mindset

113 How we improved the world by ourselves

Am I going to Hell? Some people think I am. Are they brainwashed? Relying stubbornly on political dirty tricks is a different kind of brainwashing. Journalists relax a little now that objective facts are admissible. Whether Hell exists is less urgent than whether my neighbor loves me. I influence the latter condition. Unhappy people are often pessimistic because they are upsetting themselves with the attitudes they practice. The world is not generally under my control. My worldview is. I will not bring unhappiness on myself.

103 Think abundantly to achieve your purpose

Humility, anyone? Do you think abundantly? Do you live abundantly? Do you give abundantly? As God does? As humanists do? What does all that mean? Perhaps you have followed my career change as I take up writing. Some courses have been helpful: teachers regularly refer to an abundance mindset. It means giving out generously, overdelivering. We try to be creators of abundance. On the other hand, abundance mindset is often invoked to goad the customer into thinking higher prices. Sellers claim great benefits from their products and then promise great earning power to those who complete their courses. Abundance thinking …

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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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87 Gentle lesson

The German way On our visit to Germany, our hostess, my mother’s sister (my Tante) Elsa, served delicious Leberwurst (liverwurst). I cut a circle and spread it out across my bread. Tante Elsa firmly remonstrated, “In Deutchland drueckt man nicht die Wurst.“ (In Germany one does not press the sausage.) To the postwar Germans this generous serving was an affirmation of sufficiency—affluence, compared to what they had endured. My aunt was asking me to conform to local practice. It was polite for her to teach me manners. In German culture, that was not only acceptable; it was required. We had …

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