Did You Overshop? Please Consider Offering to Help Others

The COVID-19 tragedy is testing our ethical values.  We can think of how we can be supportive of each other and use good judgment, or we can hide from our conscience and jump into the next toilet paper fight (Editor’s Note: Other people will see you in the predictable video, so think twice about fighting). Some of us bought too much of one thing or another without being consciously aware of it, and now we can turn that into something positive by being generous with others. The building complex where I live has an online message board for residents, and … Continue reading Did You Overshop? Please Consider Offering to Help Others

Desperation Can Turn You Into a Sad Clown

A few minutes ago I saw a Twitter post which included a short video, allegedly recorded in Australia. The impromptu, candid recording was of a fight between customers in a grocery store.  We can expect that now, with the current health crisis, advice to self-isolate and shortages of merchandise that everyone wants. In this instance, the dispute was over toilet paper.  One customer who loaded her cart with jumbo packages was challenged by another customer who wanted to buy the last package on the shelf. Personally, I was rooting for the woman who wanted only one package (without even being … Continue reading Desperation Can Turn You Into a Sad Clown

Shopping as Instant Gratification in Lieu of Conscience

The end-of-year holidays can be nasty for a lot of reasons, with the some of the most enthusiastic “giving” done by people who would rather not apologize for past hurtful behavior.  They spend money on merchandise that’s going to end up in landfill (or in thrift stores, if we’re lucky), and shortly after making asses of themselves with the presentation they see God in the form of Santa Claus, granting absolution. For many people, the holidays are vulgar, amoral milestones for hiding from one’s conscience — or hiding from the fact that there’s no conscience.  It’s especially horrifying if the … Continue reading Shopping as Instant Gratification in Lieu of Conscience

Empathy is Worth the Effort

(Note: I am not a mental health professional.  The statements in this blog post are based on personal observation and experience.) Most of us — if we are decent in the first place, and we haven’t become jaded — were horrified to hear about Monday night’s attack in Manchester.  The target was a concert venue which attracted young pop music fans. This morning I found a friend’s post on Facebook, expressing his personal reaction to the tragedy.  I typed a comment suggesting Dante should have created a Circle of Hell for terrorists who target young people. I hope my friend … Continue reading Empathy is Worth the Effort

We Almost Prevented a Tragedy

Enlightened, caring people phoned their Senators until the cows came home.  So much for summoning bovines.  Bullshit is an unavoidable part of the deal, and that’s what happened today. A tie-breaking vote from the Vice President has ensured that, for the next four years (but probably longer because the damage will take time to repair, and things haven’t been going well in the schools for a long time anyway), kids in public schools can forget about being educated.  Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as our new Education Secretary. The root problem is even bigger than this.  If you were Donald … Continue reading We Almost Prevented a Tragedy