Category Archives: Practicing Goodness

Practicing Forgiveness

Take your deepest, most profound belief. Take the moral code you hold most dear. Now smash that down onto cement and watch the shattered pieces skitter across the pavement. Because of your actions, children break and fall to the ground. … Continue reading

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Owning Our Dark Side

Sometimes I think I sound like a wimp in political arguments. I’m forever talking about the mistakes and frailties of my own side, instead of slamming full speed into the weakness of my political opponents. Conducting an all-out assault on … Continue reading

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JFK, Tucson and Fear

In the wake of the Tucson shootings and liberal concerns about political rhetoric, our honorable opposition on the right has taken to yelling, “FOUL!” Right-wing commentators claim that progressives’ concerns about rhetoric aren’t real concerns; they’re politics. This scream has … Continue reading

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Coming Attractions

Finally, I’m finishing up the long-promised post about the Tucson shootings. The post is called “JFK, Tucson and Fear,” and I’ll publish it tomorrow.

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Taking Time To Think

My immediate reaction to the Tucson shootings was to post the instant I heard, except that the only thing I wanted to do was to howl with fury and point fingers. I was spitting fire, and I could think of … Continue reading

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Rules and Incentives are Strangling Society

Barry Schwartz, Swarthmore College psychology and economics professor, tells us how rules and incentives undermine society and make us feel like we’ve got to shower the grime of immorality off our skins at the end of every day. “Rules and … Continue reading

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Kansas City’s Secret Santa Personifies Goodness

What better time of year is there to update my list of those who personify goodness than  in the holiday season? Updatee No. 1 is the unknown soul who is wandering around Kansas City these days, giving out $100 bills. … Continue reading

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The Meditation and Pray-a-thon ctd.

An interesting thing happened in meditation this morning. As often occurs, a thought leaped into my brain and made me look: I don’t have to struggle, I thought. For the rest of this meditation, I can just be. No worries. … Continue reading

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Prayer for the Unbeliever

I don’t believe in a God who sits up in heaven, or anywhere else. I don’t believe in a God who answers prayers. I don’t believe in a God who needs to be praised, placated, or appealed to. At this … Continue reading

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Interesting Read: Science Explores Giving

USA Today has a good overview of new research into the origins of generosity. The answer may be in our parenting, our mother-child bonds or our hormones.

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God and Wealth

Gary Laderman rants today about religion, Republicans, the Tea Party, the cult of capitalism, and in the process raises some interesting questions for me in my quest for goodness: A few questions may help make the case about the intimate, … Continue reading

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My Reverse Bucket List

A bucket list is supposed to be the checklist of things you “swear you’re going to do before you die.”  The concept was made into a 2007 movie. There’s even a bucket list social network designed to help you keep … Continue reading

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Yet Another Fellow Traveler: John Bradshaw

On the recommendation of a friend, I just started reading John Bradshaw’s book, Reclaiming Virtue, and may I say that it’s such a relief after wading through the casual cruelty and skim-the-surface rigidity of Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape.

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Thanks Charles!

Many thanks to Charles Warren for tackling the Big Question. He writes elsewhere on this blog: What is goodness? This is a great question because it stimulates us, or at least me, to think about how I have lived my … Continue reading

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The Many Forms of Goodness

Today I’m practicing one of the many forms of goodness: I’m taking care of myself. Finally there’s a little time for that, although I have to admit to feeling uneasy.

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