But for the racial aspect, the Trayvon Martin case would not be noticed.
I admit being less concerned about him than about the dozens of other teens who are gunned down every month across the country for no better reason and by people of their own race. Someone will object that a black perpetrator would have been arrested. I answer that an arrest and prison term won’t bring back the dead.
Dad was still in good health back in ’83-85, when I became so deeply interested in spiritual healing. He maintained a pragmatic skepticism about it throughout; in essence, “What’s the use? We’re all going to die anyway.”
I recalled that Monday night 12/07/09 on my way home from Rite Aid, where I’d had to go buy a few things. I was having pretty severe pain in lower left abdomen, after having had several “difficult” eliminations earlier in the day. I took the pain for infection-inflamed ureter; later concluded I was passing a stone. Long time since I’d passed a stone. Long time by my standards, that is.
The state I was in at that hour, I was inclined to cancel all appointments and errands for the next day, and plan to spend all day Tuesday flat on my back in bed. With pain like this, you can’t do much more than just stare into space and feel miserable.
I would recall one author’s answer to Dad’s argument; Lawrence Althouse is the guy’s name. He said the sheer alleviation of pain — without opiates — is justification enough for the practice of spiritual healing. Pain occasions loss of productivity, as just described. It also stresses relationships; with any less self-control as to these things than I’ve learned in the past few years, had anyone crossed my path the wrong way on that trip home, I might well have snapped at the person.
That’s not something you want to do in the ghetto. Especially at night.
There are other was to effect spiritual healing, besides prayer.
Just being nice to people, as opposed to choosing, say, to inject needless pain (“static”) into their world — that’s one.
Crystal happened to wait on me at the Rite Aid; she’s my favorite clerk, and I’d not seen her in months. Damn if she didn’t smile at me and give me a cheery greeting as soon as I came in the door.
Damn if my pain didn’t go away — completely — for some time, later after I got home, as I recalled that encounter. “Spiritual” — healing — indeed.
Every word can work good or ill. My choice; your choice. on air talent, radio talk show, talk show host, the homeless blogger
(Transcribed from a letter to my mother dated 25 September 2007.)
This conversation yesterday with a co-worker astonished me.
“Peaches” is a 42-year old, very short woman, certainly a grandmother and very likely great-grandmother, who has about half her teeth. She works principally as a cashier, and is a really good worker and co-worker. She constantly teases me by pretending to flirt with me.
I was stocking the trash bags shelves, and became aware that she was in quite a pickle. Her shift was over, and she had appointments she had to keep at a certain time across town; but she also had assembled this bag full of items she needed to buy at once and before leaving the store. And the line at the cash register was quite long. (Long lines at cash register are a constant, intractable problem at this store.)
I told her facetiously, “Just go down there and push ’em all out.” She said, “No, that would be unmannerly, and that’s not like me.” (Conduct that can be called “unmannerly” is a big, big issue in this community, and a big issue for me personally since I see so much of it and find it offensive.) She went on: “Now, I like your manners. You speak to the customers …” Continue reading I really have nothing better to do→
(Originally posted 10/11/13. Transcribed from an e-mail I sent my mother 24 August 2010.)
Jesus said any number of things in large part, at least, for shock value.
Their outrageousness is easily lost on 21st Century students, for two reasons. First, we have heard or read these things so many times that any shock value they might have at first had for us — when we first heard them, say, perhaps at age 4 or age 5 — has long since worn off. We’re not likely to remember it, and also not likely to give the opinions of our 4- or 5-year-old selves, the credit they, in this case, deserve.
Second, by virtue of “respect for authority,” for centuries students of Chrstianity have trained themselves to ignore, deny or suppress any outrage they might feel at anything The Teacher says. Instead, one expects oneself and all one’s fellow students, approvingly, to “tip my hat … take a bow … smile and grin …”[*]
I’ve never heard of this woman before. She and I appear to be on the same wavelength.
If only that were more than a pun!
A follower has advised that the link seems to point to an interview with Michelle Kwan.
The restrictions on videos on web pages here at the library are such I normally ignore them, and count on people just reading the text. For the video interview with Delilah one wants to click on this image:
One gets the impression from Matt Bai’s article that closed-mindedness is something new.
I think first of a quotation from Jeff Snyder, from 1993:
“‘Dignity’ used to refer to the self-mastery and fortitude with which a person conducted himself in the face of life’s vicissitudes and the boorish behavior of others. Now, judging by campus speech codes, dignity requires that we never encounter a discouraging word and that others be coerced into acting respectfully, evidently on the assumption that we are powerless to prevent our degradation if exposed to the demeaning behavior of others. These are signposts proclaiming the insubstantiality of our character, the hollowness of our souls.”
I think next of Stuart Chase’s “Guides to Straight Thinking,” which I still mean when I can to post as an e-book on my blog. Published in 1956, it includes many, many examples of exactly the sort of problems Matt Bai complains about here; and is corrective of them.
Chase’s book pretty much presumes a college education, so I wrote “Free Speech Handbook” (Google: “Free Speech Handbook William Tell”) to make the same principles accessible to folk who don’t necessarily have that; and as a textbook of critical thinking skills for use on “The William Tell Show.” (The above Google results will take you to my blog, where you can easily enough find “My Resume.”)
Circa 2000, I became alarmed at the Balkanization of the airwaves being carried out at that time by much the same folk and in much the same way as is occurring now; and conceived “The William Tell Show” in response. The ageless conundrum is that listening, really listening, to one’s opponent is less a task of the mind than of the heart, and not too many people have the heart to do it.
Wrote just now in my diary: “It is distressing that so many conservative respondents, like this one, seem to think the very idea of listening to other points of view is a liberal scheme to violate the First Amendment and to force conscience.”
Such is the sturm und drang that first moved me to conceive William Tell the talk show host. It underscores the need for a William Tell Show.
A week ago today I had a highly successful interview at a dollar store. There may be one obstacle that, if it’s there, cannot be overcome; but if it’s not there, I’ll have to take a drug test and go for a second interview at which the actual job offer will be made. In the days since, there have been some communications glitches. Meanwhile, time goes on.
This morning in my last five minutes at Lenny’s, I prayed about this, reflecting on (1) my disappointment to have had no word so far and (2) the path by which I got here.
I just completed a two-month “job readiness” program … not as if I needed any program to make me “ready” for a job, but this one is unique in that while one is taking classes, they have scouts hunting down specific job opportunities that well match each candidate. That is the big factor I see missing for most people in the big picture.
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.
… 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.