America’s Choice Right Now is a Life or Death Issue

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You can tell a person’s priorities by the choices they make. If the job is more important than the relationship, their choices will reflect in their lives, for example. Likewise, you can tell a society’s or a nation’s priorities by the choices they make or condone. These choices, if we’re honest, have little or nothing …

Sympathy for the Devil

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I was in my mid-twenties, when I had a genius flash of insight about people: Most people are not reasonable. This insight explained a lot about my own sense of frustration and anger when dealing with anyone, whether at school, work, or at home. Appeals to logic and rationality, I realized, are largely fruitless, because …

Our Empathy Divide

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As some of us gaze around at the world, scarcely believing the divisions and violence that are now a part of our everyday lives, we can’t help but ask, “How on earth did we get here?” On one side, there’s Donald Trump, who stokes fear and violence with apparent glee, his devotees all too happy …

The Homeless Are Our Canaries

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Do some people “deserve” compassion more than others? A lot of people mean well, but based on my conversations, there is definitely a filter being applied to the unfortunate. I know someone who volunteered once for Habitat for Humanity. He lasted a single day. He wouldn’t go back because he felt that the people whose …

Stuck in Judgment Ruts

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The mantras of our times:  Barack Obama is a liar and a threat to our nation. George W. Bush was a liar and a threat to our nation. Sarah Palin is an ignorant Barbie doll who can’t put two words together. The police in Ferguson, Missouri are all racists. Black residents in Ferguson, Missouri are hyper-sensitive and …

Opening the Heart

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You can read all of the books about spirituality, you can take all of the workshops, and you can discuss what you learn with all of your friends for years, but true spiritual understanding will not come until your heart is truly open, and it can communicate with your head. Intellectual understanding is not a …

Letting Go of Violence

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If you ask most people what violence is, you will probably hear a definition that includes physical force. Physical abuse, assault, and rape may spring to mind. While all of these things are indeed expressions of violence, there are more subtle expressions as well, including behavior that most of us don’t consider to be violent …

Isolated in a Sea of People

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Two sets of parents lost their children the other day. One of those children shot the other at school, and then turned the gun on himself when the police arrived. As Ahnna Hawkesworth put it: A child. Carried a semi-automatic weapon and enough ammunition to kill hundreds of people. To school. On the school bus. …

Children Living in a Grown-Up World

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When I was about 14, a friend and I went to a classmate’s house during a break in school exams. I can’t remember why we had so much time between classes, but we did. At any rate, we were killing time and “Eugene” asked if we wanted to watch a movie. He specifically mentioned The …

Measuring Our Worth

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If I had to distill the essence of our social and political discourse as a nation and a global community right now into just a few words, I would say that the biggest source of all our divisions and quarrels lies in the measuring of our worth compared with others. Now, what do I mean …