I am alarmed by recent attempts to ignore the ugly aspects of our shared history. Skipping select parts of the constitution? Removing the n-word from Twain? How do we become a better society if we choose to ignore how we got here? We should be engaging in difficult conversations with one another, not mutually engineered denial.
I think that the superficial goal of work is to make money. The ultimate goal of work is to take our major theories about life, our strong desires, and our talents, and combine them in such a way that we can support ourselves while living meaningfully. Like love, success and happiness are not experiences or emotions - they are choices.
I think if politicians had to wear their sponsors as patches on their little blue suits, things might change. I'm going to start sewing. Humana first, then Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Oh, wait, we probably need a sweatshop in China to make all of them . . .
I mentioned to Aubrey that women weren't allowed to vote until my grandmother's lifetime. Her response (full 8-year-old indignation right down to stiffened back & flared nostrils): "So we had bad Presidents for all those years???" We've just begun discussing civil rights, haven't even started on gay rights, and she's already disgusted. We've come a long way, with a long way to go.
You've read Lee Siegel, the New York-based critic who writes for Harpers, The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Republic (again). He writes erudite, prickly prose on the subject of American culture – or what counts for it. At one point the New York Times referred to him as "one of the most eloquent and acid-tongued critics in the country." In a nation that enjoys a bit of battering of our neighbor -- and which lives by the adage if you're so smart why ain't you rich? -- even the most liberal-minded of us get both an intellectual thrill and an ignoble shiver reading his work.
Success is not a mystery, it's a puzzle. One piece: Most obstacles to success - personal or organizational - come from inside, not outside.
Erma Bombeck was a genius. Whenever I am seeking a wise bon mot – particularly as it relates to popular culture – I turn to her. I did so today, and as usual, I found what I was looking for.
"Some say our national pastime is baseball. Not me. It's gossip."
Besides EQ & IQ, most people need more PQ. Perspective is a powerful focusing agent. Learn to see things from the other's point of view.
"Mom, are you working? Can you do something with me, like, now?"
"What's up son?"
"I got kicked out of the mall again. I really want you to help me do something about it."
So began our sojourn into the perception and actions of private corporate security guards. An exploration of the mindsets that look on most teenagers as potentially dangerous unless they fit a very narrow range of physical description and demeanor.
I suspect that if everyone comprehended the true natures of opinion and belief versus fact and ethics, there would be more constructive debate and less mindless conflict.
There are so many truisms we accept without evaluation. Things our parents taught us, things the minister said, things that were drilled into our heads at Sunday school, over dinner, or in the classroom. Many of these lessons were important teachings on the path to becoming an ethical adult. But not all of them. Some were based on pop (read – unproven) psychology, fear, and the need for social conformance over authentic living.