Monthly Archives: December 2010

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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Breathing Into the New Year, ctd.

Continuing in the effort to center for the new year, let me ask you this question: How many birds are there at Squaw Creek? The answer: Bunches and bunches and bunches. The large blob in the tree and the blob … Continue reading

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Breathing Into the New Year, ctd.

Another photo to remind us to breathe into the new year and let go of our obsession with ourselves. From the Squaw Creek Refuge near Mound City, Missouri, a view of the muskrat mounds. I had no idea they were … Continue reading

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A Heron and Breathing Into the New Year

This is the second of my posts about centering and nature. We darn near ran off the road when we spotted this heron at the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. May we all breathe calmly into the new year. If … Continue reading

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The Goodness of Centering

What goes into becoming good? Is it being born with the right heart? The right thoughts? The right parents? Or is goodness a quality that we constantly struggle to find? Today I called Blue Cross & Blue Shield about renewing … Continue reading

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Brene Brown Answers My Questions

Storyteller and social work researcher Brene Brown has just answered the central questions of my quest for goodness, or at least most of them. I have asked: What is goodness? What enables human beings to be good? What trips us … Continue reading

Posted in Becoming Good, Goodness Personified, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Christians May Irk, but Christmas Doesn’t

I am well-known for my disagreements with Christianity and certain Christians. Christmas, though, just melts my heart. There’s the fact that presents are involved, and I do love presents. But there’s something else about Christmas that snared me when I … Continue reading

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Goodness and Courage

The Senate just voted 65-31 to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban on lesbians, gays and bisexuals serving openly in the military. I’m speechless. My face is wet with all the losses we’ve suffered. And I’m remembering those I … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

God and Goodness Yet Again

A visitor has once again raised the question of God’s relationship to goodness over on my  Question page. Because folks sometimes forget to visit that page, I’m alerting you to our discussion.  federfluesterin writes: If one could, for once, imagine … Continue reading

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Goodness Personified by a Brahmin in India

“Food is one part; love is another,” says Narayanan Krishnan of his work with the poor. He’s one of CNN’s 2010 heroes. All of them look like goodness personified to me.

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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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Help Me Sell a Book on Goodness

In June I began my quest to understand morality and how it guides and hobbles us.  Now I need your help. I need to raise interest in a book on goodness, and I can’t do that if I can’t convince … Continue reading

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The Dalai Lama Explains Me To Myself

From the Dalai Lama’s Facebook page today: Although I personally believe that our human nature is fundamentally gentle and compassionate, I feel it is not enough that this is our underlying nature; we must also develop an appreciation and awareness … 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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