The ability to communicate about issues, including our values, is what draws us together as friends, families, and communities. When we can communicate, we can work together to solve problems. We can unite for common goals and for our common good.
Communities do not allow unlimited personal freedoms. In fact, one of the properties of communities is that they are intrusive and coercive. People in communities voluntarily give up some individual liberties and, in the spirit of Ephesians 5:21, “submit to one another” for the common good.
Although we may feel that there is a true inner “us,” we very rarely show it to others. We each own too many public faces to plausibly maintain that there is only one authentic self. When one of the faces that you present in a given circumstance is not working for you, consider deliberately adjusting it.
Having someone criticize the community to which you belong does not have to damage your self-esteem. Your response is dependent on the nature of your own character, values, and worldview. Sometimes, I have found myself in groups that are regarded negatively.
“Dear Kat, I love your essays. But, you have discovered that people who write like you do are really annoying. This is actually a good thing. Don’t worry about it. Keep it up. Perfect your art. I got a bumper sticker for my wife’s car that said, "Well behaved women seldom make history."
Growing up is all about existential angst. Yes, that’s where to start. Not with the spitting up, crawling, and preverbal babbling. The real issues of growing up are: What’s it all about? To be or not to be? What do you want to be when you grow up? What is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything?
Our elected President is expected to represent all Americans. He is responsible for managing a civil society that protects life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all of us. Modern civilizations like ours work best when no one is allowed to cause others to be excluded.
Having lived in this small rural town for only two years, I’m still a bit of an outsider. I joined the Lion’s Club until my social anxieties got too severe. I smile and speak kindly at every opportunity, and wrote a series of positive local feature articles for the local paper. I had a stroke last year.
He asked me why I had picked him up. I said, “Well, I’ve become absolutely certain that we’re all in this together and it really bothers me when people take the attitude that as long as they get theirs, everybody else can go to heck.”
While I was with Amoco, they gave me a series of career-development psychology tests. In one of them, my top two archetype identifications were found to be “Evangelist” and “Warrior.” That was tough news for someone with social anxieties. There’s more…
If you are a conservative, you will blame lack of work ethic, family or religious values, or some other personal weakness. If you are a liberal, your explanation will tend to focus on lack of education, oppression, social injustice, or some other outside influence.
SHORT STORY - “I just don’t get it,” Joe moaned, “They’re all crooks. If I even bother to vote this year, I’m tempted to just write in, ‘Someone Else.’” Linda looked at him quietly for a moment. If there was going to be a teachable moment, this was probably going to be it.
When you’re been married for a long time, some of the best things are the quiet, delicate, unexpected joys that land on you, like the cool flutter of a butterfly, for just a moment. I kissed her gently on the head and told her that I loved her.
Effective government is a good and necessary thing that serves and protects its people. Government is a forum for debating issues, agreeing on compromises, managing common resources, and codifying public decisions. Government, like a working ranch horse, should not be ruined.
Trees are for lumber; just ask the long-missing inhabitants of Easter Island. They left behind mysterious rock statues, but no growing wood. Trees are also for burning; and when trees become scarce, one can always make more children to go out and forage for sticks.
Critical thinking should not be the private tool of the privately-educated elite. Critical thinking should be one of our most cherished values. Critical thinking should be an expected product of a rich family life. Critical thinking should be the core competency delivered by our public schools.
Men of the fields, like all men of faith, are optimists. As defined at Acts 17:11, faith is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Optimists are able to contemplate the future with eyes of hope. They can imagine the substance of a reality that does not yet exist.
Christianity started out as a very liberal way of life. Above all, Jesus lived and taught love. He even said that “God is Love.” Jesus pointed out that the greatest law was Love – of God and neighbor – and he used the parable of a good Samaritan to point out that everyone is our neighbor.
“For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away… We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government organized by mob.”
I was discussing the concept of “developmental levels of worldview” with a friend. She keep wanting to imagine that my description of a hierarchical, predictable sequence of developmental stages suggested increasing personal “smartness” or “betterness.”