddish adage, but similar proverbs are found in many cultures. My address will analyze the realities behind the saying and different responses we can elicit when things don’t go our way.

Shared Charity: Maria Friedman Women’s Shelter

Presider: Hazel May

FREE and open to the public.

Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings usually begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest.  Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Ethical Culture philosophy. A collection basket is passed and money is shared between the Society and a charity selected for that day.  While contributions are always appreciated, Sunday meetings are free and open to the public.  Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.

To view previous Sunday Platform addresses and interviews, visit the Ethical NYC YouTube channel.


March 8, 2020
11:00 am - 12:30 pm


Ceremonial Hall (4th Floor)
2 W 64th St
New York, NY 10023 United States
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