Author Archives: Positive Mitch

How to respectfully talk about deep disagreements

The way local and world events are going at the moment, there is a growing desire to engage. To talk to one another! And this is good. In these turbulent times, we need to be talking to each other. But … Continue reading

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Why we must stop referring to undocumented immigrants as “illegal” — immediately

You’ve heard the argument that “no one is illegal” by now, right? Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel spoke these words after fleeing a country that outlawed certain groups of people, including him. For many, these words still ring true: no human … Continue reading

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Let’s talk about how we experience challenges to our privilege. We don’t do this enough.

Have you ever been accused of being “privileged?” Of having “unearned privilege?” Have you ever had that feeling that out of virtually nowhere, people are labeling you, boxing you into a corner, suddenly putting the screws on you to somehow … Continue reading

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Find “your people”

It’s been a year and a half since I last wrote for this blog. Why? Partially because I had other priorities, but also because, truthfully, I haven’t felt like I’ve had a lot of additional positive stuff to share. I … Continue reading

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An anonymous letter to those “nice people” that do “favors” so they can sleep with people

Dear person interested in getting into bed with me, You have *subtlely* shown in your interactions with me that you are not paying attention to my situation beyond how it might impact your ability to get cuddles/sex. Which is a … Continue reading

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6 examples of what creepy behavior is, and how to avoid it

When a person (or group of people) makes us uncomfortable in some way that is not openly harmful or violent, they are being “creepy.” This subject is not very well fleshed out, however; lines are drawn between violence and nonviolence, … Continue reading

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Why don’t people just say what they mean and mean what they say?

The short answer is because what you are saying can be very different from what your audience hears. The longer answer is because what you say is hardly ever all that you mean – no matter how honest you think … Continue reading

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Exploring distinct kinds of attraction

Have you ever felt attracted to someone in some ways, but not others? Sure you have. We all have. You know, The person you feel relaxed around, whose therapeutic company you crave, which is not necessarily sexual; The person that lights you … Continue reading

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Sometimes, when you want to welcome the new, you have to kick out the old crying and screaming

Man, am I learning a hard lesson in my life right now. I went on vacation for 3 months to travel around and get new perspectives and inspiration, knowing that something was missing, that I needed to find out what … Continue reading

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What is not being said or noticed?

Sometimes it seems like it’s not enough just to be yourself – you have to make yourself seem interesting, you have to stand out, you have to give people a reason to be interested in you and to devote time … Continue reading

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Some things I’ve learned about recognizing, coping with, and fighting oppression and bigotry

It should all be so simple: don’t be a jerk! So why do oppression and bigotry still happen all the time? And why does so much of it so often fly under the radar, often with little to no challenge, … Continue reading

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The laws of benevolent (and harmful) behavior

One of the things that stops us from being ourselves is when we think that the world is out to get us. Or not even just the world. The people around us. Our coworkers. Our neighbors. Members of our family. … Continue reading

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Intelligence and compassion are not two separate things

What is the point of intelligence if it doesn’t make somebody’s life better or more enriched? So much of what we think of as “intelligence” is misused. Misused so that we can hurt other people. So that we can feel better … Continue reading

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Is competition bad?

Competition. The art of being the best. It’s the foundation of so much of our sports and innovation culture, how could it be bad? Well … we live in a world that completely misses the boat in terms of human … Continue reading

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What you feel is never wrong

One could say that feelings are always right, especially considering how they often just “happen” despite our best efforts! Sometimes, the context of certain feelings is messed up, yes indeed. You don’t want to burst out laughing when somebody is weeping, talking … Continue reading

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What your awareness says about your trustworthiness – and how “safe” a person you are

I’ve known many people, including myself, that have a lot of trouble just being themselves. You can get into a lot of unfortunate trouble if you don’t develop a fine-tuned filter. We all know there are certain things you can’t … Continue reading

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Why you should learn how to speak nonjudgmentally

“I talked to this loser today, who has no life and seems to think no one else should either. Instead of engaging with me, he stared ahead like a sulky child and refused to fully acknowledge me. The guy’s a … Continue reading

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Positive thinking should be valued higher than other kinds of thinking

Free speech and free thought are definitely valuable things. But some kinds of speech and thoughts are more valuable than other kinds. I refuse to take a standoffish, “unbiased” approach to these things when we have so much injustice and … Continue reading

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Meet my role model for situations of high tension: the hostage negotiator

“What would Jesus do?” say some. “What would Grandma do?” say others. These figures, who often are not with us, serve as inspiration to be somebody better, to “take the high road” at challenging moments. For me, when such moments … Continue reading

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Privilege is a much less unpleasant topic once we let ourselves be fully aware of it

These days, privilege often gets talked about in the negative: those privileged people, who have no idea of how life is for people unlike them. A justifiable anger, for those who do not enjoy such privileges. Very often, when somebody’s … Continue reading

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What will it take to stop the violence?

Why do violent acts happen? There are a thousand answers to this question. But not all of these answers are easily known. Especially when you are talking not about one single act of violence, but rather the continued stream of … Continue reading

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How “leaving people a way out” calms tensions

We all get to that point with someone sometimes when there’s this big loaded question in the air – one that involves a lot of emotion, and thus potential disappointment. Think “will you marry me?” for example. Sometimes it’s not … Continue reading

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Compersion: a word we should all become familiar with

We have words in English for when we become upset at someone else’s enjoyment (jealousy) and for when we delight in being better off than someone else (gloating) and even delighting in another’s misery (schadenfreude) … but what do we … Continue reading

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“Today you … tomorrow me” (or, “why I often pick up hitchhikers”)

The following is a verbatim republication of something written by a member of Reddit in response to the question “Have you ever picked up a hitch-hiker?” It won Reddit’s “Comment of the Year” award in 2010 – it’s a beautiful … Continue reading

Posted in Beliefs and worldview, Love and compassion, Pass on the positivity!, Personal reflections, Zany or uncategorized stuff | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

What is “listening?”

This is so damn important! If I ruled the world, “listening” would be as much a part of the school curriculum as mathematics or language or history. It would continue to be a required course in higher education also! It’s … Continue reading

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Pay as much attention to why things are right as you do to why they are wrong

Many people only turn on their brain when something is wrong. But when things are right, it’s good to reflect on how to keep them that way – especially in case they start to go wrong. If you know more about … Continue reading

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When “attention” is a disease you don’t want to catch

The people and things that get the most attention are rarely the people and things most deserving of attention. Why are some people’s voices heard more than others? Why is some news heard more than other news that is equally or … Continue reading

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When overall reality trumps ‘facts’ and ‘logic’

There are times, when I am discussing a topic with someone, that I run into an interesting paradox; the other person tries to use facts and postulates about what something “officially” is or has been “defined” to make their point. … Continue reading

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Get off the script!

“Hi, how are you?” “Fine, thank you.” “Good! How’s work?” “It’s good, it’s good.” This gets boring and meaningless after a while, doesn’t it? It’s the dreaded script! AAAAAHHH!!! You know, those times when the conversation becomes so deafeningly predictable, when people … Continue reading

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On not labeling your relationships

A friend of mine recently told me, “I’m seeing two people. But I never refer to either of them as ‘boyfriend’ … they are always just ‘friend’, both between us and with other people. The minute you give the relationship a label … Continue reading

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I’ll have more respect for your point of view if you demonstrate respect for points of view you don’t agree with

I trust some salespeople more than others – and I’m more likely to buy from folks I trust, of course. What inspires my trust in a salesperson? Things like knowing what you’re talking about and being able to address my … Continue reading

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What do I want for the holidays? Nothing, actually.

A member of my family recently asked me what I wanted for Christmas. It was a beautiful gesture by somebody dear to me who knows me well and knows that I generally appreciate gifts I know about more than surprise … Continue reading

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Some thoughts about individuals who go on deadly shooting sprees

After getting over the fact that the most innocent of lives were lost yesterday in Connecticut just because somebody was angry or wanted revenge on someone else, we’re going to start asking why once again. There is no one answer. … Continue reading

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The insidiousness of dogma – and how it affects our ability to be happy

Anything, even the greatest, most wonderful of things, can be ruined for somebody if they have bad experiences with it. Nothing has an absolute quality of greatness or awfulness. Each individual feels things relative to their own experience. The best things … Continue reading

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Soundbites don’t make a discussion

The further along we get in media and Tweeting and texting, the more it seems people want to pack as much information into as little time as possible. This is often an admirable goal; when you can state a point … Continue reading

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Why greater investment in finding a romantic match often leads to lesser returns; some thoughts

The world of sex and romance can get really noisy sometimes with all the drama, intended or not, that it often brings. Yes – even with low-drama people. At such times, it can become hard to think. People who know … Continue reading

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What the heck does “positive” mean, anyway? Here are 22 ways I’ve come to understand “positivity”

I picked the word “positive” for this blog because I think that, if I am limited to one word, “positive” best represents the message I am trying to convey, and the way I want to live my life. No one … Continue reading

Posted in Beliefs and worldview, Debate!, Healing, Pass on the positivity!, Personal reflections, Zany or uncategorized stuff | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Why do people believe anecdotes and stories more than real statistics?

The obvious answer is that anecdotes often touch us more deeply. However, when a statistic touches us deeply, we also tend to identify very much with it. Those statistics that seem far away to us, however, are easily ignorable. And … Continue reading

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There is no talking to someone who won’t listen. Talk to those that will listen instead

I am often witness to situations in which a conversation is going on between two people. Or, at least, that is what supposed to be happening. In reality, somebody is not listening. But often, even though somebody is not listening, … Continue reading

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What does it mean when you want someone to be jealous of you?

As I write this post, the most popular post on my blog these days, by far, is the one about why human beings get jealous. I noticed that a good number of the search terms hitting that post say things … Continue reading

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A murderer is not just a murderer

A murderer is a person, too. Like you and me. A person who probably shares a lot in common with you and me, in fact. Some folks were reading this will no doubt ask me why I think that this … Continue reading

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Feminism is NOT enough by itself to liberate men from the problems they confront; a treatise on male empowerment

One of the biggest sticking points between feminists and those who oppose them is this creeping thinking that “women are the oppressed gender, and men are not.” That it is only women who need the safe spaces, the redress of injustice, … Continue reading

Posted in Achieving peace and understanding, Beliefs and worldview, Debate!, Healthy vulnerability and weakness, Long posts, Sex and sexuality, Staying strong | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Who do you think you aren’t?

Before I was able to love myself, I use to think about all the people that I wasn’t like. I would think about heroes, the people that we hold in high esteem as models for the best that humanity can … Continue reading

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Ask for help even when you don’t totally need it

We tend to ask for help when (a) what we need help with is not a big deal, and (b) when we desperately need help with something, often at times when we should have asked long ago. The fact that … Continue reading

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One atheist’s understanding of the message of Jesus Christ

I’m one of the most religion-friendly atheists you’ll ever know. Because I don’t believe in disparaging people’s beliefs for being different than my own. On the contrary, those around us who believe different things than we do, they hold these … Continue reading

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The nitty-gritty of using condoms: a conversation we don’t have nearly often enough

“If you’re going to have sex, use a condom!” We hear it all the time: safer sex necessarily involves condom use, among other things. And it sounds simple and sensible enough, right? Just cover the penis when penetration occurs, and … Continue reading

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The difference between envy and jealousy

Envy is a natural feeling of wanting what somebody else has. Jealousy, however, is qualitatively different. Whereas envy simply says, “I want what you have,” jealousy says, “I can’t stand that you have something I don’t,” usually followed up with … Continue reading

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Getting the most out of the loves of our lives

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” –Rumi There is something about the way much of modern society views love outside of … Continue reading

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The primordial soup of new feelings

When a person’s life situation suddenly changes radically, things can often become unstable. Moving to a new town, breaking up with a long-term partner, forming a new deep romantic relationship, moving out of a family member’s house, death of a loved … Continue reading

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The “monogamy vs. polyamory” debate – how can you know which relationship style is right for you?

When monogamy and polyamory get talked about seriously, lots of assumptions can often pop up. People of one view can get into a mode of thinking that looks down on people that think differently about things.

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