Diversity

97 Helpless, clever, enlightened – which are you?

Just like you A woman approached a stranger in a narrow hallway. Just as she swerved right the oncoming woman swerved left. They simultaneously switched directions, putting them again on a collision course. The teller of this tale spontaneously blurted out “I wonder how Emily Post would feel in a situation like this,” whereupon the stranger replied, “She would feel exactly as you do. I know because I’m Emily Post.” Sometimes in this blog we have a zig-or-zag dance where neither of us knows quite where the other party is going. When that happens, I feel exactly as you do. …

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95 The peaceable dignity of understanding

Whining dog baseball A puppy down the street was whining miserably. I told my friend it was sending us baseball signals. “Those are the sounds you make when playing Left Out.” Can I communicate from Right Center Field? Can addressing a stranger in public be the Left Out signal instead of a pickup line? Does a pickup line come from a generous, or an ulterior, motive? On the subway a stranger who speaks to me is usually trying to share a religious thought. Human communication makes the person feel better. It usually has the same effect on me. Mumbling strangers …

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83 I’m only one, but

The foundation You create the new world by perceiving it. Success coaches have been criticized for citing a law of attraction by which your environment manifests what is in your mind. They probably mean that you think your way to success. I cannot answer for them whether they are positing a supernatural power. This blog keeps both humanist feet on the ground. Article 37 indicates that “realizing” means both “becoming aware of” and “achieving.” In article 80 I stated “To ‘realize’ a renewed world is first ‘to become aware’ of it; and following that, to ‘achieve’ it.” To catch a …

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78 Why are you not effective?

Stories If you wanted a favor from me, would you run up to me and say, “I am going to fight you”? Do you come to a job interview to say, “Here are my demands; I am going to fight you until I get all of them”? Crazy as that sounds, I see these behaviors practiced every day, in other settings. However, today’s title is merely an attention grabber. You are effective and the article ends on my usual exuberance. I have already described athletic competition as collaboration between parties who agree to put forth best effort to make each …

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77 Do not kill unbelievers

You already know this This is self-evident: People who lean on you for validation are so insecure that they beg for your reinforcing belief. “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt” hides “I am trying to convince myself (and I’m not succeeding without your help).” Anger is a defense mechanism even when there is no attack. Being upset that I do not believe always reveals the upset person’s weakness, doubt, and uncertainty. The person fears the weakness, not my unbelief. Appropriately withholding belief is an act of generosity: Galileo contributed to science by refusing to believe the geocentric model …

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68 Do we measure?

My last post declared my change in outlook: to write for you, not for me. I cited the Mirasee LIFT conference as the example of moving forward together. It was indeed moving; it moved me to draw us together consciously. If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. African proverb (so-called) A thoughtful article in Jezebel attributes this saying to “a wide variety of white people.” The article ends on a delightful twist. Taking the advice to heart, I am inviting you, the reader, to show up here and help our little …

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64 Please disagree

Today’s title is a special request. The article explains how to carry it out. The jovial expression in the staged photo communicates something other than despair. That lighthearted view of disagreement is quite different from serious conflict. High-energy union in competition A sportsmanlike contest is cooperation. The 1949 movie Adam’s Rib stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as a married couple whose love includes fighting fiercely in the courtroom or on the political stage. Athletes compete vigorously while understanding that their performance will bring out the best in the other party. The benefits are understood by and accrue to both …

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46 Difference is essential to meaning

After my contracts course in law school, Professor Levin taught an exam review session. I was uncomfortable because his position was quite different from mine on almost every issue. Later he posted grades and returned the test booklets to us. He had given me the highest grade in the class–not because I agreed with him, but because I had covered every issue. Using Professor Levin’s philosophy, I give you questions, not answers. If you stay with me, you are the one who changes the world. Separating “us” from “them” is the road to destruction. It is the macro version of …

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