The Faces of Humanity

All major human conflicts are essentially what Jonathan Swift called the war between the “Big Endians” and the “Little Endians” in Gulliver’s Travels. In Swift’s novel, Lilliput and Blefuscu are island nations ruled by emperors. Those from Lilliput broke boiled eggs on the larger end, while those from Blefuscu broke their’s on the smaller end. Swift’s readers at the time would have recognized that his metaphor suggested that the British political parties at the time, the Whigs and Torys, were fighting a war based on minuscule and inconsequential differences. That appears to be a common theme in human history: Most . . . → Read More: The Faces of Humanity

Time Flies

I knew that it had been a while since my last posting, but I had no idea how long it had been. John Lennon is usually given credit for saying that “life is what happens while you are making other plans,” which is included in the lyrics for Beautiful Boy, written for his son, Sean. Since my last blog, we’ve had two major holidays (Christmas and New Year’s), and more than a month has slipped away while I was busy making other plans. And shoveling snow. It is, after all, winter in Michigan….

We have had some winter weather . . . → Read More: Time Flies

What Did You Get for Christmas?

On a cold and frosty late-December morning, when I lived in a previous neighborhood, I was out walking my dog. It was so long ago that in the years between then and now, not only has that dog died of old age, but my next two dogs have also died of old age. Even so, on that late-December morning I said something that still haunts me. A boy who lived in a nearby house, ran up to me holding up a new pair of gloves, saying excitedly, “See what I got! New gloves!” My reply: “They are really neat. Did . . . → Read More: What Did You Get for Christmas?

The Long and Winding Road

With apologies to Paul McCartney, the winding road I have in mind for this blog is not to your door but to the 2016 elections in the US. For one reason or another, we seem to be off to an earlier and stranger start than is usually the case. The impetus for this blog post was an article in Salon by Heather Cox Richardson about the intellectual battle for the soul of the Republican Party. The article caught my attention because I started my political life as an “Eisenhower Republican” while I was still too young to vote. I liked . . . → Read More: The Long and Winding Road

Earthquakes

By now, you undoubtedly know about the devastating earthquake in Nepal. You may not have heard, however, about the earthquake in SW Michigan. Earthquakes come in all sizes, from the huge and deadly to the minor shake-ups. Michigan’s earthquake was a minor shake-up. When I was growing up in California, we had numerous minor quakes. Even though they always came as a surprise, we learned to recognize them for what they were. After I had grown up and left, California experienced at least two serious quakes with extensive damage and some deaths, one in northern California and one in southern . . . → Read More: Earthquakes

The Father of Lies

The Christian Bible says that Satan is the “Father of Lies.” The actual Father of Lies, however, is fear. Regardless of whether you believe that Satan is a metaphor for fear, you undoubtedly know that people lie when they are afraid. Everyone, George Washington included, has lied and will probably lie again. Lying is a normal part of human existence because humans experience fear. Think about the last time you told a lie, especially a significant one, and note that you felt fearful before uttering your lie. You can use knowing that fear is the “father” of lies to increase . . . → Read More: The Father of Lies