Category Archives: Beliefs and worldview

Is righteous hatred a good thing?

We often feel hatred for good reasons. Hatred comes from anger coupled with powerlessness to change or avoid what makes us angry. But hatred is also a primary ingredient in so many cases of abuse and harm. What I want … Continue reading

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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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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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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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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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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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“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

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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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

Posted in Beliefs and worldview, Debate!, Love and compassion, Personal reflections, Sex and sexuality, Short posts | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

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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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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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

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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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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

Posted in Achieving peace and understanding, Beliefs and worldview, Debate!, Long posts, Personal reflections | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

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 “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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The “awesomeness” of lack of pretense

When I was young, some people used to tell me about how awesome I was for some reason. Much of the time, they would laugh and chuckle at the same time as they told me I was awesome. I had … Continue reading

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Intimacy takes time

In today’s modern hurly-burly, one thing that I am always seeing people forget [or never learn] is that as much as one may want to get deep real quick, the truth is, that … it takes time. We’ve all had … Continue reading

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Why men are the sexual hunters and women are considered “keepers of sex” – and what can be done to address this imbalance

Pretty much anywhere you go, men are conceived as the “horndog gender.” Men are viewed as the ones who will always want sex more, who are always quicker to sexualize a relationship, to make things about sex. And this does … Continue reading

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Those supernatural, divine moments in life are not exceptions – they’re CALLINGS

In the hurly-burly of the everyday, it can be hard to find meaning for many people. Especially if your life has a routine, or if your life is optimized so that you may give your best energy to those around … Continue reading

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Where you’re going is more important than where you are

  Ever notice how some people who are in the worst of situations somehow continue to be positive, joyful people? Or how some people who appear to have everything they could ever need and want still seem so dissatisfied? My … Continue reading

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Have high hope, but low expectations

This is a more concrete way of saying, “be open-minded,” a perspective you can take with you every time you are afraid of being disappointed. Some people use the word “hope” as a verb, in a narrow focus toward one … Continue reading

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Despite what it may seem, “forever” is usually not a very good thing – even in love

Oh, I very much understand the appeal! Why wouldn’t anybody want to be loved forever, cherished forever, protected forever… guaranteed that certain good things will be forever?? Problem is, there’s quite literally no way to fully guarantee it. Ever notice how … Continue reading

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You should really get good at this game

It’s called “the Game of Life.” And if you already feel like you’re good at it, well… that’s great! Keep getting better. You can never get too good at Life. I write this because it has come to my attention … Continue reading

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“Your mother didn’t tell you the truth”

These are the words to an Apartheid-era South African song (“War and Crime”) about why bigotry exists. I used to ask myself: why do people do all sorts of horrible hateful things solely because their victims belong to some group, … Continue reading

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It’s not all about the private parts; on not assigning a gender to newborn children

“It’s a girl!” “It’s a boy!” These are often the first things that are learned about a newborn child – even before its name is known. And what indeed is so bad about calling a child a girl or boy, … Continue reading

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The power of vulnerability

I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. –2 Corinthians 12:10 (The Bible) The prevailing view of strength is one that opposes it to weakness and vulnerability. … Continue reading

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A different way to look at romantic relationships

Recently I was talking to a friend about whether she wanted a monogamous or non-monogamous relationship, and she told me that, for her, non-monogamy is the default norm, with monogamy being one possible “customization,” as opposed to the way. This … Continue reading

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Change IS reality – in fact, it is reality’s driving force

Many of us try to find some constant in reality that we can hold on to, some one thing that will not change, that we can depend on. Well… if the computer age has taught us anything new, it’s that … Continue reading

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A MANifesto for the 21st Century

There is a lot of talk about how women face a multitude of problems that men do not (something that is still true, even in most developed countries). In the past 100 years, feminist movements of many different stripes have … Continue reading

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Yin and Yang – a useful way to approach complex truth

Truth is often thought of as simple and easy: It’s hot outside. Maria is 1.56 meters tall. The milk has gone bad. These are all easy truths – easy to talk about, easy to find the answers to. But some … Continue reading

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The opportunity of adversity

Positive-thinking people not only find ways to create positive situations; they also extract the golden nuggets of positivity from the jaws of very negative, debilitating situations. In this video, Aimee Mullins, an athlete, actress, and fashion model, talks about her … Continue reading

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A good divorce is as much cause to celebrate as a good marriage

Unfortunately, it’s even rarer. A few days ago I went to the family court in my area for a case that was pulled last of all, which meant I got to observe the other cases. Among these others were a … Continue reading

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A Daddy That Serves… in Pain: One man’s perspective on loving and giving – and yet, being invisible

One night I was reading through journal entries on a website, and I stumbled across this: a man’s plea to be heard and be loved for who he truly is. He is a transman, that is, someone who was born … Continue reading

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An idea is never born unaccompanied by a goal

When people talk about being “unbiased,” or “impartial,” they often forget that this is an oxymoron, because ideas don’t exist independently of goals. Trying to be “unbiased” is a bias in and of itself! Every idea has at least one … Continue reading

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Show honor to how other people choose to identify themselves

One of the best ways to respect somebody is to honor how they self-define. For example, somebody who looks to you like a man wishes to be addressed as “she” and referred to as a woman. The right thing to … Continue reading

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Desire, attraction, and the sacred middle ground

Love is wonderful when it works. But we push love away so often because we are afraid it won’t work. Even with those we are supposed to love most. The vulnerability required to realize true intimacy can be a major … Continue reading

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The real reason religion is so powerful

Some religions promise heaven in the afterlife for loyal followers, and hell for sinners (I am specifically thinking of the biggest two, Christianity and Islam). This does get people to “stick” somewhat–but it is not the main reason why religion … Continue reading

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Feminism: it’s all about taking back femininity

I am a man, and men don’t often get into feminism, I know. 🙂 I do have a very strong feminine component to my being. My femininity is very precious to me–precious enough to blog about; there is too much … Continue reading

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