selfishness

109 On the threshold of wealth

The country’s pain is not a person. It is anger. The pain will endure as long as the anger. Attempting to get even and to override others is scripted discord. Triumph over the other expresses selfishness, not completeness. Every resetting of course provides some degree of fresh start. It was so beautifully expressed in George H. W. Bush’s emphasis on the “kinder, gentler America.” With a dramatic personnel change underway, we have the perfect moment to institute that more divine order. Our joy lies in being the new America where we sincerely care about the least of these (our neighbors).

90 Overcome self to share the world

Uniqueness When I was in high school, some friends talked about a boy they knew in another town. They described him as being “so smart,” and then added, “He’s just like you; you would really like him.” They intended it as a sincere compliment. To me it felt like a threat. They thought it encouraging that somebody was agreeable to my viewpoint about life. I saw it as a dilution of my uniqueness. Today I suggest that we deny “self” to benefit “us.” Articles 39 and 46 explore what we do with differences; they help to give us identity. We …

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82 Human reallocation

Stories An amused hayseed watched the automated orange juice machine slice and squeeze his orange for him. He was less amused when the cup stuck in the chute and failed to catch the juice. In his old farmer drawl, he exclaimed, “the durn thing even drinks it fer ya.” It was too much automation for him! Let’s leave behind the corny jokes and concentrate on the opening of article 81, an infantile desire to receive every needful thing from the world. One professor told us that the first requirement of a good physicist is to be lazy—our work is always …

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56 If not self, who?

When I was in early grade school, the most popular political satirist was Al Capp. In his comic strip Li’l Abner, the neighborhood youth in Dogpatch built a spaceship. The government was not able to do that because of all the red tape. One of the last articles in my Ernstraud Magazine described neighborhood cooperation. A tree dropped a large limb that completely blocked traffic past my house. I set about sawing off branches and in fifteen minutes four neighbors with saws had joined me. The street was clear in half an hour. No city bureaucracy could have beat our …

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6 Let’s Be (Positively) Real

Eagerness can tempt us to take shortcuts to wrong goals.  An example is the mythical deity (“jealous god of wrath”) who establishes calm by destroying perpetrators (“the wicked”), a classical quick fix that does not solve problems.  In contrast, patience is a long path to the right goal.  An example is Christian longsuffering that sees the Paul inside every Saul, offering a solution of construction instead of destruction–improving, not removing. We do not expect that every perpetrator will be immediately transformed.  However, the patient offer of redemption strengthens both the mover and the one moved upon and the situation is …

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