It is official! The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has finally waded through the sea of human emotions and responses and identified one single state of being that is considered an acceptable, healthy response to life. After centuries of ill health where people experienced everything from sadness to happiness, experiencing depression, being moved by works of art, outraged over world events, grieved at the loss of loved ones .. . after all the happiness and love, jealousy and contempt . . . there will be sanity and order and calm. With only one emotional response human beings will finally be healthy. Of course, it should come as not surprise to any of us that the winner is “being offended.”
For years it was assumed that “love” was going to be the only emotion left standing, but over the recent years people turned their back on love to dedicate their lives to taking offense at everything they possibly could, and working tirelessly to enact laws to force people to acknowledge their discomfort. How that work just exploded into a global passion , well … is nothing short of miraculous. Continue reading →
Ever wonder about the people you meet who you just enjoy because they say all the right things? You have that deep connection when you talk about things beyond the weather, which celebrity did what, and what your favourite television show is. They know all the buzz words and before long, the two of you are finishing each other’s sentences, and you talk long after everyone else is out of steam.
You have several conversations with these people and you marvel to others how alike you are. It seems magical and you swear you know who they really are. Then, somewhere along the way, as you hang out, things don’t seem quite right. This person knows all the words, but what they talk about knowing and what they actually do, are miles apart. In practice they are often angry, abusing others, manipulating people and worse. They are up and down and all over the place emotionally and seldom happy. They have no real direction and nothing is ever their fault. Continue reading →
Her father took her out to kick the soccer ball around the yard. She was suitably attired, she had some green tights on which actually suited a 4 year old … much better than 40 year olds whose legs stretch the fruit or cute little faces into some kind of grotesque monsters from another world . She wore a flowered top, her runners, and a black ball cap, which needed a lot of adjusting. She matched the swagger of her father, as they strode out into the yard. She swung her arms around and did some on the spot jumping to limber up. She was a quick study.
The father put the ball down and kicked it to her. She kicked it back. She jumped up and down, it was fun. He kicked it to her and she, concentrating, tongue out, thinking about which foot, changing it, focussed … and kicked it back. Her dad had to run a little bit to get it but it was a good effort.
This time dad kicked the ball back and forth and bumped it with his knee before kicking it back towards the little red haired girl. She had been waiting patiently and being a good sport, she clapped for her dad’s amazing talent. She got the ball and focused, tongue in place and kicked it as hard as she could. Continue reading →
Yesterday a woman was seated watching her son get a haircut and she began to talk about her farm and her animals. She ended up collecting animals that other people did not want. One story she told related to going to a sale to get some cattle and once there, cow after cow came up, older cows, cows with one teat that did not work, etc. No-one wanted them. She found her arm going up and she would say, “I’ll take her.” In the end they had a truck full of cows that no-one else wanted. They had come to the sale wanting young healthy cows like everyone else, but they went home with the load of misfits. No-one else felt sorry enough for those cows to even take one of them.
My grandmother used to eat her dinner and inevitably one of us kids would slip something onto her plate we did not want to eat. She would end up having to eat the food none of us wanted because she could not let it go to waste. She made a deal with us, as long as we did it quietly without saying anything, it was acceptable to her. At other times she would sit down to eat her toast in the morning, and we, like little birds would hover around her wanting a bite. She often ended up giving us spoonfuls of something she had chosen to eat. We didn’t ask her if she was hungry, or if she liked the food we did not want to eat. Continue reading →
“All other spiritual teachings are in vain if we cannot love. Even the most exalted states and the most exceptional spiritual accomplishments are unimportant if we cannot be happy in the most basic and ordinary ways, if, with our hearts, we cannot touch one another and the life we have been given.” Jack Kornfield
The beauty of grammar is that you get to use it. You can write everything perfectly and impress the shit out of people who care about that thing. You can enter grammar competitions and win a trophy for being the best grammar person ever. You can decorate your home in grammatically correct needlepoint and cross stitch. You can have your own website or blog where everything is grammatically perfect. You can get a job where people will pay you to fix their grammar and may even like that you do it and appreciate you for it. You can work with children who are learning grammar and help them to learn the right way to do it. But note that these will not be all children or all people, just those who actually want to learn how to do it right AND who think they can work with you because your approach is worth paying for.
But you don’t get to police the world or tell other people what they should or should not be writing. Continue reading →
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” Carl Sagan