I Am A Rock, I Am An Island, I Am An Altruist

Because of my Aspie traits I have lived a good portion of my life feeling I am alone in this world. No one else seemed to see the world as I did. So, when in college in the 1960s I came across the words

I am a rock
I am an island
...
And a rock feels no pain
An island doesn't cry.
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Everyone Should Have A Place At The Table

I’ve been thinking about what I will leave as my legacy. Everyone wants to believe that they left this world a little better off because they were here. That is what this post is all about.

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About Empathy

I am convinced that, as a general rule, my Republican friends pretty much lack empathy to any degree. I know this could be “painting with a broad brush” type thing but hear me out. I find example after example of this fact in my daily life. Let me give you a few examples. I have a Republican friend who goes on and on about how all those people on welfare are freeloaders.  To him, they are just too lazy to go out and get a job.  I try to tell him that on the average most people are on welfare … Continue reading About Empathy

A Free Ride vs. Earning Your Way

This post has been sitting in my “draft” box for quite some time because I just don’t seem to see it as complete. I don’t want to insult people who think differently on this subject but I want to get my point across as to the potential harm being privileged might cause. Complete or not its time has come to move it to a daily post. I want to admit upfront that I am prejudiced on this topic. When I find that a person has pretty much had a free ride in life I become very skeptical about their successes and … Continue reading A Free Ride vs. Earning Your Way

An Ounce Of Empathy & Two Ounces Of Brains

I am a dreamer, always have been and always will be.  When times are bad I dream of better times. When times are good I thank the Lord. I have always dreamed that every citizen of our country has at least an ounce of empathy and two ounces of brains.  I have come to doubt that belief, especially since the person in the Oval Office doesn’t even seem to pass the bill.  I guess this particular dream will have to wait a while before it can be realized. Now don’t misunderstand me, I don’t expect everyone to be overflowing with … Continue reading An Ounce Of Empathy & Two Ounces Of Brains

The World of Pretend…

A good portion of my life was spent around someone who lived in a world of pretend. My mother was that person. She abandoned me, my brother, and her husband when I was about ten years old to marry someone much richer who could provide her with the luxuries she so wanted in life.  I would not have any sort of relationship with her again until twenty years later when that husband divorced her to marry his much younger secretary. It was not until this re-introduction that I realized that she primarily lived in a world of pretend.  Reality had … Continue reading The World of Pretend…

They Deserve Their Failure….

That is the moral-ideological core of conservatism today. It presumes that life is a competition or race, that people are unequal in talent, drive, and ambition, and that those who end up on top deserve their victory and rewards — and those who come out on the bottom deserve their failure and hardships. Any attempt to overturn or even mitigate this moral order — whether through government regulation or changes in habits or assumptions in school or on the playground — amounts to an offense against justice itself. Source: What defines conservatism today? I want to spend a few posts … Continue reading They Deserve Their Failure….

Living On The Outskirts Of Hope…

I want to pen some final words about Pope Francis here. The title of this post is a recent quote from him that truly inspires me. There are just too many people in the world to who the very idea of hope seems unknowable. They live in such despair that all they can manage is just surviving day-to-day.   It is said that Pope Francis views the world from the Bottom up. I have never thought of it in those terms but it is an accurate portrayal of him and I hope to a certain degree myself. Most of us, especially those … Continue reading Living On The Outskirts Of Hope…

President Obama’s welcoming speech to Pope Francis

Your Holiness, in your words and deeds, you set a profound moral example. And in these gentle but firm reminders of our obligations to God and to one another, you are shaking us out of complacency. All of us may, at times, experience discomfort when we contemplate the distance between how we lead our daily lives and what we know to be true and right. But I believe such discomfort is a blessing, for it points to something better. You shake our conscience from slumber; you call on us to rejoice in Good News, and give us confidence that we … Continue reading President Obama’s welcoming speech to Pope Francis

Empathy Is Imagining Yourself In Someone Else’s Shoes…

Some of us seem to totally lack empathy for others. Sadly the lack of empathy seems to be almost a requirement for GOP candidates these days. I know Paul Ryan who is one of the heroes on the Republican party celebrates his common bonds with his hero Ayn Rand who made it very clear that to her empathy is a severe handicap in society rather than an asset.  Of course the lack of empathy is clearly shown by those who have voted more than fifty time to take affordable healthcare away from millions of our nation’s citizens. Some among us just … Continue reading Empathy Is Imagining Yourself In Someone Else’s Shoes…

What Wealth Does To Your Soul – Part 2

With this post I will conclude my discussion about what might make the wealthy among us seem so callous to others needs. The source for these posts came as a surprise to me. Here is some more quotes from that article. A UCLA neuroscientist named Keely Muscatell has published an interesting paper showing that wealth quiets the nerves in the brain associated with empathy: If you show rich people and poor people pictures of kids with cancer, the poor people’s brains exhibit a great deal more activity than the rich people’s. (An inability to empathize with others has just got … Continue reading What Wealth Does To Your Soul – Part 2

What wealth does to your soul

One thing that has struck me and so many others as a very deadly thing to our country is the growing disparity between the rich and the poor. Another is how many in the rich category seem to be uncaring and even callous to those who don’t have the luxury that they have. That fact struck me at a personal level when we were recently on a visit with some relatives. I know the age old mantra to not discuss religion or politics at family get-togethers but sometimes we foolishly ignore that advice. During some discussions with a niece the … Continue reading What wealth does to your soul

I Can't Do It For Them….

This is going to be an extremely soul-searching post for me. It has been a week since the GOP route in the mid-term elections and I have been thinking about my philosophical and political leanings. Two things seem now apparent to me that were not so just a few short months ago. The first epiphany  is that I am not so much a Democrat as I am anti-Republican. There is just too much weight amongst the current Republican party in favor of the elite and so little for the average guy and almost nothing for the guy down on his luck. In my … Continue reading I Can't Do It For Them….

It’s All About Empathy….

On my self description to the right here I claim to be a passionate altruist. I want to expand on that statement and also ponder those who seem to have an opposite view of the world. First let’s look at a couple of definitions: Altruism — the quality of unselfish concern for the welfare of others Empathy —  understanding and entering into another’s feelings These two descriptions are a major part of my being.  I unashamedly shed  tears when I witness those who are struggling through life with one affliction or another.  While mine has not been nearly as severe as … Continue reading It’s All About Empathy….

Group Pictures…

For some unknown reason I have always been fascinated by group pictures such as shown in my revised header above and a larger copy here. I love looking at each individual face and trying to imagine their life story.  In studying local history such as from the picture above I have come to understand just how hard previous generations have it compared to ours. It makes me appreciate all that I have today. We must remember that our grandparents, or maybe great grandparent, often time worked a twelve-hour day six days a week to just put bread on the table … Continue reading Group Pictures…

The Two Faces of Paul Ryan….

I have spent the better part of a week looking at the new vice presidential candidate for the GOP. Up until now I was not familiar with him other than superficially. This will be the last post in this area so I am going to try to summarize what I have learned about the man. Paul Ryan is definitely a passionate person who is true to his principles  taught to him by his heroes in life such as Ayn Rand who says money is the source of all good and altruism is stupid. I’m also sure he thinks each one … Continue reading The Two Faces of Paul Ryan….

Aside — About Responsibilities…..

It looks like it is going to take a few weeks before I can adequately start my parallel study of the Roman Empire and the beginnings of the Christian Church. I want to at least know enough about the Roman Empire that I can make some worthy analogies. So, in the mean time I am going to be doing some “Asides”. These are posts that have nothing particularly to do with the study but instead are things that just pop into my head. Below is a post I am also doing tomorrow on my “RJ’s Corner blog about a FaceBook … Continue reading Aside — About Responsibilities…..