(Originally published 07/21/12 at Trojan Horse Productions. Reblogged 04/23/14.)
The pigeons. Years ago, when I had an office job downtown, I’d wait for the bus every afternoon on the south side of Baltimore Street one or two blocks east of Charles. Often, someone tossed down several handfuls of torn-up bread for the birds to eat, and I’d have time to watch them.
For the most part, the pigeons acted just as you’d expect: eating together, share and share alike. But I noticed one individual whose conduct was quite different. This guy never picked up any food from the ground. He never seemed to notice any food on the ground. Instead, he’d notice what someone else was eating, and go over and take it away from that person. Time and time again, he did this.
Put this fellow down on top of a pile of food, and he’d starve to death, because he’d never pick up any for himself. Put another pigeon with him, and he’d be OK — taking away what the other one picks up to eat.
How much closer can you get to the way some people act; who will not do anything for themselves, but only take away what someone else has worked for? Can there be a gene for this?
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When I lived in Barclay, I maintained a bird feeder in the back yard — different locations, but always visible from the kitchen window. Two species used to visit the feeder in flocks: sparrows and starlings. There might be fifty sparrows or fifty starlings there at a time.
Continue reading What the little birds told me
You CAN get too much of a good thing.
ANY good thing, apparently.
There is one exception.
Continue reading Balances
March 31, 2018
When I attend enough to becoming upwardly mobile myself, I often find myself looking down on the men around me now.
I don’t want to look down on anyone. These are (mainly) good guys. These are friends.
So this a learning opportunity, a growth opportunity.
It appears to be a common problem for folk who seek upward mobility.
I find this morning that perhaps I can sublimate or incinerate those feelings as they come on, burning up emotional filth to release light and admiration for guys who, after all, are doing the best they can with the resources they’ve got, and whose motivations no one can gainsay.
– The request of James and John, part 1
– The request of James and John, part 2
… can make a hard situation easy, or make an easy situation hard.
To enter the shelter, you walk across this parking lot to an iron gate, and then down these steps to the “smoke pit,” an 8 x 20′ area with benches where we sit until they call us in, in groups of six, to register for this night. One does this every day.
Continue reading Attitude …
(Originally posted 2012-07-26 at Trojan Horse Productions. Reblogged 2014-04-09.)
[See also the William Tell Show page, “Word of the Day.”]
I have been wary of telling this, because the thing hinges on an abstraction that not everyone may be in a position to grasp. But in recent weeks, it’s been really prominent to me. And one can tell from recent posts that I don’t much care for abstractions.
Continue reading Hopes vs. expectations
(Originally posted 06/02/12 at Trojan Horse Productions. Reblogged 04/02/14.)
Friday 06/01/12 we were working on the assembly line, and the music they had on the PA was WQSR 102.7 “Jack.” I didn’t mind; it was an interesting change of pace.
At mid-afternoon this one song came on that made me feel tense. What song, I don’t recall and it doesn’t matter. The music made me feel tense. That’s what this post is all about.
The earlier post entitled “Change your diet” was all about words. One needs also to be aware of the feelings and attitudes music itself brings out in you, and choose accordingly.
Continue reading Change your diet, chapter 2
I may no longer believe a word they say, but I can take great comfort in the hymns I learned in childhood.
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
No merit of my own I claim,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On what is my hope built?
Continue reading My hope is built