Category Archives: Emotions

That Miraculous Free Time for Which Everyone Longs

I hate to admit it after all these years, but
I suppose I have found that miraculous free time
For which everyone longs―
That time with which―if we had it―
We would all do those wonderful things
That need doing, and upon which the world
Is waiting to be a better place.

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Why Is It So Hard To Get People To Correct Themselves When They’re Wrong?

I’ve been working on this title question for over 12 years, but I’ve never taken a stab at putting all the answers I’ve collected in one concise article until now. The goal of this article is to be brief, while also giving a wide-scoped treatment of the question. So here we go!

SCENARIO: Suppose someone is wrong over a matter of fact or logic or morality, and you have got the facts and logic and sourcing together to prove to them all day long that they’re wrong.

QUESTIONS: Why is it so often so very difficult to get people to correct themselves? That is, to say, “OK, I see I was wrong, and I’m changing my position.”? What is it about people that makes this difficult?

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Did Jesus Need Anger Management Counseling?

I’m all for self-awareness and responsible living, but if one believed all the memes one sees today, one might think that Jesus himself needed anger management counseling, based on all the times he got angry with people in the Bible stories. The memes would have us believe that any time something gets a rise out of us, it must be because we have a burr under our own saddle that needs to be removed. That is to say, that something is wrong with us.

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What Is The Refresh Rate For One’s Self-View?

What is the refresh rate for one’s self-view?

For example, having lost weight, and having felt good about himself as a result, how much may one regain before it is reflected accordingly in the downturn of his self-related emotions?

Indeed, having felt good that he has adopted a higher standard in any matter, how long until he begins to realize his shortcomings with regard to that standard?

After observing humankind for some time, one might opine that for a great many humans, our greater concern in such matters is not the improving of ourselves, after all, but the improving of how we feel about ourselves. That is, it’s not in improving the reality of how we are, but our emotional attitude about it.

It’s as if we were addicted to the feelings of well-being, and willing to ignore or cheat reality, if need be, to keep it going. But there’s something more in play, since the feelings spike early after some perceived success, and wear off from then forward. Still, though, some manner of perception of the success remains―like a high-water mark after a flood. And so many of us, it seems, have a hard time averting our eyes from that mark when the actual waters recede.

The actual water levels were so important when they were on the rise―when we felt we were getting somewhere. But once we’ve peaked, it’s as if we switch over to another method of self-assessment, and it can take a very long time before we come to grips, either with a disappointing plateau, or an outright regression to some lower point.

And how curious this is about us―this bent toward the overestimation of our achievements, status, knowledge, skills, abilities, and performance!

It reminds me of a joke my grandmother would tell the shoe salesman about her shoe size: “I wear a 7, but this 8 feels so good, I think I’ll take a 9.”

Surely, she had worn a 7 at some point in time. But how long had that been, and how long will one cling to how it used to be before admitting how it is now? She was kidding, I think, having realized the humor in this particular human behavior.

Of course, people don’t only cling to what was better before; some cling to what was worse. They tend to gravitate their self-estimation toward the low-water line, even if they are doing better now. And this is just as twisted when viewed from a reality-based view. And if this weren’t enough of a challenge for us, I do believe we can simultaneously hold to different attitudes about the various areas of our lives, overestimating our status in the one thing while underestimating it in the other.

We all would do well, then, it seems to me, to think how life would be different if the refresh rate on our self assessment were higher. How much more quickly might we make corrections to our course if we were checking in with the compass more often?

The Danger of Identifying with an Idea Before Understanding It

A great many people have this problem:

They will hear of some idea or principle, which immediately sounds very good to them. That is, it makes them feel good. But from there, they make a wild leap into believe that they themselves are complete devotees of that cause, who understand it thoroughly and live in accordance to it.

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Sorry, Buddy, But There Comes a Time

Sorry, buddy, but there comes a time when
Even though you’ve been hurt
And you’re not feeling well
And you’ve got your own issues and triggers—
We’ve got to face the fact that your sin life—
Complicated as it may be by these things—
Rests firmly on your own disinterest
In being wholly righteous.

Big boys and girls learn to suck it up
And do what’s right—
Even when it’s hard.

And you, sir, are quite obviously not trying.