Category Archives: Philosophy

Minimal

For years, I’ve been drawn to the concept of a minimalist lifestyle.  Several years ago, I stumbled across an online video created by a young guy who designed and built tiny houses and who had created an online video series … Continue reading

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Observations on Animal Instinct

Despite its many bungling attempts to protect us (e.g.,  the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommends an absolutely natural response if one confronts an active shooter or other such attack on one’s person (i.e., … Continue reading

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Prelude

We’ve reached it. The final day of 2016, the day on which we can put this year to rest and, for many of us for many good reasons, say “good riddance!” Yet, without this year, we would not have reached … Continue reading

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Assigning Worth

It seems to me that people who need help to escape poverty generally do not need, nor want, handouts. They need a break. They need a chance to demonstrate their worth in a world in which value is too often measured … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Empathy, Philosophy, Poverty | Leave a comment

Beginners

Beginners are forgiven their mistakes, because they do not have sufficient experience to warrant adverse judgment of their ineptitude. Being a beginner opens up an entire world of possibilities; virtually every aspect of an experience is a fresh opportunity for involvement for … Continue reading

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The Propriety of Cash Gifts

Just over three years ago, I wrote an essay to explore the appropriateness of giving money as a gift. I waffled to the conclusion that the practice is, at best, questionable. The piece drew some interesting and thought-provoking responses from a couple … Continue reading

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BIG Ideas

The perception of technological advances allowing customers to check out their own groceries differs radically, depending on one’s perspective. From the viewpoint of the grocer, investing in such technology means an investment in profitability or, indeed, economic survival. But store … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Economics, Intellect, Philosophy, Politics, Secular morality | Leave a comment

Thinking When I Shouldn’t

I am an atheist. You must bear that in mind as you read the comments I am about to make. I do not claim there is no god, but I have found no reason to believe there is one. In … Continue reading

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Scars

I wrote a few days ago of trees marked for death. Only scars of the trees that blocked my view remain. Ground-level stumps serve as reminders of the massive trees that once tried to hide the house that now shouts … Continue reading

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Absolution

Regret arises as readily from actions not taken as from mistakes made. The life unlived, due to efforts unmade, takes as much of a toll on one’s psyche as choosing the path of least resistance with a vengeance. Regret becomes a … Continue reading

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Crossing My Own Borders

Just moments ago, I wrote an email to a friend that included a comment about tamales. I said “…my tamales do not compare to those made by little old Mexican grandmothers whose recipes for pork and jalapeño tamales involve lard … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Mexico, Philosophy, Writing | 2 Comments

Decency

“Find your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life.” It’s such a pithy, positive, hopeful statement! I’ve been searching for my passion for my entire life and I still haven’t found it. I’ve found interests. I’ve found intriguing … Continue reading

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Courage

Two dictionaries in my house define courage as follows: the attitude or response of facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful, instead of withdrawing from it; the quality of being fearless or brave; valor; pluck the … Continue reading

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A Message in Need of Translation

Not infrequently, I read books or watch films in which main characters reveal, through their words or actions, self-loathing and deep, unrelenting pain based on who they believe they are. Every time, I wonder whether the writers responsible for those characters … Continue reading

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Fact or Fiction or Something in Between

I considered writing about the upcoming Trump presidency and its likely aftermath, but decided against it because my book would certainly be seen as a knock-off of one written by Sinclair Lewis and published in 1935. It Can’t Happen Here describes … Continue reading

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Starved for Beauty

The remnants of something once beautiful. The residue of time, evidence of its harsh treatment of apathy and impudence. We cannot realistically aspire to lofty ideals if we are unwilling to invest the hard work greatness requires. Changing the world … Continue reading

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Turbulence and Talismans

Reading some of my own writing in the evening gives me a brief respite from the chaos. The turbulence of the past eighteen months continues to twist my gut and make my neck and shoulders ache as if acidic poison fills … Continue reading

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Decency and Peace

Last night, I suspended my Facebook account, perhaps for the final time. Though I’ve ‘threatened’ to get off Facebook for quite some time, and have taken plenty of breaks, it feels different now. I’ve spent the last few days glued … Continue reading

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Leonard Cohen: I Have Lost My Only Hero

A man I never met, but saw perform once, has died. Leonard Cohen, the man whose poetry and music molded me like no other, is dead. Believe me, I do not worship celebrities; I scoff at hearing of people who … Continue reading

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What Would You Do?

Imagine a set of conjoined twins. One has physical and behavioral problems that require constant therapy. The other, consumed by full-on psychosis, is a very real threat to his twin and to the nurses that tend to him; keeping sharp objects … Continue reading

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Only Ideas

I have always considered myself somewhat ‘bohemian.’ But my unorthodox core, for virtually all my life until this very moment, has remained hidden beneath a shell, a cover designed to appear conventional. Perhaps that’s a story I tell myself, though. It may … Continue reading

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Culinary Hypocrisy

I was reminded this morning of an essay I read six years ago that made me pause and reflect on my fascination with food. The essayist, William Deresiewicz, asserts that food replaced art as the embodiment of high culture. Deresiewicz says the “foodie” … Continue reading

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Human Trafficking

I attended an interesting and informative, but disturbing, presentation this morning on human trafficking. I learned that human trafficking is not a problem limited to other countries but is of enormous concern right here in the USA. Sex trafficking, labor … Continue reading

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Grace

An image of a hand-written letter George H.W. Bush left in the Oval Office on January 1993 for Bill Clinton has gone viral (click on image to enlarge). The letter exemplifies a flurry of shared sentiments that seem to have sparked … Continue reading

Posted in Civility, Philosophy, Politics, Secular morality | Leave a comment

Race in America: 13th

Last night, I watched a documentary film, directed by Ava DuVernay and entitled 13th, named after the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Ostensibly, the Thirteenth Amendment outlawed and eliminated slavery. The film convincingly argues slavery was preserved and sustained through mass incarceration … Continue reading

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