Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Social ills

Most people who contemplate or attempt suicide really don’t want to die. They simply can’t imagine another way to stop the unrelenting pain of mental illness, guilt, shame, the loss of self or any combination of these.

WE often show little understanding for the social ills around us that affect so many. For those hurting deeply, reaching out to others can feel like walking a minefield, a minefield that stands in the way of help and healing. The pain experienced by people in such circumstances wears down hopefulness and saps life energy.

What perceived social ills or mental illnesses can seem so distant that a society can’t find the compassion to offer help and acceptance.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

An education

What is “an education”?
Did you get one?
What are the pleasures of an education?

What are the responsibilities?

Monday, June 24, 2019

The vote

The vote is not just a freedom, but a responsibility. Candidates must move away from negative ads, rehearsed campaign speeches, packaged marketing and messages that shift with the minorities they are talking to. They need to be honest about their values and pragmatic in their means of applying them to legislation. They need to answer voters’ questions knowledgeably. This may be a lot to ask in today’s political climate, but there it is.

Voters have responsibilities, too. They must educate themselves about the candidates they are voting for, about their principles and their legislative records. They must look beyond self-interest to the good of the communities they belong to. They must write to their representatives on important issues. They must listen critically to all sides of an issue. They must support the candidates they believe in. This may be a lot to ask in this political climate, but there it is.

True creativity

True creativity is a compulsion. It doesn’t pay much attention to time, money or convention. It won’t let go. It never stops at good enough. It burns you, and it lets you soar. It doesn’t get the attention that sports or entertainment does, but that never impedes it. And the world can’t live without it.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sexual expression

Why would we expect human sexual expression to be less varied, quirky and culturally driven than fashion, food, drink and dance? Such an expectation is where we often get ourselves in trouble. 

But sexual expression has a set of consequences much more dangerous than fashion or other cultural forms. This is where our attention must be. Not what form sexual activity takes, but how we manage the harmful consequences.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Trump out

Once Donald Trump is out of office, there will be lots of books by his White House staff and crony associates. These authors will tell how they never admired him, but stayed on to help curb his craziness and save the country. These books will be read by many and make lots of money for the writers, but they will be nothing but lame attempts at self-redemption.

The important work will be the rebuilding of America after the Trumpian earthquake. It won’t be easy. We will have to reinvigorate a broken, partisan Congress, replace cynicism with hope, believe in the value of the vote, quit being driven by fear and anxiety, believe in the American brotherhood and affirm partnership with our trusted allies.

First the task of getting Trump out of office. The time for jokes and jabs is past. They just bounce off his narcissistic bubble. The time is for unrelenting, clear, direct and educated statements countering every lie, failed policy, unfulfilled promise, gaff and unpresidential comment. Do this person-to-person, letters to the editor and to Congress, on news broadcasts and on tweets.

Believe that erasing ignorance is erasing Trump.