being true to a cause

96 The precious dignity of people

Faithfulness means people I’m proud of this blog’s publication schedule: Tuesdays and Fridays—no misses since February this year. On the other hand, my support services (email notices and school supplements) have suffered delays during unusually busy times. When I was gone, did you miss me? Of course not! You didn’t even notice what was missing. That contrasts strongly with my mood today, Black Friday. I did notice what was missing. Several pressing purchases made good use of the online specials. However, that enjoyment did not fill yesterday’s missing ingredient: people. Fortunately, most of the immediate family joined the Zoom call. …

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81 Demographics and history

Problem: We want to rule I want what I want when I want it. You are here to provide it for me. That is the earliest feeling I can remember. Have you outgrown it better than I have? I still have selfish impulses to overcome. Do you ever wish other people would do all the work while you retain control? My stories below are the macro and micro level of just that. Please regard all accounts below as old wives’ tales regarding particulars. I am selecting specialized perspectives to illustrate, not prove, a major point. Stories–macro The outstanding example in …

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60 Accomplish anything together?

What is the benefit of settled safety? The miracle of cooperation allows humans to achieve nearly anything. This is the promise of the Ernstraudian Way, the reason we are here together. The principle Fairness equalizes participants in democracy. In a large group, we trust that somebody will become aware of shortcomings, allowing us to perfect the system as we go along. An authoritarian individual is corrupted more easily than a majority. Public trust establishes continuity of the body. The method Democracies combine individual personal contributions to a social contract. People share diverse talents for the common good. They learn practical …

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17 Being for (and aware of) others

About the time I began public school, one of my pleasures was follow-the-dots drawing books.  Simple designs were obvious from the positions of the numbered dots.  In more complex drawings the numbering sequence called for running lines through the figures to add surprises; the objects became gradually recognizable.  We were a frugal household, and each drawing book had to last about a month.  I rationed the pleasure.  So it didn’t help when I had a guest who was gung-ho on doing follow-the-dots.  He was polite; he asked permission before starting a new drawing.  But I couldn’t say no, so the …

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15 Peak Motivation

People work harder for others than they do for themselves because humans are hard-wired for cooperation.  For motivation, social value is stronger than self-interest. Negative proof:–Recently a respected retirement home was saddened by the suicide of one of its most appreciated residents, a retiree from an active and productive career, father of several successful, caring children.  Living with his wife, he was surrounded by healthy activities and supporting family—a prime prospect for an active retirement. There was no surprise in his suicide.  Being provided everything he needed, he was missing the most important ingredient of life:  nobody needed him.  After …

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5 Wishy-Washy

Imagine the pain of loudly supporting one side of an issue only to learn later that the opposite side had the better argument.  A legal advocate or a debate team must know the alternatives and be able to present either side at its best, and universities teach us how to refute any proposition.  Comprehending all viewpoints elevates discussion from assertion to evaluation. Navigating arguments is like driving a vehicle that must be able to turn to the right or to the left in order to stay on the road ahead. When readers expect me invariably to take positions on the …

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