Why you should contact your representatives even if they’re already on your side

When your politician wants to do the right thing, they need your help.

If you call/tweet your representatives about something they already agree with, you are telling them: We have your back. You don’t have to worry that doing the right thing will cost you the election. Doing the right thing will get you votes, and make you *more* likely to win. That gives them more options.

I made a tool to do this.

 

Corporate Mindfulness

How corporates co-opted the art of mindfulness to make us bear the unbearable:

While there can be little doubt that the practice of mindfulness can lead to significant health benefits, its current prominence in corporate culture is nested within a social, cultural and political context where stress is now seen as a failure of the individual to adapt to the productivity demands of the corporation. In other words, if you’re stressed out, you’re not working hard enough on your personal focus strategy. You’re letting the team down.

Friends’ Lives Matter

What Growing Up White in a Black Church Taught Me about Racial Justice:

People don’t fight for justice as an abstract concept—at least not for very long. What they do fight for is people. They’ll fight harder for those people with whom they can more easily empathize, and they’ll fight hardest for those people about whom they care most. If white people are going to make a robust and lasting commitment to racial justice work, then intimate inter-racial friendships must accompany and sustain that commitment.

God’s Inaction in Action

Christians are so turned off by people with disabilities because they display God’s inaction in action.  They are kryptonite for prayer, their conditions often worsen instead of better with time.  Christians are not allowed to resent God for his inaction directly so they do so vicariously through individuals with disabilities.  That’s why people with disabilities often get treated worse in church than other places.

truth and trust

Great NYTimes Article on the end of truth:

Social networks and hacking also “have enabled us to see, in full color, into the innermost workings of every institution and into the attitudes of those who run them,” noted Seidman, “and that has eroded trust in virtually every institution, and the authority of many leaders, because people don’t like what they see.”

Transitioning Dead Zone

I think we can all agree that society’s relationships are continuing to transitioning from Martin Buber’s I and thou to I and it.  But the transition is like the dead zone where your cell phone is trying (and failing) to reach the outermost periphery of your wi-fi network but doesn’t know well enough to give up and connect to the cell phone network.

It is a recipe for depression when you are expected to believe you have innate worth (I and thou) while experiencing the opposite (I and it).  The culture and modern psychology in general is so disingenuous about this.  Can’t we just admit that physical appearance, money, status, and charisma are the most important things.  Can we quit pathologizing low self-esteem and learn to see it as an often correct self-assessment.  The whole concept of self-esteem presupposes one has innate worth which is untrue for all but the luckiest of us.  We need to move to the way it was in pre Christian times where people were open and honest about one’s value being tied to their station.

imaginary love

Great article, questions that killed my faith:

The idea that there is a God who wants you to feel loved by him simply isn’t true. Some people are good at feeling imaginary love and other people aren’t. It’s another placebo. For some people the effect is strong enough that it really helps them feel happy on a day-to-day basis; other people get nothing out of it. If it works for you, they will say “great, isn’t God’s love amazing?” If it doesn’t work for you, “just hang in there and keep trying, God won’t give you a bigger dry spell than you can handle, he really does love you, don’t expect that your needs are going to be met in any specific way because that’s arrogant and God’s ways are beyond our understanding.” If we believe that God will absolutely draw near to us if we draw near to him, and he isn’t drawing near to us, then clearly we aren’t doing a good enough job of drawing near to him.

 

Yellow Flag and Privilege

In racing there are different kinds of flags.  During many of them such as the yellow flag, drivers are not allowed to pass each other.  Now imagine in this flag situation the opposite of rubber banding (where in Mario Kart where the AI racers behind are placed closer to the player playing than they should given their performance) was happening.  Pretend the car in first place was allowed to go faster and each car down the line was allowed to put 150 feet between them.  It would make the race more unfair obviously.  I feel that’s what Trump has done to America.

The people of privilege have put distance between the rest of us and now there is more separating us as one goes further down.  The people in last place (refugees and immigrants) are driven further back because everyone has put distance between them.  As a man with a disability my interactions with men of privilege are noticeably different.  We just don’t have much in common.  Until Trump got elected I used to obsess over my closest friend from college but that has all but stopped now.  Because we are utterly different people, our experiences singular.